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89db8a0d — Derek Sivers formatting 4 months ago
                                                                                
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<title>Getting out of a bad state of mind | Derek Sivers</title>
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<header>
<div class="blogparent">from the book “<a href="/n">Hell Yeah or No</a>”:</div>
<h1>Getting out of a bad state of mind</h1>
<small>2015-02-01</small>
  <audio src="https://m.sive.rs/sive.rs.bad.mp3" preload="none" controls="controls"></audio>
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<p>
	The last time I was in really bad state of mind, I used these five steps to get out of it.
	I’ve shared this with a few friends in a similar situation, and they said it helped.
	I hope it works for you too.
</p>
<p><strong>
	1.
	Ask myself what’s wrong in this very second.
</strong></p><p>
	Am I in physical pain or danger?
	No.
	I’ve got mental pain, but that’s just me imagining things or remembering things.
	None of it is real.
</p><p> If I put aside the mental torture I’m giving myself, the only thing that’s real is this physical moment.
	Is it so bad?
	No.
	It’s not perfect, but not horrible.
	I look around and appreciate that I’m not in hell.
	It’s a nice place, nice trees, nice food, and has some nice people.
</p><p>
	Of course the mental anguish is still there, but this question is a nice reminder that the pain is all in my head.
</p>
<p><strong>
	2.
	Observe now. Act later.
</strong></p><p>
	When I’m feeling cloudy, my decisions and actions will be cloudy too.
	So I wait a few days before acting on anything.
	I watch the emotions pass by like a thunderstorm.
	And the longer I wait, the <a href="/walkways">smarter I get</a>.
</p>
<p><strong>
	3.
	Raise standards.
	Say no to anything less than great.
</strong></p><p>
	When I’m down, I avoid anyone who doesn’t rejuvenate me.
	They’re not allowed in my life right now, not even for a minute.
	No big explanation needed.
	No compromise.
	No favors.
</p><p>
	Everything I’m doing that isn’t good for me.
	Everything I’m eating or drinking that isn’t making me more healthy.
	People who are “fine” or who I “kill time” with, but don’t actually love and enjoy?
	Nope.
	Not good enough.
	I say no.
</p><p>
	Raising the bar not only gives me a huge feeling of self-worth, but also empties my time.
	Empty time helps me think clearly, because there’s more time to process and reflect.
</p><p>
	Empty time has the potential to be filled with great things.
	Time filled with little things has little potential.
</p>
<p><strong>
	4.
	Focus on my goal
</strong></p><p>
	The empty space from #3 helps me remember what I’m really doing with my life.
</p><p>
	Creating, learning, improving, whatever.
	It’s the ten-year-plan type of stuff.
	Clearing the clutter helps me see the horizon.
</p><p>
	It’s a huge energy-filled feeling of “Oh yeah! That’s where I’m going! I had forgotten! I can see it now! Let’s go!”
</p><p>
	Focus helps me say no, because once you can clearly see where you’re heading, you’re less likely to let anything get in your way.
</p>
<p><strong>
	5.
	Do all the necessary stuff
</strong></p><p>
	When I’m upset, I don’t feel like doing anything but wallowing in it.
</p><p>
	But despite feeling that way, I brush my teeth, make healthy meals, take the kid out to play, do the dishes, pay the bills, take my vitamins, clean up, and go to bed early.
</p><p>
	These tasks are so mundane, but they help me to feel on top of things.
	When everyday responsibilities are done, my mind is less distracted.
</p><p>
	When I ask, “What’s wrong right now?” — and I see this clean house, paid bills, and happy child — I can answer “nothing!”
</p><p>
	Going through the motions, even though I don’t feel like it, is peaceful.
	I think and process in the background as going about real life.
</p><p>
	It’s a great reminder that I have to eat, even if I’m not feeling hungry.
	I have to clean the house, even if my mind is a mess.
	I have to sleep, no matter what!
</p><p>
	Like #1, above, this step separates the mental anguish from the physical reality.
	It keeps me focused on what’s real versus what I’m just imagining.
</p>

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