Table of Contents
Feeling broken is the worst.
It doesn't matter what's going on in your life.
You don't need to justify it.
If you feel broken, that's just how it is.
And when you're feeling that way, you'd do almost anything to escape the pain.
I've been there.
More than a few times.
And because I've been there, I now have a proven system to escape feeling broken.
Review these steps, and steal what works for you.
Feeling Broken? Do These Steps in Order to Stop Saying "I'm Broken!"
When I was younger, I'd get hit with bad news and feel like my world was crashing down.
I immediately blamed myself.
I thought, "Wow, I'm such an idiot. I can't believe I let that happen. I'm broken."
It didn't matter what happened, it just mattered that I was a broken, worthless person.
Depending on the day, it could have been spilling food and making a mess that set me off.
Or it could have been saying a stupid thing to someone else.
"Why did I DO that?"
It was just enough to tip the scales and start the anxiety spiral into a descent of brokenness.
But now that I've been on that spiral a few times, I know enough to spot the symptoms.
Which is where you should begin.
1. Spot the signs of feeling broken, even before they start
What does feeling broken mean to you?
Really stop to think about it for a second.
Is it shame?
Everyone's going to be a little different.
For me, it has a hopeless quality.
It's a bit like Chicken Little exclaiming that the sky is falling.
When I get into my head, it's easy to convince myself that I'm a person who is broken and not worthy of love.
"Why am I broken? Why?"
These were thoughts I used to have all the time.
So, run through your thoughts as well.
Are they becoming more and more negative?
All of this is data.
That's all it is.
You don't need to judge yourself for feeling the way you're feeling.
You just need to notice it.
2. Then, think about what happened in the moments before to trigger your feeling of brokenness
Were you having an especially stressful day?
What kinds of challenges were you facing in the moments prior to feeling broken?
The interesting thing about negative feelings is that, once we're in them, we often don't take the time to figure out what preceded them. We just assume that the negativity, and the icky feeling it brings, is our natural state.
But how bizarre is that?
Clearly, you've had a wide range of feelings in your life.
So what would need to happen to make you convinced that you're broken?
Do they really have that kind of power over you?
The people we deal with are not Gods. They're not superheroes.
The way we respond to people and events is more a reflection of our inner state than an external force we are required to give into.
And stress or lack of sleep can make this so much worse.
So if you don't find the answer to your feeling in the moments prior, go back a few hours earlier.
Did you sleep? Have you had food? Water?
Oh, how many times I've thought my life was ending when, in reality, I was just starving or extremely thirsty.
Symptoms of brokenness don't automatically mean brokenness.
They're just data for you to collect and analyze.
3. Only after you complete steps one and two can you take CERTAIN actions to feel less broken
Humans are prone to take action.
It's how we survived for thousands of years.
If an animal is chasing you, you run.
If another warrior is fighting you, you fight.
But that doesn't work so well anymore.
We live in the "knowledge economy" now.
Acting without thinking first is a recipe for disaster that could cause you to lose your job or something equally valuable to you.
So, let's review what we've covered so far:
1. First, you spotted the signs of the pain that is brewing inside you
2. Then you went back in time to analyze the issue with the data you collected
That brings us to step three--taking action.
Action, like the assessment you went through earlier, is going to be specific to your current situation.
There is nothing worse than general tips that are not tied to your current reality.
If you are a person who has experienced trauma from certain behaviors, you probably wouldn't engage in those behaviors to stop feeling broken.
You'd probably start therapy to work with a mental health professional and process your trauma first.
But what you should know is that it's better to choose practical behaviors that you can do whenever and wherever you are.
"Go to Hawaii" is not a timeless activity that you could use whenever you're feeling broken.
It has to be realistic.
So, make a list.
Write it down.
Get some ideas onto paper or your computer screen.
What you want to do is snap your brain out of the doom you're feeling and into a more expansive, less broken state.
Emotional pain can't remain the way it is if you change.
When you change your behavior, the pain will change with it.
If you're a person who likes movement, focus your activities on simple, functional movements.
If you're a verbal person, make a list of writing exercises or journal prompts you can respond to.
Every time you list something new, you improve your ability to respond to the negative feeling--and you lessen the pain.
Consider this a good kind of stress.
You're putting your brain through a workout to get used to the work it takes to overcome feeling broken.
How to Build Resilience and Great Mental Health--Through Practical Actions You Can Take Wherever You Are
Practicality is your friend.
Timelessness will save you time.
Because remember, there were always be difficult life events.
You will, without a doubt, hit another rough patch in life.
But I've learned, through trial and error, that I'm not serving a life sentence in feeling-broken jail.
Sometimes, 5 minutes of deep breaths is enough to change my entire demeanor.
That's what works for me at times.
What works for you will be tailored to your unique situation and your actual life.
You can break through negative feelings.
Just remember to keep it simple and as practical as possible.
The more times you go through this 3-step process, the better off you'll be.
It's time to break through the way you've been feeling.