It’s not always easy shaking the mindset of feeling trapped. You must learn how to free yourself from the stuck places in life and in your mind.
What Is Feeling Trapped in Life Like?
Have you ever felt stuck? It’s a strange feeling that comes when life seems to repeat itself over and over. If you’ve ever seen the movie Groundhog Day, you understand what feeling stuck is like, and how intolerable repeating the same things can be. And it’s not just about being stuck in life, actually.
It’s better represented by the terms, “feeling trapped” because, honestly, people feel trapped like they’re living in a cage of existence. They are going through the motions like a mechanical being.
You might not initially notice when you’re feeling the trapped sensations. At first, you may think that you’re just afraid of change. And really, that is a part of it – fear makes us afraid of change, and thus, fear keeps us trapped. But we must learn how to connect these emotions in order to free ourselves from them.
You can stop this feeling of being stuck by practicing something different. It sounds like I want you to embrace change, doesn’t it? Well, maybe I do. In the meantime, read on.
How to Get Unstuck in Life?
1. Stop living in the past
I think this is the hardest thing for me to do. I sometimes sit around and think about times when my children were small, when my parents were alive, and when I was back in grade school. While I have many bad memories, I also have many good ones as well.
The truth is the good memories tend to keep me stuck even more than the bad ones. I catch myself wishing I could go back to what I think was a simpler time. The thoughts and emotions are deep, but they are keeping me stuck. Practicing the art of not dwelling on the past is the best thing to do in this case, and I am working on that as I go along. Hey, liberation doesn’t always feel good at first.
2. Learn something new
Last summer, I learned, hands-on, how to properly change a tire. Someone told me how to do it, but I never had the opportunity to complete the entire process on my own. Yeah, I guess some of you are laughing at me, but it’s true. I learned how to do something new, and with that, I felt a wonderful sense of pride in my accomplishments.
After that, I wanted to learn how to do even more things. I then took a lawnmower carburetor apart, cleaned the parts and put it back together with the help of YouTube. These things definitely helped me feel a bit liberated for the remainder of the summer months. So, go try something new and get unstuck. Just be careful when you do.
3. Change your scenery
Okay, so right now you might not be able to go on many trips or vacations, but later on, you will. If you get the chance to afford it, take a trip somewhere when all this turmoil is over.
Until then, get out of one room of your home, the one which you frequent the most often, and try hanging out somewhere else in your home. It will feel as though you’ve taken a trip without going anywhere.
Do all your work, past times, reading, and napping in this different location. Just change your surroundings for a bit so you will not go crazy feeling trapped.
4. Change your exercise routine
Are you used to going on walks or jogging? Are you accustomed to doing aerobic exercises in your living room? Well, why not change up your fitness routine for a while and make it interesting.
If you have a bike, and a good trail nearby, maybe now is the time to take a short bike ride to get your blood pumping. If winter and storms have ravaged your yard, then maybe a bit of yard work will reward you the exercise you need.
There are many ways to stay fit and keep you from getting bored by doing so. When we get bored with the things we do, we surely start feeling trapped again. When we keep moving, we understand that we are already free.
5. Finish some incomplete goals
Do you remember those scrapbooks you wanted to finish? Do you remember the book you never finished writing? What about completing that table you started building several months ago?
If you’re staying at home and feeling trapped, there are probably many things you haven’t completed from the past. Find those procrastinated projects and finish them now. When finishing those tasks, you will feel extraordinary freedom like never before.
6. The vision board
Some people aren’t familiar with the vision board. Well, it’s something I learned about when I was in sales. A vision board is exactly what its name says – it’s a board with images. But more than that, it’s a collage of pictures representing all the things you want out of life. It’s the dreams, goals, and aspirations that you have yet to reach.
All it takes is finding the right size bulletin-type board and cutting out pictures from magazines and such which remind you of your dreams in life. Now, don’t let these pictures depress you. No, let them inspire you to work toward what you want. Hang the board somewhere you see often so you can remember your priorities.
7. Try waking up earlier
You might not be a morning person, but maybe you should give this a try anyway. If you’re at home working right now, you are probably sleeping in a bit more than usual. That might not be the best thing for you. Even if you are going to work, then maybe you should get up a bit earlier than usual as well.
Waking up earlier gives you a few extra hours in your day, warding off the regret of getting up too late and starting slow. In a way, it’s psychological. The earlier you wake, it feels as if you have a better chance of a good day, feeling liberated and definitely not feeling trapped.
8. Business on the side
If you have the time and you have a few unused skills, then you should consider a small business venture on the side.
Let me off an example: I grow cucumbers every summer, and I make at least 30-40 jars of pickles from these. I make them for myself, but just this past summer, a few people tasted them and wanted to buy a jar, and so I sold a few of them. I was surprised when they wanted to buy more later on. Thus, I have been tempted to open up to make a side hustle out of this experience. I also make jams and relish, so I could even add a bit of variety to this side job.
This can be done in many areas of expertise. If you find that you’re good at something which can be monetized, then maybe this is what you need to get untrapped. The feeling you get when someone appreciates your work, or your creativity is a liberating feeling.
You can sell commissioned artwork, baked goods, or you can even sell your time by offering housekeeping services. I also did this for a while a few years ago. I’m telling you, it does break the monotony.
9. Make small changes
The incentives you use to become untrapped are changes, and change is so hard sometimes. The good news is that your changes don’t have to be huge. In fact, it’s best if you make small changes at first in order to get used to your new mindset.
For instance, you can start by changing your daily routine just a bit. Instead of waking up and immediately checking the news, you can go for a walk to help wake you up for the day. Then you can return to your coffee or tea, your news updates, and then to a healthy breakfast. Just this small change will invigorate you and help liberate you from feeling trapped in life.
10. Adjust your playlist
Speaking of changes, one thing you can do is redo your playlist. Maybe you have a nice arrangement of diverse music on your phone, iPod, or other listening devices, and these songs have worked great for you and your motivation in the past.
If you’re feeling stuck, however, it may be time to change some of your musical selections, mix it up and bit, and even consider listening to songs you wouldn’t have before. Changing your playlist and then listening to the product of your changes tends to send a jolt of renewed energy throughout your senses. I’ve done this and it really works.
11. Try keeping a planner
Okay, so I will be honest with you about this one, I have used a planner many times to help me remember things, and also to keep me motivated, thus escaping my prison of disappointments. It works as long as you keep doing it. My problem was always slacking off with jotting down appointments and plans, and then at times, simply forgetting what the planner that I was using to remember things… if that makes sense.
But, the only way to keep using your planner is to constantly pick one back up and try again. It is hard sometimes to remember your planner, your journal, or whatever works for jotting down important things or your goals, but it still works when you do it.
So, let’s try this again, and keep another planner to organize your life. After all, your daily organization does not enslave you, it actually frees you from a lot of worry and frustration.
12. Change your appearance
Depending on where you can go or what you can do, you can choose to change your appearance in some way. Even if you can’t leave home, you can give yourself a haircut… well, maybe. I guess this depends on whether you have the slightest clue of how to do this. If not, maybe a family member does and will offer to help you with that.
You can dye your hair if you have the materials you need. If you can’t do either one, you can style your hair differently, wear clothes you usually don’t wear, or you can try a new make-up style.
However, you manage to do this, it will help you feel a little less trapped in life. At least you will see your freedom to control how you want to look, and that’s important. Actually having control over your appearance is an underrated ability. Try it.
13. Find the reason
When you’re feeling stuck in life, there is always a reason. The unfortunate part about that is you don’t always recognize the root of the problem. Before you can improve your life in any other way, you need to find out what has you so trapped. It could be a person or a place, but either way, this is the key to understanding which way you should go.
Feeling Trapped? Then Do Something about It!
That’s right! I just told you to get up and get yourself going. Change some habits, eat better and go outside too. There are so many ways to break the monotony of feeling like you’re trapped in life. Many days, it might even be hard to get out of bed, so motivation is key.
And another thing, never neglect your gifts and talents. These often help you change your life faster than just making simple decisions on trivial things. You can be aggressive at times when seeking change and liberation.
One thing is for sure, feeling trapped is just fear, and getting free is about faith in the little changes and improvements in your life. Try something that you didn’t do yesterday. This is how you get started on feeling free in life. It also means stepping out on bravery you never knew you had. Your courage is there, you just have to recognize how it feels.
Thank you for reading, guys!
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This Post Has 8 Comments
I’ve been searching high and low for help that meets me at my point of need — and this was Just what I needed: practical, relevant, inventive. Thanks tons for your post, Sherrie. I’m looking forward to sharing it with my clients in psychotherapy.
No, thank you. Thank you for wanting to help others too. There are so many who are going through various mental roadblocks, so many have no idea how to get through. We must always work together to share information that helps others, and I say always again! Our mental health is more important than we think. Right now, with so many being isolated, so many fighting this isolation, so many with different beliefs and various ways of staying safe, it’s so easy to get stuck. Sometimes we just have no clue about what to do. I have to practice these things too. When I learn more, I will share even more. I want us all to be safe and well.
Thank you for reading.
Thank you for taking the time out to write this, you are amazing for that! I sometimes need help remembering how to “move forward” in life and get stuck in the past. Its the worst. Ibcould go on for days about that, but anyway thank you again!
You are welcome. I have been a bit stuck lately myself with everything that’s going on. I have chronic pain and so, sometimes, even though I need to get up, I cannot get out of bed. I am actually laying here in bed writing this because of hurting all day. Mentally, I also get stuck, and I have to remember these things. Be well.
Beautiful article full of tips to achieve freedom in small steps, after reading it I already feel more free. It made me want to ride a bicycle, a magnificent means of transport, the best. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
You are welcome! Thank you for reading, Rossella.
Brilliant, I needed this, thank you!
Thank you so much for writing this. Just reading this helps me, honestly right now I feel so stuck I don’t know how to cope and it’s really hard. My dad recently got out of prison, and it is a really big change for me because he has changed which is good don’t get me wrong, I’m just having trouble myself adjusting to the new Enviromint.