Feeling stuck? These practices will help you make a positive shift.
1Push past the small talk in conversation.
If much of your conversation with others is spent on surface-level topics, you might be feeling stuck as a result. Don’t just talk about the weather, or sports, or favorite restaurants downtown with your coworker—go deeper. Ask them something meaningful and intentional about their life. Who are the most important people in their life? What activities make them feel alive? Do you know if they believe in God? If so, do they go to church? What church? Open the door to talk about something more.
2Read or watch something that challenges you.
Maybe there’s a book or documentary that people you admire have recommended that you’ve been dragging your feet to get. Or maybe you have started reading or watching something in the past that you think would be meaningful, but you’ve given up after a few minutes because it requires more focus than you were able to give it at the time. Pick it up again. Challenging your brain with meaningful content gives you new perspectives and ideas to think about.
3Purchase fewer things.
Don’t get any new clothes or shoes this month. Don’t buy more groceries than you need. Wait to upgrade your phone. Sometimes the energy and money and time we put into shopping adds more stress, and less freedom, to our lives.
4Find awe in nature.
Look at a huge tree and wonder at how it grew. Watch leaves fall and blow in the wind. Listen to the birds near you, and try to find where they are if you can hear them, but not see them.
To appreciate the growing and dying parts of nature around you, it may be necessary to put your phone away. Don’t even take a picture of the colorful leaf you find. Just look at it. The more awe and gratitude you practice, the more alive and free it enables you to feel.
5Spend more time in silence.
When life is moving quickly around you, trying to keep up without having time to think and process is a sure way to make you feel stuck. Try praying and journaling in the silence. If the silence is uncomfortable at first, that’s OK. That means you definitely need it!
6Make more quality time for the people you’re close to in life.
Your relationships with people are a huge part of your life, and you might be feeling stuck because your relationships aren’t helping you grow. Some of us need to carve out more time for the relationships that are important to us. But all of us should reflect on what we do in that time that we spend with others. Engage in real, meaningful conversations and experience beauty together—be that in nature, music, creating art or cooking together, or going to events, plays and museums. All of those ways of spending time together can help us get closer to someone while simultaneously feeling more alive.
These six options have the potential to make you feel a little bit uncomfortable. But, that’s the goal! They’re meant to challenge and shake up life enough that you feel some change. Not only that, but these ways of living won’t expire within a few months or years. You can use them throughout the rest of your life to live with more meaning and freedom.
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