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Monday, June 15, 2015

Psychotherpy Blog: Getting Out of a Rut - Part 1

At some point in their lives, most people have the experience of being in a rut.

Getting Out of a Rut

What Does Being in a Rut Mean?
What being in a rut means is different for each person.

For most people, it's the experience of feeling stuck in one or more areas of their lives and not knowing what to do to get out of the rut that they're in.

For others, it's an inexplicable feeling of being bored and, possibly not knowing why.

Since being in a rut is such a vague expression and it can mean different things to different people, let's start by saying, for the purposes of what I mean in this article, what it isn't.

Being in a rut isn't being:
  • in a state of major depression
  • in a depressive phase of bipolar disorder
  • emotionally traumatized
  • in a state of grief or mourning
  • obsessing due to obsessive compulsive disorder
and so on.

While the psychological conditions that I've mentioned above, as well as other psychological conditions, might have elements that appear similar to being in a rut, these conditions are psychological states that require the assistance of a mental health professional.

As opposed to a serious psychological condition, what I'm addressing in this article has more to do with a feeling of stagnation that many people can pull themselves out of if it's not part of a more serious psychological problem.

Being in a rut can happen so easily because, more than ever, most people feel pressed for time.  They're  busy trying to juggle so many responsibilities and struggling to balance their family life and work.

Being Over Scheduled is Often the Cause of Getting Into a Rut with Too Many Routines

Being in a rut often feels like you're a hamster on a wheel just running in place and not getting anywhere.

Being in a Rut Can Feel Like Being Stuck on a Hamster Wheel

Some Common Reasons for Getting Into a Rut:
  • Getting stuck in old routines
  • Having too big a to-do list
  • Getting stuck in habitual ways of thinking
  • Allowing fear of change to get in the way
  • Lacking self confidence
  • Neglecting to plan for change
  • Over planning the same routines
  • Suffering with burnout
  • Lacking motivation
  • Avoiding new experiences
  • Allowing too many routines to crowd out time for self care
  • Associating only with the same people and not making an effort to meet new people
  • Allowing other people's negativity to have too big an influence
  • Thinking it will take an overwhelming effort to get out of the rut

In my next article, I'll suggest some ideas that can be helpful to get yourself out of a rut.

Getting Help in Therapy
As I mentioned earlier, it's important to be able to distinguish being in a rut from a psychological issue to be addressed with a licensed mental health professional.

Getting Help in Therapy

If you've tried to overcome your problem on your own without success or you feel your problems involve more than just a temporary feeling of stagnation, you could benefit from working with a licensed psychotherapist (see my article: How to Choose a Psychotherapist).

About Me
I am a licensed NYC psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, EMDR and Somatic Experiencing therapist who works with individual adults and couples.

To find out more about me, visit my website:  Josephine Ferraro, LCSW - NYC Psychotherapist.

To set up a consultation, call me at (212) 726-1006 or email me.

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