When I’m in the Doom Loop, my problems appear outside my control.
So the first step, is getting myself out of the loop.
Start by reaching out.
Social Connection – absent connection, clarity of thought suffers.
It won’t feel this way from inside the “doom loop”
A useful warning signal is getting caught in negative feedback loops.
I’ve written a fair amount on depression:
- 2022 ideas for all athletes
- 2014 ideas for overloaded parents
- 2013 ideas for high-performance athletes
I won’t rehash here. I will say simply…
When my problems appear to be outside my control, when the normal setbacks of daily living are getting me down, when my mind is caught in a doom loop…
Time to SEEK
- New Environments
- New Ideas, People and Experiences
Give the mind an opportunity to find a better fixation.
At first, anything is better.
With time, from outside the doom loop, we can curate our attention.
Separate from getting past the doom loop, this technique is how I found my wife!
Are You Sure Your Problem is The Problem?
I work as a fiduciary advising families about risk, ruin, health, life, human capital… you name it. A common concern is concentration and fear of loss.
Whatever is keeping you up at night, split it in half.
Then pay attention.
If you are still worried then it’s not about your worries.
There is something else driving your anxiety.
Anxiety is an interesting emotion – it feels a lot like excitement.
Anxiety can be mapped on to enthusiasm for new experiences and positive fixations (see step one, above).
It is not possible to plan our way out of a doom loop. We must act!
What to do? I have no ideas for you!
All I can offer is questions…
- What are you doing when you laugh out loud?
- What person makes you feel good when you see them?
- What environments make you feel serene?
My list: exercise, solo, trees, water, quiet and a list of five people who “make me feel good”
Use your list – go, act, do…
I’ve been writing about One Thing for 20+ years. The most rewarding periods of my life have been characterized by a quest for One Thing.
My theory of One Thing is simple, but not easy!
- decide what will make a difference (see 123 in section above)
- do what is required to move towards your thing (this is uncomfortable to start)
- give a nice no-thanks to distractions & poor habits (via negativa)
- Offer the mind new things to focus upon
- Exit the Doom Loop
- With clarity, decide on your One Thing
- Map anxiety onto enthusiasm for moving towards your One Thing
Let’s end with a story.
I’m working on getting back in shape. Now, “getting in shape” has a different meaning for me than many. My doctor tells me I was “in shape” already.
…but it wasn’t the kind of shape that lets me live the life I want for my future self
…and it wasn’t working for my mental health (2022 depression link above)
So I changed my approach, and ramped my social connection back up.
Life is better.
Better is the win.
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