From Our Readers
August 03, 2014 10:15 am

Consider this your support group. This is a safe place and nothing you say will be held against you. We’re all in this together and for the same reason. The problem, you ask? We’re hung up. Whether it be on a crush, a Netflix series, or a generalized trapped-under-your-sheets-obsessing-about-your-life spiral, we all sometimes need help getting our thoughts unstuck from that one annoying thing.

Before we get started, let’s talk more about what it means to be “hung up.” For me, it was all about a boy I liked. I waited for too long for this person to come around. Not only has he not done so, but this hope has so distracted me that I would be oblivious to and uninterested in the other hunks that could very well be looking my direction. Instead of making cute eyes at them, I’m looking down at my phone wondering what homeboy is up to. I’m thinking that if I just keep being his friend and (and obvi so cool and amazing), he’s going to figure it out and we’ll have a happily ever after. Right? Sound familiar at all?

In other terms, being hung up could mean that you’re consumed by one thing (more often than not) and you have little room for anything else in your life because you’ve let this issue set up camp. This doesn’t always have to be a relationship. Sometimes it’s your past, it’s a grudge, it’s someone else’s Internet persona you’re comparing yourself to, or it’s just straight-up worrying about the future. Getting hung up is common and we all do it at one time or another. But help is here in the form of a 5-step program towards freedom. (Can I get an “amen?”)

1.  As always, the first step is awareness.

It wasn’t even me who first realized I was hung up. I was called out. As dorky (and slightly defensive) as I felt initially, it’s the best thing that could have happened. Once you realize you have a problem, you can start moving beyond it. So first, define what it is you’re giving too much attention to. Write it down. Say it out loud. Identify it in detail. Being honest with yourself is the first step toward freedom.

2.  Start to list things you’d rather be thinking about.

If you’ve been dreaming of going on a little vacay to the mountains, or painting your dresser, or reading a book in one day, there’s no time like the present. What are some living-life-to-the-fullest things that being hung up has kept you from? Use this as an opportunity to make some anytime-of-the-year resolutions. Come alive! There is so much more to think about than this and there are great adventures to be had. Grab life by the balls and go do something.

3.  Invite your besties into this situation.

Your friends probably miss you to some degree because you’ve been a tourist all up in this other world of worry. When you’re the best version of yourself, you have a healthy balance and lightness about you that people want to be around. Here’s your chance to be the best friend ever. Odds are, your friends are going through something too. (This IS life, after all.) Being available to be there for friends helps to release you from some of your own junk. Also: Dance/wine/cheese parties have made everything better since forever.

4. Temporarily disconnect.

One crazy day, I decided to give up technology for 10 days. (Gasp!) As dramatic and horrible as it sounds, it actually wasn’t all that bad. I basically didn’t check Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter the whole time which simply meant I deleted the apps from my phone temporarily. To take it to another level, I didn’t turn on TV or movies at all. The worst part, I’ll admit, was giving up texting. If I wanted to talk to someone, I was forced to call. (Yikesville. I know.) With all of these efforts, I was challenged to spend my time a little more creatively and be way more intentional with people. My room was cleaner and I spent more time outside on dreamy walks or engaged in face-to-face interactions with loved ones. Although it takes some adjusting, it was the best thing I could have done, because at the end of the 10 days, something amazing happened. I suddenly didn’t feel the NEED to know EVERYTHING that was happening ALL the time. (Wild, huh?) I was comfortable alone and more able to be present in the right now. You know your limits and what would or wouldn’t benefit you. Not saying you have to go as extreme as I did, but think about something you can dare yourself to do without for a while. You’ll be surprised at what takes its place instead.

5.  Last, and most importantly: The simple truth is, you really are so damn fabulous.

My friends and support group: Please remember you’re a fantastic, interesting, smart, kind, wonderful babe. No one in the world has what you have to offer because no one in the world is you. It’s such a special gift. Not only are you valuable and full of potential, passion, and importance, but you get to be alive on planet Earth right now. Keep things in perspective and live a life you’re proud of. You’ve got such a great story to write with all of those magical moments and experiences pieced together. Don’t waste that beautiful brain on something that probably won’t matter in the long run anyway. Untangle yourself from what has you hung up and start now. Be fearless and free.

Coby Thornton is a freelance copywriter in Colorado who loves to fly fish, wear red lipstick, and embarrass her friends at karaoke bars. You can follow her on Twitter @cobythornton and read more at www.ispysomethingrad.com.

(Featured image via Shutterstock, gifs via here, here, here)

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