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Stuck in a Rut: 3 Tips to Get Back on the Right Track in Life

An old picture of a horse and buggy stuck in a rut with four men trying to get the buggy out of the rut. This represents the how men can feel stuck in a rut and may need male counselors near me and panic attack counseling for men in katy, tx 77494. This also represents how a male marriage counselor near me can help men who may be showing signs of depression in men katy, tx 77494.

I grew up in Utah where we had amazing outdoor opportunities. In the springtime, my buddies and I would go off roading in our four-wheel drive.

There would be some trails that have been traveled so frequently and because of water erosion, it would create deep grooves in the trails where tires had traveled before.

Sometimes the grooves, or ruts, would be too deep for our wheel well. We knew if we drove in those ruts, we'd get stuck. So, there was a balancing act of riding the ridges and not falling in the rut.

Most of the time we were able to balance on those ridges that prevented us from driving into the rut. But we weren't successful all the time.

Once our tires were in that rut, it took a lot of force and inertia to get that four wheel drive out of that rut. We would eventually get there but it took time, effort, and a lot of force.

Falling Into Life Ruts

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It happens to the best of us. Things are clicking, life is moving well and in a good direction, and slowly we find ourselves entering a rut. Or maybe we had a significant life event that pushed us into the rut.

Regardless of how we got in the rut of life, it's not a fun place to be. When we are stuck in a rut, life can feel like it lacks purpose or meaning. We may find our motivation dropping and our drive lacking. Feelings of worthlessness, guilt, and hopelessness may set it.

It can feel overwhelming at times as we know we're in a rut but just don't have the "umph" to push ourselves out of it. What do we do and how can we get back on life track we want to be on?

3 Tips in Getting Unstuck from a Rut

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1. Acceptance & Perspective

Our brains have a negativity bias. We all have it. This is a protective and survival mechanism that our brain employs to prepare us for the worst. If we think negative things are going to happen, then it is likely that we will prepare for them and overcome them.

When we are stuck in a rut, our brains will employ this negativity bias and try to convince us that it's useless and we'll never get out of this one. Our brains may even try to convince us that it's the beginning of the end and we are doomed for failure.

One important principle to use is acceptance and perspective. Sure, being in a rut is not a good place to be. But haven't you been in ruts before? Did they last forever? Did something happen that eventually helped you out of the rut and you were back on track?

Don't believe the lies that your brain will tell you. Yes, it's uncomfortable right now being in the rut. But it won't last forever. You've experienced them before, you've gotten out of them, and you will again.

2. Make & Accomplish Small Goals to Break the Routine

When we find ourselves in a rut, we also find ourselves in a very basic routine. We may be doing the minimum just to get by.

One way to start building the momentum to get ourselves out of the rut is to set and achieve small goals. Set goals that are doable while you're in a rut. The higher goals that you may need to accomplish but will take the effort you don't have now can be set once you're out of the rut.

The idea is to break the routine of the rut and be and feel productive. As you set and achieve small goals and gain that feeling of being productive, this will have a stacking effect and that feeling will continue to grow giving you the "umph" to help you out of the rut.

Small achievable goals could include:

  • Getting up and making your bed first thing in the morning,

  • Getting up in the morning or taking time after work to take a short walk,

  • Going to be earlier to get more sleep to provide more energy for the next day,

  • Read a chapter in a book each day,

  • Schedule a time to go to lunch or grab a beer with a buddy even though you may feel like you don't want to.

Whatever the goals are, they don't need to be huge, life changing goals. Normally when we are in a rut, we don't have that level of energy.

Setting and achieving small goals on a consistent basis will break the rut routine and help build a productive energy that can provide the momentum we need to get out of the rut.

3. Have the Courage to Change the Things WE Can

I love the serenity prayer: "God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."

You may be in your rut due to factors that are self-inflicted. You may have found yourself in a rut due to external factors outside your control (i.e., losing a job, a divorce, a loss of a loved one, etc.).

Today, you may be in a rut for various reasons. Tip one tells us that using acceptance and perspective can help with our mindset that it won't be forever. That we've been in ruts before and have gotten out and back on the right track of life.

Tip two helps us take small steps to start to build the productivity momentum we need to rock ourselves out of the rut.

Tip three asks that you continue to show up for your daily duties and responsibilities. It can feel tempting to avoid them as the energy and motivation just isn't there. It may take courage to show up when everything inside you doesn't want to.

While we are showing up, it's important to look at the things we can change then having the courage to do so:

  • Are there things we know we should be doing but fear may be holding us back?

  • Are there conversations that need to be had that we have been avoiding?

  • Are there habits that you have developed that you know you need to break?

  • Are there habits that you know you need to develop but simply haven't started?

  • Do you have a concept of what kind of man you want to be but aren't taking the steps to be that man?

It would be awesome if we had an abundance of hope, happiness, energy, drive, and motivation at all times in life. Sometimes, life takes that from us, yet we still have to have the courage to change the things we can.

It doesn't mean we need to take on the world when we're in a rut. But we can practice acceptance and perspective, set and accomplish small goals regularly, and have the courage to change the things we can (despite how we might feel).

When It is More Than Being in a Rut

Sometimes we feel that we are in a rut when in reality, we are in something far more serious. If you find that despite your best efforts you remain in the rut, it may be due to depression.

Depression isn't a weakness just like high blood pressure isn't a weakness. High blood pressure is a physical condition with the heart that expresses its symptoms in, according to the Mayo Clinic:

  • Headaches

  • Shortness of breath

  • Nosebleeds

  • Blood pressure from 120-129 and the bottom number higher than 80.

Depression is a physical condition in the brain that expresses itself in:

  • A feeling of sadness or emptiness that last more than two weeks,

  • Feelings of worthlessness, guilt, or helplessness,

  • Irritability or anger,

  • Feeling tired or fatigued -- out of gas,

  • Feelings of guilt and self-blame,

  • Crying,

  • Loss of interest in things that you used to enjoy doing,

  • Increase in anxiety, fear, worry, or a feeling of impending doom,

  • Difficulty concentrating,

  • Sleeping too much or not getting enough sleep,

  • Changes in apatite,

  • Thoughts of suicide.

Just like you would see a doctor (I hope) for high blood pressure, if you are experiencing depression, you can see a counselor who specializes in men's counseling.

If you are experiencing depression, it's not a typical rut that you are experiencing. A depression rut may take outside support to help you reduce and manage the symptoms of depression.

Once you have the ability to manage the depression, you can then have the energy and drive to help yourself out of the rut. But with depression, getting out of the rut becomes a very, very challenging thing to do on your own.

Katy Counseling for Men: Counselors Who Specialize in Men's Counseling Katy, TX & Houston

Men face different challenges in life and because of that, men require counselors who specialize in men's therapy. At Katy Counseling for Men, our therapists are those who have dedicated their careers to helping men.

If you are struggling with depression or other challenges like anxiety, panic attacks, social anxiety, ADHD, anger management, trauma, or PTSD, our counselors are here to support you. We also have men's counselors who specialize in marriage counseling and couples therapy.

At our Katy, TX location of Katy Counseling for Men, we are ready to help. If you are ready to start, all you need to do is follow these three simple steps:

  1. Contact Katy Counseling for Men

  2. Meet with one of our men's counselors

  3. Start your journey in building a stronger future today

Other Support Services Offered at Katy Counseling for Men: Katy, TX & Houston

At our Katy, TX location of Katy Counseling for Men, we have a variety of both talk therapy and non-talk therapy approaches in counseling for men. Below are a few of what we have to offer:

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) (Talk Therapy)

Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART) (Not Talk Therapy)

Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing (EMDR) (Not Talk Therapy)

Board Certified Neurofeedback (Brain Training)

Marriage Counseling & Couples Therapy

About the Author

A man sitting at a table with his right arm laying on the table across his body, his left elbow on the table and his chin resting on his fist, wearing a short sleeved pink polo shirt, silver watch, glasses, has a beard and is smiling with a grey background. He provides marriage counseling katy, tx and panic attack treatment in katy, tx 77494. He also provides relationship counseling near me katy, tx and couples therapy katy, tx 77494.

Jason Drake is a Licensed Clinical Worker - Supervisor (LCSW-S), Board Certified in Neurofeedback, EMDR trained, and a Certified Brain Health Professional through the Amen Clinics.

Jason is the owner of Katy Counseling Specialists, PLLC (KCM). KCM is the parent company for Katy Teen & Family Counseling and Katy Counseling for Men.

Jason specializes in teen therapy, young adult counseling, family therapy, and neurofeedback for teens, young adults, and adults.

Jason also specializes in clinical program development, business administration. and leading high performing teams of specialized therapists in group practice settings.

Jason is a leader in the field of teen, young adult, and family counseling as an expert program consultant providing coaching and technical assistance to teen Residential Treatment Centers across the country.

Jason is also a regular contributor to various magazines and publications lending his expertise to various mental health related topics. You can check these articles out at:

Jason has also been a guest on Fox 26 Houston and on a podcast, "Grow a Group Practice" with Alison Pidgeon.

If you are ready to start building your stronger future today, call, text, or email us.

Phone Number: 832-346-9614

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The seal for a counselor for men who is board certified in neurofeedback through BCIA. providing neurofeedback in katy, tx and neurofeedback therapy in katy, tx 77494. Also a neurofeedback therapist katy, tx 77494.

The seal for a men's therapist who is a certified brain health professional through the Amen Clinics. Providing anger counseling near me, divorce counseling in katy, tx, and neurofeedback therapy in katy, tx 77494.

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