Mental Health 12 steps to break inertia

12 steps to break inertia


Change is a part of life, but it can be complex to cope with it consciously. These keys will help you take the step you need to change.

All people need to feel that the world has a certain structure, that what happens is kept within the limits of what is comprehensible. Without that sense of external continuity, it is difficult to achieve the long-awaited psychological balance.

When change looms or breaks, a clear alarm signal is triggered in the body. Mentally and culturally, change is associated with effort, sacrifice, pain, uncertainty. The tendency to avoid suffering is powerful and ancient.

In moments of change, a person stops being how little or moderately well he was to begin to live with the possibility that everything goes wrong. That ambiguity is a source of anxiety.

The fear of suffering underlies the tendency to cling to the known, to repeat over and over again patterns of behavior or relationship that are harmful or do not provide well-being. Unhappiness then seems more controllable and justifies phrases such as: “better known bad than good to know” or “little virgin, let me stay as I am.”

But when the strategies used to cope with a circumstance do not work repeatedly, it may be time to consider new ways.


Nobody changes if they do not have difficulties or feel dissatisfied. Sometimes the discomfort can be difficult to identify: you have everything you need, everything seems perfect, and yet something is wrong; Keep that feeling in mind until it becomes revealing.

Some close associates may express that we failed at something. That does not imply that they are right, but it is good to listen to them and think about their words. If the discomfort occurs around other people, it helps to ask yourself, “How am I contributing to the problem?” and “how could it contribute to the solution?”

What is gained from the change? This question, being pertinent, has its absurd point. With the change you simply continue living. From a more philosophical point of view, if change is inevitable, it is not in our hands to decide whether to undertake it or not, since it will appear anyway.

It is true that sometimes change does not arise by itself: it is possible, for example, to decide to improve or develop some personal quality. But evolution never stops, there is nothing that is not constantly changing.

There are also no static moments in the psyche; If nothing is decided, it continues to change, perhaps in an unforeseen sense or driven by impulse or some intense emotion.

From the psychological point of view, assuming the challenge of facing change or of undertaking it in a conscious way gives the opportunity to direct the process, to better adapt to what is happening, to solve problems and difficulties – both personal and relational -, to learn with it and therefore better prepare for the next challenge.

When something works, it produces a certain well-being or pleasure, there is a natural tendency to repetition. Over time, a behavior carried out repeatedly becomes a habit, forms a pattern of behavior and, with it, the propensity to continue acting the same is fed.

At the same time, the fear of change makes us continue to hope that what worked in the past will continue to be valid in the present, even if reality shows otherwise. We are all a bit stubborn in this regard. But there comes a time when, if something doesn’t work, the smart thing to do is explore a more effective strategy.

Habits are like paths traced in the grass by daily passage. Generating a new habit involves realizing it, making a firm decision to change, and having the courage to walk in another direction. Over time another path will be generated. The goal is to make it more effective and inspiring than the previous one.


When one’s life is reviewed from maturity, the idea arises that there is something common that does not change as one grows: the sense of identity. But perhaps this sense of continuity is just a mental entelechy.

The way of feeling, of living things, of facing circumstances, of thinking and interpreting what happens is, in fact, different at each stage of life. It is the human need for meaning and structure that makes the tendencies, predispositions, different and more or less stable personality traits recognized.

When one member of the couple says to the other: “You will never change!”, and he responds: “I am like this”, it may happen that he manifests his resistance to change, but also that he is simply wanting to say: “Please accept me as I am, love me for what I am”.

The need for unconditional appreciation and acceptance is basic in the human being and constitutes one of the foundations of any satisfactory relationship. Furthermore, acceptance is, paradoxically, the first essential step for change.

Often a quality is attributed to a person and, with it, a label – “disorderly”, “nervous”, “apathetic”, “uncooperative at home”. This makes the details, actions, comments or attitudes that support the previous idea tend to be more perceived and that everything that could question it is minimized. It is as if you were conditioned by your own perception of things.

This phenomenon is what explains why it is so difficult to perceive the change in the other or in oneself. Only when the change is very important and is maintained over time does the result become more visible. But in couples in conflict, you don’t always have the patience to wait.

And yet educating the gaze, learning to recognize change – no matter how trivial – is a powerful motivator for those who strive to change. There is nothing more disheartening for someone than to be striving to improve a relationship and that change is not seen, recognized or valued.


If the process of change were an initiatory path, the sphinx at the entrance would ask a single question: Do you want to continue regretting your misfortune or do you want to do something to overcome the obstacles and find a new way to move forward despite the pain?

Only for those who choose the second option do these lines make sense:

  • Awareness. It is convenient to think about all the difficulties generated by what you want to modify behavior, the way of relating, a certain quality of the personality. You have to ask yourself if the effort is worth it and reflect on how your own life would evolve if the change did not happen.
  • Thinking up to a point. It is not always true that to change you have to reach a definitive conclusion about the causes of the problem. Sometimes the mind gets lost in musings to avoid change.
  • Imagine how one would feel if the change had already occurred. In what concrete things would life, relationships, the person have changed?
  • Assess the pros and cons of change and of each option that arises; do it realistically, evaluating not only rational arguments but also the emotions associated with them.
  • Generate a genuine and intense desire for change and visualize yourself having already changed.
  • Make a decision, formulate it clearly and take the risk that it entails. Each decision involves choosing some options and giving up others. Be aware that you cannot have everything and that no decision is perfect or final.
  • Relying on your own ability to cope and react to results is often more useful than dreaming of reaching an ideal decision.
  • Committing clearly and firmly to the effort to persevere helps a great deal. If the commitment is public, much more force is generated, since so-called “peer pressure” is used for personal benefit.
  • Make an action plan. It must be remembered that it is not an isolated event but a process. It is therefore necessary to set global objectives, but also intermediate ones, in order to be able to know if they are being met or not.
  • Minimal changes. A good starting point when making a plan is to think about the minimum things you would be willing to do to show yourself or others that you want the change, that you have already started working on it.
  • Recapitulate. It helps to take a moment each day to evaluate how things are going. It is necessary to look especially at the positive aspects, distinguish between what is available and what is not, and use this information to modify, if possible, the action plan.
  • The emergency plans are vital for moments of discouragement. It is a good idea to think in advance about what is often helpful to improve your mood and what to do in the event of a relapse. Who can you ask for help?
  • Help from others. Change is possible but does not happen automatically. It is convenient to look inward with sincerity, be aware of what you want or must change, direct the effort with strategy and determination and collaborate with others in the effort, because nothing can be done without the help of others. If the change is intended as a couple, there are two questions that cannot be missed: “What can I do for you? “What would I like you to do for me?”.
  • To all this we must add a special ally: courage. Because it is she who gives the strength to get up after stumbling, moving forward with a certain fear on her back or going through pain. She is the one who shows us every day that every human being has enormous potential, that each and every one of us has much more energy and resources than we imagine. Let’s be grateful and take the first step.


The change can appear abruptly and unexpectedly, marking a tragic before and after; or be desired and planned. In both circumstances, here are some keys that will be useful to go through the pain, in some cases, or live the process better, in others:

  1. Establishing daily routines provides the security and sense of control that is appreciated in times of crisis.
  2. Take care of yourself. The body is the base. It is necessary to eat in a balanced way, do some type of physical activity, achieve a restful sleep.
  3. Take care of your own physical and emotional needs. You have to develop respect for yourself and learn to express what you feel or need.
  4. Do not isolate yourself. There are always people around with whom to share doubts, bewilderment, pain and also hope.
  5. Remember that although you cannot have control over events, you can decide what to do with them or from them.
  6. Distinguish between what depends on you and what doesn’t. Dedicate efforts to manage and face what is in your own hands and relax about everything else.
  7. Think of other difficulties that have already been experienced. And recall the resources that served to face them, what worked and what did not. Maybe some can be useful now.
  8. Feeding the hope that it is possible to go through the pain and achieve what you set out to do.
  9. Define the problem well, set clear and feasible objectives. Make a plan of action and follow it, in order to advance in the solution when there is one or perhaps to feel less bad when there is not.
  10. If several sources of stress accumulate, go step by step, one thing after another, day by day.
MindFixes Staff
MindFixes is dedicated to promoting mental health, preventing mental disorders and advocating, educating, and serving all people with mental and substance use conditions. MindFixes is determined to persevere, learn, grow, love and laugh through our wellness journey and we invite all to join.


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