It’s very common, for a period of time, to fall down the path of pessimism and perhaps negativity, regarding your relationship, work or some other important part of your life. I believe this happens to a lot of us, most likely all of us, at some point. We become so tunnel-visioned on something wrong, something that doesn’t even have to be a big issue, just big enough for us to stop seeing everything that’s right.

I’ve heard people describe these moments as “being in a rut” and it’s perfectly natural for that to happen to us. It often feels very intense when it happens, as if something has changed so drastically that what we once thought was amazing has now become terrible. A part of us might even believe that we have just now discovered a hidden stash of information which has altered our whole perspective. That’s generally wrong, however. We’re just stuck in a mental state that clouds our vision.

What I like to do when these moments occur is to take a step back and try to look at things from a different point of view. Sometimes I take a long walk where I try my best to clear my head, sometimes I travel somewhere and distance myself from the situation and sometimes I discuss it with somebody I trust. Whatever helps you figure it out is a good idea, and I recommend working hard at sorting out your feelings before you take the plunge to change something, since often times, that change cannot be taken back and it can be a painful experience if you then feel differently a few days down the line.

It’s very common that this happens to people in regards to their jobs. There are ups and down in any profession and sometimes we’re extra tired, dreaming of that vacation or working on a tedious project that’s taking longer or proving to be more difficult than we expected. That’s when this can happen or even after that difficult project, when we’re suddenly in-the-clear to do something else and we feel lost in limbo for a little while. All of this is perfectly normal, so the most important thing is to be aware that it might happen and try to realize when it does and wait it out, things will feel different after a few days.

Relationships is another place where this tends to happen, whether it’s a romantic relationship or a friendship but as people spend more and more time together, cabin fever will set in at some point. What I generally consider in these situations is the past and how I’ve liked being around that person before and that this point in time is not a true picture of our relationship. With that in mind I will try to not see that friend for a while or spend more time away from my romantic partner if I am feeling that way about them. I’ve found that a short ‘break’ is most often the only thing I need and that things will end up resolving themselves before I know it.

The most important thing, therefore, is to stop, think and be aware of your feelings. None of us are perfect, and things aren’t just going to move along forever without us coming across a few hurdles on the way. This is all a normal part of our everyday lives but luckily, we’ve got the choice to work on those hurdles and solve them. It often doesn’t take as much effort as we think and in most cases the outcome of it is will be more than worth it. It takes a long time to grow an old friend and let’s not dissolve friendships because we don’t understand when we’re just a bit tired. When in doubt, take a step back and look at it from the other side. Chances are it’s going to look different from over there.