The first step to breaking out of any rut in life is to no longer enable the parts of us that keep walking in them while wishing they weren't so deep! Learning to watch our own thoughts and feelings -- to be quietly attentive to what the mind is attending to in each moment -- ensures that we won't fall into these ditches, because our heightened level of attention keeps them from being dug!
We wouldn't allow a small child to wander around, unattended, in a working construction zone; in such a place, danger is everywhere for the mind that can't see it. Nor, for the same reason, should we allow our own mind to just go and do whatever it wants. Even though it remains largely unseen, life on earth is a kind of invisible construction zone, a ceaselessly active "creative zone," in which dwell a host of psychic forces, light and dark alike. The extent of their power to influence how we experience our life depends upon our awareness of them. As goes our attention, so goes our experience.
Trying to reclaim our attention can feel, at times, like trying to pull a willful child out of line just as it is about to get on its favorite amusement-park ride. This interior struggle can be very difficult sometimes, because, as hard as it is to believe, there is a momentum to all things -- including our misery over feeling stuck. Such misery doesn't just love company; it wants to continue with its life. Nevertheless, persist!
Remember. Each moment of reclaimed attention gives us a stake in the freedom it grants.
For encouragement along the way, just notice how, each time you bring your attention into the present moment, it's you who gets the gift of being made new. That's the way it works.
See how many times you can catch yourself just as you're about to go on the "ride" of not wanting to be where you are -- of not wanting to do what you must. Then deliberately step out of that long line of repetitive thoughts and feelings. Take your attention off what you don't want, and bring it into the new moment -- as it is.
This new and higher level of attention connects you to the present moment, the living now that is one and the same as your original Self. The interior task of working to remain attentive in this way grants you entrance into a world free of routine, without ruts of any kind -- because no one has ever been there before you.
By reclaiming your attention -- by bringing yourself back into the present moment -- you are released from your unconscious relationship with negative thoughts and feelings. There's nothing more to it than that -- other than to enjoy how good it feels to be free.