Everything Is Awesome
I’ve been in a bad mood these last few days. I’m knackered, I’ve had a few negative interactions in the office and I’ve let the whole life-treadmill thing got on top of me.
How did I allow all this to get the better of me? Because I forgot the golden rules to being less of a miserable bastard and living a life of happiness. I wrote the book on this (literally), so I should know better.
Anyway, here’s a recap of some amazing positivity techniques in the form of a listicle, written mainly to remind me how to be cheery and not weary, and for anyone else who might care to read it (hello mum!).
Seriously, this is such a basic one. When you feel something irking you, getting the better of you, or you just generally find negative emotions being triggered inside you, take a breathe before you do anything else. That moment of pause will mean the difference between reacting like a grumpy bastard and responding calmly and serenely like a zen master.
And while you’re there, really feel that breath. Take it deep into your chest, and focus on the feeling as the air travels all the way down inside you. Then feel your cells being oxygenated and rejuvenated, and then feel the air on the way up as you breathe out, and recognise that negativity coming up and out with it.
2. Stop Complaining
Another biggie. As I’ve said before, those who complain the most have the most to complain about. People who complain a lot bring everyone down, they’re such drains and nobody wants to hang out with a drain. So stop revelling in your misery and put a lid on it.
This isn’t about bottling up your emotions, but about choosing not to focus on all the negativity in your life. Because what you focus on expands, and when you focus on bad stuff (by, for example, complaining all the time) you’ll see more of it. Your life will literally fill up with things to complain about. But if you choose not to focus on bad stuff you’ll see less of it. Which brings us on to...
3. Be Grateful
This is huge. When you focus on what you don’t have, on all the stuff that would make your life so wonderful if you could just max out another credit card, you are simply creating a vision of dissatisfaction and a life of lack.
But when you focus on all the good stuff in your life — the roof over your head, the sun in the sky, your awesome spouse, the delicious cup of coffee you just drank, what a great weekend that was, what a lovely smile that old lady on the train gave you, how good these new socks feel, your awesome new haircut, that you’re actually pretty good at tennis, that the cat purred when you stroked it this morning, that someone brought doughnuts into the office — you’ll start to tune into that and see more of it wherever you look.
Before long you’ll start seeing good stuff everywhere. Trying writing a few of them in a notebook every morning and you’ll set yourself up for a positive start to the day. Which reminds me, I need to do my journal...
4. Eat, Drink, Sleep, Repeat
Mindy, body, spirit. There’s a reason they go together and when one of them is out of whack it takes the others with it. I am knackered at the moment, which is a great way for me to feel paranoid, undermined, to lose confidence and self esteem. Getting some sleep, staying hydrated and if possible, getting some exercise all contribute to a positive frame of mind.
I’m trying to reduce my calories and lose a bit of weight, too, so I’m proper hangry right now. Must resist the snickers.
5. Do Something Different
Life has become a bit of a treadmill recently. I get up, go to the office, work, go home, eat, bed, get up, go to the office...
But variety is the spice of life. Do something different — even if it’s taking a different route to work, doing an impromptu date night, sitting in a different part of the bus, cooking something new, reading a different kind of book to your normal choice — just break up the routine. Why not get to work an hour early? Or jog to the office instead driving? Have something different for lunch? Launch a business? Just break those patterns once in a while.
6. Do Something Interesting
We can’t all have dream jobs, so when you’re feeling like you’re on a hamster wheel and you’re not going anywhere, distract yourself with something interesting to give your life a bit of extra meaning.
I write books, do this blog, write a column in a magazine and publish the occasional podcast (I haven’t done one in ages — no wonder I’m such a miserable tosser at the moment). And right now I’m not doing any of those thing, apart from writing this blog post, so I’m obviously bored.
Do something that interests you. It’s important.
Maybe you could go to night school and learn a new skill. Maybe you could launch a online forum for Michael Bublé fans (you could call them Bublanuats). Perhaps you could take up a sport or something else that will keep you distracted from the daily grind.
And what’s more, people who do interesting things become interesting people. Behold as you become a magnet for closet Bublanauts at every dinner party, corporate function or Bar Mitzvah.
Meditation is great, and there’s no good or bad way of doing it. You just do it.
Simply by practicing and practicing the act of stepping aside from your thoughts you can give yourself a break from the constant barrage of jibber jabber going on inside your head. Even if you only manage to pull yourself away from the noise for just a minute, it’s like taking a refreshing, ice-cold minty spritz to the face.
8. Choose Your Inputs
Man oh man I’ve really fucked this one up lately, mainly because I’ve been a bit bored. Trump Trump Brexit Farage Brexit Trump Trump. No wonder I’m pissed off and miserable right now.
Just like complaining, what you focus on expands, so if you’re just reading the news or twitter (like I’ve been recently) you’re gonna think the world is on a downward spiral and it’s taking you with it.
Stay informed, sure, but just like eating the wrong kind of food, the information you consume can give you an unhealthy state of mind. And the same goes for comparing yourself to all the happy, skinny people on social media and the telly too. That’s not real and it’s not good for your self-esteem. You are made of awesome. Don’t believe the hype.
9. Watch The Self-Talk
If you repeat something enough times people will start to believe it. Just look at how many people believe all the shit that comes our of Donald Trump’s mouth (note to self — re-read item 8).
The same goes for the narrative you tell yourself. If you keep telling yourself you’re fat, ugly, a loser, a failure, you’ve got bad hair, etc. etc., your subconscious will start to soak it up. Cue low self-esteem, lack of confidence, insecurity and all the bad real-world results that go along with that.
10. Be A Human
Robots and computers don’t make mistakes, not unless the human programming them cocked up. Robots do everything correctly every time.
You’re not a robot. You don’t follow an algorithm (although you do follow programming, but that’s another story). No, you are not computerised. You are an analogue carbon unit. An animal. A HUMAN.
Humans make mistakes. Humans can’t be happy 24/7. Humans are, by their very nature, human. They get weary. They get emotional. Sometimes they just aren’t in the mood.
So go easy on yourself. If you’re feeling grumpy don’t beat yourself up about it. Otherwise you’ll end up being grumpy because you’re being grumpy and that’s some weird kind of snake-eating-its-own-tail type of thing that you don’t want to get into.
Be stoic about it. Pragmatic. Yes, I’m feeling grumpy today. And yes I’m human so it will pass. Tomorrow I may not feel grumpy. And if I read this awesome blog post by that handsome writer/photographer guy with those ten tips to be less of a grumpy fuck then tomorrow will be amazing. Maybe. And if it’s not then that’s ok
So there you go. Ten ways to be less of a grumpy fuck. I wrote this for me, but I hope it helps you too, you miserable lot.