Top Ten Ways Not To Be a Mope.

21Sep09

HeadInHands
I see a lot of unhappy people. Living in America, it’s hard not to walk down the street and not see or hear about someone who is fed up and depressed. It sucks. I don’t like seeing people unhappy when they technically don’t need to be.

I wrote this over the course of a few days. I hope it helps someone. I can only credit the countless people who have spent a lot more than a few days helping me to continue to figure out life.

Top ten ways to not be a mope.

1. Move around.

Our bodies are not designed for standing still. Some people move slower or faster than others but moving needs to happen nonetheless. For me, exercising has benefitted me more mentally than physically at this point. It took me a while to realize it, but once I stopped and started again, it was more than clear. Go outside. Ride, run, jump, walk or swim. It really doesn’t matter. The biggest reason most people don’t get moving is that they think they all have to meet some kind of standard in order for it to be effective. One of the only times I’ve ever seen Stanley “the manly” Hudson from The Office smile, was when he was taking the stairs instead of the elevator in the weight loss episode. (Wait, he smiles on pretzel day too. Never mind) Start small, and go from there. You’ll be hooked on the endorphins.

2. Smile at people you normally wouldn’t smile at, even if it sucks.

I know, this sounds like a crock. It is, kind of. Coming from me especially. It’s literally not in my nature to smile at people and be friendly. I have to seriously go out of my way in order to do this but once I did, I saw the difference and understood the need. Say good morning. Say good night. Say hello. Say please. Say thank you. Ask people how their day is going and actually try to give a shit. Odds are they’ll just be happy someone is asking about them that day and I guarantee you’re the only one asking. You’ll be remembered, rewarded and respected. I promise.

3. Surround yourself with somewhat positive people.

Again, it sounds cheesy, but it works. I noticed that when I hung around people that were constantly down on themselves, others and life in general, I would start to follow suit. Don’t let this happen! For some, it’s easy to fall into a pattern set by others in a social circle. Unfortunately sometimes that trend is literally depression incarnate. I’ve seen too many spiral out of control. Find those people in your life with a positive outlook and take note on how they try and see the world. Ask them what they do to stay in such a positive spirit. They will undoubtably tell you it’s a challenge. But you’ll pick up a few tricks and be able to try it yourself.

4. Keep things in perspective. You’re not the only one.

Whenever a shitty situation comes up, I say to myself, “OK, I’m definitely not the first person this has happened to, so I’m sure I’ll get through it.” Seriously, nine out of ten bad things that will happen to you this year is run of the mill stuff. You’ll be fine. I also think of people that have it worse than me. I’ve me a lot of people over the years that have told me their stories that have completely floored me. I think about those stories when I’m making the comparison to my situation and it always helps.

5. You are in charge of your brain.

This is a concept that took me a long time to figure out, but it’s the simplest. Your brain is inside your head. You have complete control over that brain whether you realize it or not. It may not sink in at first, because a lot of us (think we) cannot control our thoughts or emotions but it is true. Allowing yourself, or giving yourself permission to be happy is something that some people work on for years. Don’t fall into that hole. It’s you brain, stay in charge.

6. Establish a routine.

If you work a regular job (you probably do), start your day early enough to have time for yourself in the morning. It’s hard for most people but those who do make it happen rave about it’s benefits. If you have trouble getting up in the morning or sleeping in general there’s a great article with sound advice here: (http://www.squidoo.com/tips-to-fall-asleep-fast) Going to bed at a decent hour and getting up 7 hours later is key to making time for yourself. Eat breakfast, walk the dog or do the dishes. Do anything. Establish the routine that is relatively the same Monday through Friday. Locking in that routine will help you sleep better alone. After the routine is set in motion you’ll find it easier each week. After a while you won’t even notice because it’s now second nature.

7. Don’t drink alcohol for a little while.

Me of all people loves a stiff drink. But it’s also the first thing people grab when feeling blue (or drugs, I don’t even think I need to suggest that doing drugs is always a bad idea). When you’re trying to bring yourself up, don’t drink something that fundamentally brings you down. Alcohol is powerful and if you’re not in a the state of mind to enjoy it in a healthy way, leave it alone. I see so many people drink themselves through their week because they’re unhappy with themselves and their lives. The sad thing is, is that It’s pretty normal. Not everyone tailspins and crashes, but it can be a recipe for disaster. Give it a rest of a while and enjoy a few when you have the guts for it.

8. Find one simple joy and enjoy the crap out of it.

The thought of enjoying the little things is probably one of the most cliche motivators. I’m sick of hearing it and so is everyone else. But, it’s true. My entire morning routine is the little thing that gets me through the day. Eating breakfast, running at the gym, stopping for coffee and taking that shower is something I look forward to. Without it and my day has not officially started. It can literally be anything, find a part of your routine and genuinely enjoy it. It’ll boost your day form the start and give you a good foundation to build on through out the day. It could even be walking to the water cooler at your office, start somewhere.

9. Make friends.

Just like that? Yes, just like that. Make friends. Humans are a gregarious species. We need social interactions as a basic survival need. You will never find a happy hermit and if they are happy, they’re lying. The more friends you have around, the more you’ll have going on in your life filling your days with tons of stuff to make it more enjoyable. Making friends is a huge topic, but start with basic conversation. Treat people you just meet as if you’ve known them just as long as your other friends. Soon you’ll both be asking each other if you hadn’t already met before.

10. Confide in people you look up to and seek their opinions but not necessarily their approval.
Everyone has a short list of people that they admire and look up to. Some list celebrities as their role models but most of us have an older brother/sister friend or relative how has had a major influence on us. Seek their opinion and sincerely listen to them. If they’re playing that role of a key influencer, that shouldn’t be too hard. Listen to what they have to say and how they may handle whatever issue you’re talking about. Sometimes (most times) a third party valued opinion can be the difference in making a huge mistake!

I’m sure there could be twenty more on this list. Don’t sweat the small stuff and stand back and seek the larger picture. The alternative is much worse.

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2 Responses to “Top Ten Ways Not To Be a Mope.”

  1. 1 Kursteen

    “You become as you hang out”, Swedish saying 😉
    Nicely written!

  2. 2 tipsbybigdave

    I have a tendency to read things from the end to the beginning, so I read #8: Find one simple joy and enjoy the crap out of it. Those words inspired me so much, that I picked up the bottle of Bourbon that was on my desk and enjoyed the crap out of it. After I had a few drinks, I read #7 don’t drink alcohol for awhile.

    I got to stop reading things backwards. Nice Blog anyhow.

    Big Dave


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