That’s how life seems lately. The world around me is toxic. Everyone is so damn negative. There’s too much complaining, an excessive amount of bickering, and not nearly enough laughter.
I know. I haven’t always been the poster child for positivity, but I’ve come to embrace the power of positive thinking.
A wise person once told me to turn my frown upside down. I’m not really a big fan of being told what to do, but I decided to throw caution to the wind and give it a shot.
It works. I’ve discovered that life is much more tolerable when you laugh and joke rather than bitch and moan.
How did I manage this remarkable philosophical transformation? Here are some tips:
I thought that being alone would be depressing, and send up a red flag that would attract the black clouds.
On the contrary, the solitary life is very relaxing. It didn’t take much research to conclude that other people were the leading cause of stress in my life. Followed at a distant second and third by driving in snow, and personal finances.
When I was married, we’d go out all the time. I was a social butterfly at first, but after too much exposure to other people, I began to think of these endeavors as social obligations, with the stress totally on the second word. People bring drama, love drama, and enjoy ensnaring you in their drama.
For me, a perfect night is coming home, having a nice dinner, doing a little writing, and watching the Yankees game. I much prefer that to going out because there are people out there, and they tend to suck the joy out of any situation.
As an adult, writing has helped me survive a divorce, several heart crushing break ups, and the chore of having to sit at a desk all day to earn the money necessary to keep a roof over my head, oil in the furnace, and food in my belly.
No matter what my mood, I can always find a smile and laughter when I spend time with my characters in the worlds I’ve created for them.
When the world gets too negative, it’s great to have an escape from the toxic environment. For me, it’s my imagination and the stories it creates. Find yours.
The thing is, not only does running help me get into shape, but it also lets me sweat out the stress and the negative vibes that land on me over the course of a day.
I can literally run from what’s bothering me, leave the stress and annoying people far beyond, and seek out a place where I can be alone with my thoughts and my sweat. There’s always a lot of sweat. Some might say too much, but you know what I say to them? Nothing. I just laugh.
After a run, I often laugh at how sweaty I am, or how much I thought I’d hate the run. Sure, I probably look like a deranged mad man as I laugh in the middle of the street and wipe sweat from my brow, but who cares?
Working out does things that make your body produce chemicals that make you happy. Or something like that. I dodn’t really pay much attention to science. Of course, I have my own theory, which is that sweat contains stress. The more you sweat, the more stress you free from your body. Feel free to dispute this claim in the comments section.
I recently decided that this needed to change. Immediately. So I’ve taken to singing at my desk. I just make up songs about everything, but they’re usually inspired by events that cause stress. You want to yell at me? I’m going to sing about it. Everyone called out sick? I’m going to sing about it. This task seems impossible in the time frame allotted? Sing, sing, sing!
Funny voices help, too. I like to talk out a problem in a silly voice, which makes me laugh while I’m also problem solving. Sometimes, chatting with the Doc Brown Funko Pop figure, or the Han Solo bobblehead doll on my desk, improves my mood (plus, Doc and Han often offer excellent solutions to whatever issue has me stressed).
In the end, my advice is to just laugh more. Don’t take life so seriously. You only live once (as far as we can prove at the moment!), so why waste that life brooding and stressing?
Just laugh! You’ll be glad that you did…