“If there’s not drama and negativity in my life, all my songs will be really wack and boring or something.”–Eminem
What I’ve learned from this project is that stopping for a few seconds in a frustrating situation to breathe and put things in perspective, can lead to a chain reaction of good feelings. I also think taking time everyday to meditate on what I’m grateful for, helps me to not be so critical.
On a negative note: I wasn’t able to switch from my old demeanor and sarcasm to a constantly perky attitude in only 2 weeks. After I got angry or upset I’d feel bad about lashing out and it would be hard to cheer myself up again. I think I need an outlet. Boxing?
That being said, I did laugh, smile and have ton more fun these last couple weeks. Things I wanted to get done that I needed people’s cooperation were more likely to be done too. Lesson being–try being positive first, and if I do end up getting upset, try to move on.
“There is nothing so pitiful as a young cynic because he has gone from knowing nothing to believing nothing.” — Maya Angelou
It’s a little ironic that the day I get back from visiting my most sarcastic friend in the most stereotypically depressing city in the world, I start a project on staying optimistic. Yesterday I woke up at 4am (their time) and got into Orlando (having only had sprite and a few handfuls of peanuts) at 4pm. Logan was running late, so by the time I got home it was 6:30. It was probably the worst possible day for trying to be positive, because I was so tired I was in hysterics, even getting frustrated with Logan for not dropping his chili immediately to say goodnight to me. He laughed, I got more neurotic. Then today I caught myself telling Graham that I suck at being positive. Good start.
Here’s the plan:
- Stay upbeat and see the bright side of things. Studies show that even when you act like you’re in a good mood, not only does it lift the people around you up, but you actually start feeling happier yourself.
- Have a well-rounded diet with an emphasis on good mood foods like complex carbs (e.g. brown rice, quinoa), B vitamins (e.g. milk, citrus fruits), “happy fats” (e.g. Fish oil, olive oil) and of course anadamine (chocolate!). This also means limiting my intake of depressant like alcohol and not over-eating.
- Exercise. Preferably outside and at least 20 minutes a day. I’m going to do an exercise project later, but the release of endorphins when you exercise has too much of an impact on positivity to not include.
- Keep myself surrounded by positive activities like listening to comedy and positive music, reading Bossy Pants by Tina Fey and only watching comedy movies/shows.
- Keep myself surrounded by positive people. Also, just making sure I don’t isolate myself. Studies show that both extroverts AND introverts get a mood boost from connecting with other people.
- Smile and laugh more.
- What is it that they say at AA? “Accept the things I can not change”? This goes for events, people and all the lists I keep.
- Write in a gratitude journal everyday.
Carried over from other projects:
- Gluten-free diet.
- More fresh veggies and fruits.
- More hobbies and activities, less TV.
- Avoid things that conflict with who I am.