Emotions: an integral part of the human condition; and sometimes, a very unpleasant part of my human experience. Not to say that emotions are inherently and entirely horrible, but some are unquestionably more pleasurable than others. Of course, owing to our humanity and the natural course of life and the Universe, not every day will be picture perfect, and rightly so. So I decided to compile a list of things I do when the seas of life get a little rough and there is a storm I must weather.
Choose to be grateful.
There are days when I feel awash in a sea of less than positive emotions and life feels like it has become just too much for me to bear in that moment. I’m fraying at the seams and hoping that the threads don’t suddenly unravel all at once. In these moments I force myself to see the glass half-full rather than half-empty. There exists a myriad of things in my life for which to be grateful; foremost among them, that I am still alive. I reflect upon the ways in which the Universe deemed it fit to bestow upon me it’s good fortune and remind myself that despite the way I currently feel, I am actually quite fortunate. Doing this necessitates that I operate from a place of gratitude and appreciation instead of ingratitude and disregard; thus shifting my mindset from a negative to a positive one.
Eat fried chicken.
Okay, this one isn’t particularly healthy, but I do love me some good fried chicken. So on days when I’m not feeling quite like myself, I reach for a culinary pick-me-upper. It could be cake, pasta, a wonderfully crafted burger, or of course, my favourite: fried chicken. I try not to practice this one often though, as it conflicts with my goal to maintain a healthier diet. So instead of choosing an unhealthy food option I…
For me, exercise is cathartic. A rather vigourous workout seldom fails to alleviate my mood. The other day I came across a rather fitting quote (though I can’t remember where):
“Run hard. Run until you’re sweating profusely, and the pain of your muscles has grown louder than the pain of having a body.”
Sometimes I feel like I have neither the energy nor motivation to exercise, but I’ve learned that pushing through the initial lethargy is indubitably rewarding. Whenever I’m having a less than ideal day, I try to work out at the gym, go for a run or play basketball at a court near to my house. If none of those options are available then I..
I’ve said it before: writing has become therapeutic for me; which is ironic because I detested it previously. However, over time, I have found that expelling my thoughts and feelings in typed or handwritten form helps to alleviate the intensity of whichever amalgamation of emotions I am finding quite stressing at the time. I think that venting via this outlet also helps me to further understand what triggers my emotional responses and why; and gives me an opportunity to more effectively handle similiar situations in the future.
Play my fave tunes.
If I don’t particularly feel like writing and prefer auditory therapy instead, I head on over to YouTube and launch a playlist from my fave artist or band. Sometimes I just queue up a list of my favourite songs from various artistes and have a ball, or keep a fete to a soca playlist (this one has proven to be most effective).The more upbeat the music, the more likely it is to help my mood. Sometimes I just mope in Coldplay though, simply because that’s what I want to do.
I’m a huge fps fan and I love shooting and blowing shit up. The larger the explosions, the heavier the machinery and the more fast-paced the action, the more likely it is to be a winner in my book. When I feel the need to rain death and destruction, I turn on my xbox and obliterate my sci-fi foes. It is supremely satisfying.
Surround myself with love.
I message a friend (or friends) to get a laugh (or few). My friends are spectacular like that; they cheer me up more often than not. Our interactions serve to remind me that someone outside of myself cares about me and has my best interest at heart. My fellow trans brothers are also remarkably supportive and whenever I talk to them I can always be completely honest and vulnerable. Our shared experiences foster that kind of environment and I am truly thankful for it, and their support. Sometimes I call my mom. You know the beauty of a mother’s love never fades; and neither does hearing the sentiment over and over.
Find a new hobby or project to get excited about.
Sometimes I complete my to-do list and get bored because I no longer have a goal that I’m mindfully working towards. At times like these, I go in search of something new to read or learn, a project idea to work on, or I dig up one of those ideas I started, but had to stop working on due to time constraints. Sometimes a fresh perspective or new tidbit of information is enough to spark my curiousity and imagination and take me to a happier place.
Choose to be happy.
While this is inarguably easier said than done, I remind myself that I am the one in control of my emotions and they can only run amok if I allow them. Sometimes all I need is half an hour with some Tibetan singing bowls to refocus and find my center, then welcome all the positivity in the world into my life. When my days don’t get off to the best start, I shrug it off and focus on making the rest of the day even more amazing simply because of the way it started. I’ve come to find that sometimes, being happy is as easy as simply refusing negative energy entry into your space.
When you’re in a rut, how do you get back to your happy place? Share in the comments below 🙂