Another day, another challenge in the ProBlogger challenge. Today’s challenge is to produce a how-to post, a post that explains to the reader how they can do something in a structured way that the author can teach the reader to do … or at least claims enough skill at the tasks to teach another.
Today has been a brilliant day. I have just returned from a trip away. I attended a powerlifting clinic after an overnight stay. Everything was great, I learned a lot and met a lot of great people and on the way back, I realized something. Something that shocked me when I took account of it … I am really happy at the moment. Yes, some small areas of my life could be better, but you can’t be perfect. I’ve not always been happy, though. For large chunks of my life, I was seriously unhappy and moderately depressed. I was subscribed medication and CBT. I was told to snap out of it and just get on with it. People listed my good attributes and how I had so much going for me but, to be honest, I never really accepted it as I didn’t feel real, I just felt a phony at the time. I was really unhappy with my life and I didn’t know what to do, nothing really worked and it seemed likely to never get better anytime soon.
Yet, as I type this, I am happy. I am smiling all the time, looking forward to things, enjoying life. My mind used to race faster than Usain Bolt, throwing out problems, analyzing things and overthinking like an out of control machine. Now, I feel calm and collected and in total control.
How did I get here? Quite a few things seemed to have come together to have this effect and I would like to suggest some tips that worked for me:
|What I was doing wrong||What you should do instead|
Sitting around can and is a killer. We, as humans, sit too much. We sit to travel to work, sit at work and then sit on the way home and recover from our work by sitting and watching the tv. The most walking the majority of us get is walking to the bus. Couple this with eating unhealthy foods and it is a recipe for disaster.
So what should do? Exercise. I don’t care what it is but you should exercise at least three times a week. The secret to this is to pick something that you enjoy. Simply going to the gym and trying to force yourself to work out isn’t going to work. You need
Eat whole, natural foods. If it comes in a box, try never to eat it. Snack on natures’ offering of vegetables and fruit. Control your portions of foods. Limit your intake of sugar and e-numbers and in other words, just stop eating shit. I feel a world of difference when I eat regularly and healthy, my energy levels soar and I feel happy. If you want to get fit, don’t starve yourself but instead eat a diet of healthy foods and exercise, it’ll take care of itself.
If you want to get fit, don’t starve yourself but instead eat a diet of healthy foods and exercise, it’ll take care of itself. Limit alcohol and stop taking drugs. Alcohol is a waste of time as it is pure sugar and calories. It’s fun to drink on special occassions but if you are finding that you are drinking more and more to cope or your drinking is out of control, you should maybe take a long hard look at yourself and cut down on your drinking. If you need to be drunk to enjoy your night, then there is a problem somewhere. For more information on cutting down on your drinking, have a look at this.
For a great playlist of amazing recipes and great instructional videos, you can’t do much better than checking out my ‘How to cook better’ on Youtube here.
|Listening to the judgments of others||
Stop caring. Well almost. Stop caring about the judgments of others. No-ones opinion of you matters more than the one you have of yourself. Don’t like something? Change it? Your life is yours to control, no one else has the power or right to control it. This does take time, it is a challenge to ignore what others are whispering behind your back but as you stop listening, you’ll notice how their noise means nothing, their noise disappears into the background. Weak people criticise and belittle others to make themselves feel better. Don’t be a weak person. It is not selfish to focus on yourself and work to improve yourself. By improving yourself, you’ll help improve the interactions you have with others which will help improve them.
|Stay in and watch TV.||
Be social. You need to get out and meet people, be around people and spend time with people. It can be scary at first if you are gripped with anxiety or panic, but it is worth it in the long run. You can be brave by reading this post by Steve Kamb.
If you don’t have any friends for whatever reason, you can find ready made groups of people to join, that are interested in the same things as youself, by a few clicks of your keyboard. The Meetup community is amazing. This is a database of groups of people who are into various activities and sports, you name it and it is likely to be there, in nearly every part of the civilised world. It’s easy to join and mostly free. I’ve been a member of a few for a while now and they work on different schedules depending on who runs the group. They come in all ages and ability and stresses. There are small and large, adrenaline pushing or chilled, it’s up to you to pick what you want from it and join the ones you want. If you can’t find something that you like there, you can even start your own. Check it out here.
It can be as big and small as you want it to be. If you need to start small then do it. It is your life. No one else is living it for you. Do what you want and achieve what you want out of life. It is only yourself that will be unhappy at the end if you haven’t done the things that you wished you had and instead left with only regret. This is a situation you never want to be in.
If you are unhappy right now, a quick fix that you can do straight away is to go outside. Nature has a way to remind us of the beauty of the world and calm you down, the sun gives you the vitamin D that your body craves, the fresh air cleans out the negativity and the wildlife will reinvegorate you. Try it. Go for a walk. Feed the ducks. Sit outside on a bench and watch the world go by. Not your scene? Go and visit a family member or friend or volunteer somewhere. A big component of feeling unhappy is analysing ourselves and our thoughts and actions. Of course you are going to find faults in yourself, real or imaginary, if you look hard enough. By turning your focus onto others, you remove this possibility. You can’t focus on yourself if you are helping others. By being in the moment and spending time with others, you aren’t being negative. Being social and being around others will make you happy. We, as humans, are social animals and it is what we need to, to feel connected, to be part of a tribe. By staying in, you are removing yourself from the herd, you are removing yourself from human warmth and connection. It makes you worse and the world a darker place. I know this as it’s what I used to do. It may be hard at first but it is something that may and probably will change your life. Start small if you need to but start. You deserve to be happy.
|Act like others, do what is culturally accepted now.||
Do what you enjoy. Write out a list of things that you enjoy, be truthful with yourself. What makes you tick, what lights a flame underneath you? Make a list of these things and do start doing them. Do them alone if you need to, it can be lonely at first but after the first one or two, you won’t even notice. I do the majority of my challenges and list by myself. I stopped caring about what others thought about me. For years, I would hide interests from people, embaressed by what they would think. What did it do? It made me unhappy. Very unhappy. It did nothing to help me, I realised that no one cared about what I was doing.
I made a list and decided enough was enough. I decided it was up to me. I wanted to be happy, I wanted a life that I could look back at on my death bed and say that I did what I wanted to do, not what my friends did. Since then I’ve been to MMA shows, wrestling shows, powerlifting clinics, gigs, trips away and so much in-between. What did going to these things do? They made me happy. I met some great people and made friends who were into the same sort of things. I felt real again, like I was being the true version of myself and not faking anything. I found standing in a pub drinking, bored the life out of me. Going to meet a powerlifting legend or seeing a MMA hero in the flesh competing made me happy. I will look back at these and smile when I justify my life to myself on my deathbed and be happy, these were things I wanted to do, not what others were doing. What will you choose to do? What will you have to think about and what will you think about them when you look back on your deathbed?
|Feed the bad wolf||
Feeding the right wolf. I think it was the American Indians who suggested that each person has two wolfs inside them. One if a bad wolf and the other is the good wolf. The bad wolf is the negative and the good wolf is the positive. By feeding one, you allow it to become stronger and affect you. So if you focus on all the bad aspects of your life, you feed the dark wolf, you allow it to become stronger and more dominant, so it will become the resting state that you go to, the glass half empty life approach. Instead, you need to feed the good wolf, you need to feed the positive wolf. You do this by always looking for the good and the positive in each situation. There is usually something positive that you can take from any situation.
My old PT used to say in the gym, there is no such thing as a bad day. You either had a good day or a learning experience. Be aware of how your thoughts affect you, how you feel by thinking positive or negative, what the automatic thoughts you have do to you and how they make you feel. IF you have always been a negative person, then this can be hard to change. You need to train your brain to be a more positive person and to look for the good or how you can rectify the situation. You should have a look at this link for a method that is helpful in fixing recurring negative automatic thoughts and being more positive.
|Not read this website.||Keep reading ‘Next Level Guy’. It’s what the cool kids do.|
Being happy is a decision you can make. Your life can be in the shit, you can feel like everything is going against you but you can still choose to be happy, to accept your current situation and enjoy life, there is always something that you can take happiness from.
I didn’t think happiness was something I could find but it’s always possible, there’s always a way to find light in a life no matter how dark. I used to think that I needed drugs to be happy, that it wasn’t possible without drugs to fix a chemical imbalance in my head or that there was something wrong with me. That’s bullshit, there is nothing wrong with us, we are all complete, we are just at different stages of learning and living. We just need to learn how to work with the software we have in our head. Be glad that you are different. Imagine how boring life would be if we are all the same. If you feel depressed, please see a doctor as it can be something that needs medicine to fix, it may not but it is best to get checked out. I didn’t really need them but it is nothing to be ashamed of. It shows you are strong, to see a problem in your life and find the help you need to rectify the situation. A weak person would hide away from the problem. You are strong for facing it. If you need immediate help, please phone a crisis hotline. Nothing is worth taking your own life for.
You can choose to be happy or you choose to be unhappy. If you are unhappy now, you can choose to be happy and to become happy using the tips above. Which way are you going to choose?