Have you ever felt like you’re riding a bike really hard, but you’re not getting anywhere? Like all your effort and work and energy hasn’t moved you at all. Then you look down and remember you’re on a stationary bike. Your tires are just spinning. But you aren’t going anywhere. You aren’t moving forward.
And your inner critic is saying, “You suck. You must be an idiot to think you can do anything, be anything, that you matter at all. You don’t. Nothing you do is good enough. You aren’t good enough.”
So basically your inner critic is Morrissey or Nick Kershaw or any alt 1980s singer from the U.K.
You’ve got to get Morrisey to shut the hell up.
We spend our days communicating with other people and with ourselves. We can get away from other people pretty easily, but it’s a lot harder to get away from ourselves.
A New Zealand study reports that people have over 60,000 thoughts every day. Not all of those thoughts are “I have to poo” or “Uh-oh. I just let one rip.” A lot of those thoughts are negative. Too many.
According to a 2005 study by the National Science Foundation, “Of those thousands of thoughts, 80% were negative, and 95% were exactly the same repetitive thoughts as the day before.”
Then there’s this—
A Cornell University study in 2005 found that only 15% of what we worry about actually happens and a good 79% of the people they studied realized that they could absolutely handle whatever it was that happened.
They decided that 97 % “are baseless.” Those thoughts are just us being pessimistic, negative Eeyores.
So the question becomes how do you manage your own mind, keep it from spending all that time in the negative spiral?
- According to the tlex institute, “The secret is in our Breath. Through breathing techniques validated by modern science, we effortlessly quiet, empty and calm the mind, at the same time increase attention and focus. This state of relaxed-awareness is the Flow state, when we are our most creative, effective and happy.
- Say something positive to yourself the moment you wake up. Go all Stuart Smalley on your day. Say, “Today is going to rock.”
- You know all those people who #soblessed, #countingblessing, #graitutude? They are onto something. Focusing on even the tiniest of good things helps you deal with the crap things. Say some buttface passes you on the double yellow lines and gives you the finger? You can think, “Hey, at least that buttface won’t rear end me now.”
- When things suck, crack jokes. Find the light in the darkness. Find the funny in the horrible.
- When you start talking whack at yourself, turn it around. Instead of thinking, “Yeah, I never shut the drawers because I suck,” think “I am just super efficient and left that drawer open because I knew I’d have to go right back there.” Think this even after you slam your hip into the drawer.
- Don’t think about the past. Don’t worry too much about the future. Think about you right now. Right this second. Live in the now.
- When you fail at something, be chill. Pull out your inner Elmo and think about how you can learn from this and still get hugged. Most things aren’t end of the world.
- Surround yourself with people who aren’t assholes. Seriously. If everyone around you is an Eeyore or a cannibal or a backstabber, it’s going to get to you. Positive people help make you more positive.
Live like an optimist especially if you’re a writer.
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One of our newest LOVING THE STRANGE podcasts is about the weird, dumb, strange things people eat. And one of our newest DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE episode is about the the how to make your story thrilling and Carrie learning that people sunbathe their testicles. We’re classy like that.
It’s my book! It’s coming out June 1! Boo-yah!