10.27.2011

Little Turkish Girl's Emancipation Proclamation

Whenever I write these kind of posts, they are really for myself. This is in an attempt to free myself from my own negative, oppressing thoughts. I've never experienced this kind of sadness in my life; and so onward, I'm trying to move on to a breakthrough. (I've always loved the word onward).

Here are 10 things I am trying to do (and maybe you can do them too), to eliminate that lingering sadness that just doesn't like to leave:
  1. Sign up for a class: CHECK. One of the best things I have done recently has been signing up for a Turkish class. I've always wanted to learn Turkish; furthermore, I really want to start utilizing those dormant brain cells.

  2. Dress up everyday: When you are in a funk, gray, black and toupe tend to be your wardrobe palate of choice. BREAK FREE! Dress in crazy patterns and bright colors! Wear that unique necklace that is a conversation starter. You were made to stand out, not fade into the background of a dentist's office.

  3. Reclaim Your Charm: When I am at my happiest, I can be a charmer. I tell stories, I smile, I wink. However, when I'm feeling down, I tend to stay quiet and seem more stand-offish. Be aware of your mood. Even if you don't want to talk, force yourself to open up a little. A good conversation can turn your day around. Soon, the color to your cheeks, and your charm, will turn up again.

  4. Dance and Joke: There is instant happiness to be found in bootayyyy shaking. A random dance sesh in my apartment tends to brighten my mood for the rest of the day. Also, don't take things too seriously! Joke around...and make stupid faces often.

  5. Vent to Friends: If you are like me, you tend to keep your emotions and feelings hidden. Sometimes, you just gotta spill them out. When I open up to my therapists friends, I not only feel refreshed and inspired, I also feel more connected to them, as we are relating to the plight of the human condition.

  6. Venture Outside: This may seem obvious, but we all know that sadness tends to be a seemingly stellar lock on your front door. Break that lock and force yourself to spend sometime in the sunshine (heck, even the rain). A brisk walk outside can not only revitalize you, but also inspire you in ways staying in your room never could.

  7. Make Some Damn Changes: Doing the same thing over and over will produce the same outcome (i.e. getting back together with your ex, again, and expecting a change). To put it, uh, nicely...DON'T BE DUMB. If you want things to change, then you must change things! In my case, I need to change my job. I'm on this everyday! At least I'm doing something about it. If you're feeling trapped, create your own way out.

  8. Keep Your Head to the Sky: For you spiritual folks out there, remember not to leave your prayer life/spirituality in the dust while in a sad mood. When feeling depressed, it's easy to succumb to wasting time on the couch. The couch+depression=best friends. Go to a cafe or the beach, grab a good book on God (whether it be THE holy book, or an inspiring spiritual read), and pray pray pray, reflect, read and soak in that other-worldly wisdom. This makes the biggest difference in my day!

  9. To Everything There is a Season: Sadness may last for a night, but joy comes in the morning. Hold onto the hope that you will not be sad forever. Because, unless you keep yourself captive at rock-bottom, sadness will not last forever! Make every attempt to rock climb away from that bottom...you'll get there. I'm getting there.

  10. Keep a Schedule: Keep yourself busy. Pursue your passions. Say yes to hanging out with friends and stay away from that damn couch!

Again, this post is more for me than for you. But more power to us all! I know most of you can relate, because as I mentioned, this is the human condition.

"The dawn will come. Disappointment, sorrow, and despair are born at midnight, but morning follows." --MLK Jr.

7 comments:

  1. This is such a lovely little list, and absolutely perfect. I hope that you feel a bit happier soon, it sounds like you're definitely on the right path.

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  2. I love these goals- I'm sure you'll be in a happier place sure enough! Always great to have something to look forward to.

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  3. What a great list of things to cheer yourself up! Love the idea of taking a class - Turkish though - eep! Such a challenging language!

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  4. Sorry to hear about you being sad. Follow this list and you will be right as rain!

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  5. I made a list JUST like this one time a long time ago, instructed by my old therapist, and even wrote a blog about it (http://jonmichael.net/?p=107). Although it was a good idea at the time, looking back, it didn't do much for me. I was still miserable for a long time afterwards. Each item seemed, to me, to be temporary cover-ups---avoidances, almost---for the root problem: my own mind. My own mind, I've discovered, is the cause of my suffering---not because I'm not doing x, y, and z. Whether we realize it or not, our minds are sort of disaster-prone machines that make tragedies out of anything we can. If it took a list of things to "do" to be happy, I'd probably have been happy a long time ago. For me, happiness didn't come that way. I've found it requires a discipline in bringing awareness towards our mental activity, and "catching" the negativity before it even begins, and accepting whatever it is that arises with perfect equanimity. Doing this repeatedly, you can cultivate a light within you. This is why I meditate.

    This is just me though---and I think your list is a shit ton better than mine---but maybe you can relate somehow.

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  6. Thanks Jon, I completely agree. I think these things are mini steps towards that overall goal of mentally catching the sadness. But I like how you put it...not to focus on avoidances, but to focus on the issue.

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  7. Good words and thoughts. Sometimes it's so easy to get caught up in the terrible thoughts and to let everything else fade away.

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