Go smaller

There are some ironic benefits to being an irritable and miserable person. Take it from me.

One of them is that it’s much easier to be grateful for the small things. And I mean, really small.

Like, how there wasn’t a line for the checkout, and they had some of the bread I like left. Or that the stupid compost bag didn’t break when I stretched it over the bin’s lip like it usually does. Or that it wasn’t raining on my run when it looked like it might. Or that there was 30¢ off my favourite hot sauce. Shit, even mayonnaise was on sale. That was a great shop.

We live lucky lives, and most of us have many big things to be grateful for. 

But the small things are often much easier to see.

 

This morning sucked

Some mornings are terrible.

This morning I woke up angry that I’d slept in and was behind, disappointed that I wasn’t full of energy like I had been recently, and sad because it felt like I was losing control again.

I was mad because I felt like I was letting myself down. My inner Eeyore was freaking out.

But instead of wrestling with my angst or hiding behind work or drugs, I decided to talk to him. And it turned out he just needed a hug.

When you’re having a bad day, give someone a cuddle and then settle for the smallest step forward towards your goals. Even if that just means getting out of bed.

It won’t fix things, but it might put you in the right frame of mind. And if you don’t have anyone to hug right now, send out a message instead. 

That’s the next best thing.

 

 

 

Who invited Eeyore?

You don’t need me to tell you that life can be pretty bleak sometimes.

All the great philosophers from Cicero and Buddha to Louis CK have nailed it: life is suffering.

Ironically, it seems that the reason that life is suffering is to keep us alive.

There’s a little old nut-shaped part of your brain called the ‘amygdala’ that controls how you feel about stuff.

The amygdala is that miserable, mean, pessimist we all have inside us.

It’s our own little Eeyore living in our heads, seeing the bad side of everything, scared at every turn; certain that taking it will turn out for the worst.

It’s the reason that we have a negativity bias, and tend to see things as threats.

But guess what?

It’s also the source of our compassion and empathy.

That’s why the best way to stop your anxiety and depression is to help someone else with their problem — no matter how large or small.

You distract your Eeyore by helping other people with theirs.

It works every time.

eeyore sitting down looking sad