being clean

Hygiene is a matter of taking care of yourself. People who look good typically have amazing hygiene because they see themselves as something to groom and nurture. Depression can come out in poor hygiene for the exact same reason; if you don’t see yourself as something worth taking care of, you won’t take care of yourself.

Here are some good reasons to brush your teeth, clean yourself, shower, wash your clothes, and put on deodorant of some kind. One, when you take care of your body, it feels good. It may take effort and is a big hurdle for people, but after you do so, you psychologically feel better because you can’t feel or smell the grease and dirt any more. It’s easier to see yourself as handsome when you’re operating at your well-groomed level.

Two, you may not care about your body before a shower for example, but the physical act of washing cues our brain to see ourselves as something worth washing. Sometimes our thoughts cause our actions, but other times it’s our actions that cause our thoughts. And three, we care about other peoples’ opinions, and that’s not always a bad thing! We care about other people seeing us in a good light and that can motivate us to be better. You should want to take care of yourself and look good, but what we should want isn’t always what we actually want. That’s okay. Knowing the two previous reasons, the important step is being hygenic in the first place. Pick someone you care about mentally, from a parent to a friend to a dog to a celebrity, and take care of yourself for them. When we are clean, we are more confident, healthier, and more prepared for social situations. Some people struggle with it more than others, but the bottom line is that everyone is worth taking care of.

shivering in me timbers

Out of our raw emotions, fear is one of the most potent feelings to deal with. It’s easy to be afraid, and even the smallest things can make us shake in our boots. We can be afraid of irrational, rational, abstract, or physical possibilities. There really is no limit on how many different things that can terrify us.

We have fear because it makes sense. If there’s a bear, we should not bother it or aggravate it. Our fear in that instance makes sense and helps us survive. Even the more abstract things like losing our job make sense. We fear it because it’s our safety net, its what we do every day, and losing it means we’ll be at risk of not being able to support ourselves. Not all fears are rational, but a good many of them are, and there is reason to be afraid.

That concept might not seem too inspiring, but think about this: you realize there is risk in a dangerous situation and are afraid. If you’re afraid, that means you’re alert and wary. If you are on your toes, it can help you focus on solving that situation. If the fear is irrational, acknowledging our fear is still an important step to getting over it. No matter the state of the cause of our terror, if we know the cause, we can do something about it.

Fear is natural. Fear may even be good in some instances. Being afraid doesn’t mean that that’s our only option, and it most certainly doesn’t mean that we have to stay that way. It may be difficult to move on from such a powerful emotion, but we can do it. We always can.

in sick and in healthy times

When you’re sick, it’s not the horrible physical pain itself, but the length of sickness that’s excruciating. Torture isn’t about the amount of pain, so much as the timetable. If you had to undergo all the pain you could physically hold, as long as it was in a short enough period of time, you could take it.

That’s why its so important to remember to breathe. No, seriously, breathe right now. Take it in. Be slow and deliberate. Then be thankful because (probably) you aren’t stuffed up or coughing right now. Long scale pain becomes such a problem because it requires so much of your attention. When things are going right, we often don’t appreciate our bodies. It is only when things are going wrong inside them that we begin to curse them.

Sickness may come. Misery surely will. Pain will be there to haunt us throughout our lives, in various forms. The worst pain comes from the extended period of time we experience it. But the beauty is that we get to live so much and so well without it! Humans tend to fixate on the negative; it’s more motivating for us to avoid the negative results than to run towards positive ones. Yet we experience good things for long period of time as well, in the forms of good relationships and circumstances. Let’s celebrate that! Let’s live gratefully, and let the time of our joy increase that joy!

when life throws you off a cliff for fun

Life happens whether we like it or not. Things get in our way, we are thrust into horrible circumstances. We miscommunicate about something important. We forget something and have to pay the price. Something happens that messes up our plans and it’s discouraging! We struggle and struggle and find that the struggle keeps continuing.

Yet! As much as problems block our path and we get thrown into circumstances beyond our control, our struggles are not the only thing we experience. We also are constantly breathing– just because something takes continuous effort doesn’t make it bad. It also doesn’t force “breathing” to be an all-encompassing label upon our life. We breathe, and yet we don’t typically think of ourselves as “breathers”. In the same way, struggling doesn’t define you. It is an important part of you, but it’s just one aspect of being a complex individual. We are more than our problems.

We are made up of so much! And no matter how terrible you your life may be, there is always something beautiful in it. It could be a friend, or a class. Heck, it could even be as small as a pretty painting! But life isn’t so tiny to be boiled down to our difficulties, and therefore we have so much more to live for and experience. There is always hope, its just a matter of finding where to look.

stuff those feelings back where they came from, or so help me-!

Logically, you can know that A is A, and B is B. In your head, you know certain facts and can truly believe them. Reason can tell you it wasn’t your fault, or that it doesn’t matter. However, sometimes the emotions don’t fit. We want to move on and yet our hearts don’t want to go along with it.

Emotions are hard to handle. They surround us in a medium of our existence. They guide us more than we would sometimes like to admit. However, a basic part of being a human is dealing with and expressing feelings. When we don’t talk about how we feel, it tends to get clogged up inside of us. Making a habit of stuffing things down inside of us makes us get stuck on what to say when we really do need to express ourselves. Communication is a skill after all! And practice is the key to any skill. Not dealing with emotions is like being an emotional couch-potato: very unhealthy in the long run.

Even we know what we need to do logically, we can still get stuck on the feeling parts of things. Ignoring the emotions or trying to kill them off somehow doesn’t fix things; if anything, it makes them stronger. Instead, if we want to move past things, we need to face them. We need to admit to ourselves our faults and our current state of mind. It’s hard, and it’s not easy to even know what to do once you’ve acknowledged it. Still, it’s a necessary step to moving past things.

recharging every bit

It’s important to rest– really rest. It’s more than stilling our physical bodies. You could sit on the couch for hours and still not really rest. Recuperation involves every bit of your body. Physically, we need to be still. Mentally, we need to put down the work for a while. Whether that work can be homework, work from the job, work for the club, or even a distracting phone, we need to stop a while. Emotionally, we need to give ourselves a break, by either being around people or getting away from them as is your preference. The key is resting your whole self, not just a part.

Prayer and meditation are found throughout many cultures, in different forms and for different purposes, yet they remain underestimated as a tool. Each culture has some version of being still and ordering one’s inner self because everyone is a mess. You can be non-religious and learn to meditate or pray. You could also be highly religious and do it! Especially in our modern age, we find the more screen time an individual has, the more likely they are to develop anxiety and depression. That’s terrifying! But it also gives us a good reason to set the phone or laptop to the side, at least for a bit. Just physically separate yourself from distractions, spend some time alone, with no bright entertaining things to dance for you.

Without recharging, we are nothing. We cannot operate 24/7. We rush from thing to thing and get angry when we find we can’t rush rest. Slow down so you’ll have to strength to get things back up to tempo! We only get one physical body for sure; it’s smart to not wreck the only vehicle we have for our soul.

Water you even doing?

Drinking water improves your concentration, skin, energizes your muscles, and helps your internal system, but despite knowing that water is good for us, most people don’t drink enough of it. In the grand scheme, looking at your entire life, drinking lots of water doesn’t seem to be something people should be overly concerned about. Drinking water, however, is a way of taking care of yourself. People feel miserable depending on a multitude of factors; one variable that is underestimated is our physical well-being. Often times, we forget to take care of ourselves and it ends up affecting how we live the rest of our day.

There are absolutely times when we are both hungry and angry, but the truth is that mental state is more dependent on our physical state than we like to admit. Are you really furious at someone, or are you just too tired to deal with someone talking? Are you overwhelmed or do you need a nap? The slang “Hangry” exists because so many people get confused between whether or not they are angry or hungry.

Drinking water isn’t going to cure depression. Excercise doesn’t make people not have an anxiety disorder. Eating healthy meals isn’t going to make people suddenly not schizophrenic. However, doing all these little things does make a difference, and for the better. No matter how you are feeling, it is good to take care of your body. While we like to separate ourselves from it, our bodies are ourselves. You need maintenance, you need to recharge, you need some time to sleep, and you need fuel.  So drink lots of water, eat good food, and get some sleep! It may not seem like much, but it makes a difference.

Halloween isn’t about death in practice, but you can use it to kill off the problems between you and those you care about

Happy Halloween! For a holiday associated with death, dark creatures, and general wickedness, the majority of people have a fondness for halloween. It’s like horror movies- you don’t like the vicious creature that’s slowly hunting everyone down, you like the thrill. And Halloween is a thrill! Operating at night, talking strangers out of their candy, masking your identity: these are all pleasurable activites because they are customs that we take part in as a community. 

For some, Halloween is just an excuse to party. However, the importance of the holiday isn’t that it’s celebrating creatures of darkness, but that we are celebrating a time together with people we care about in a light hearted manner. The features of the holiday are creepy, but sometimes creepy is fun! It’s an aesthetic that marks it apart from the rest of the year. It has a sort of childlike glee compared to Valentine’s day or Thanksgiving. 

Whatever your views on Halloween, just remember that it’s a holiday. At the end of the day,  it’s not about some costume or summoning demons, but about having an excuse to be with the people you love, sharing in traditions you care about. Even if you hate everything about this night, don’t close yourself off! Sometimes you need to shake things up from the routine.

Make your life your novel

 

Almost everyone has tried to write a book at some point in their life. It might be three pages long and half developed or it might be a full three page novel they can’t stop editing. If you ask someone what they would like to write a book about, practically every single person can think of something they’ve secretly been working on mentally. However, there obviously isn’t a book on the shelves for every person who wants to write one because they usually don’t even find their way onto paper.

There’s lots of reasons why a book doesn’t come into fruition. The person forgets the idea, they discard it, life gets in the way and they don’t work on it, they complete it and never get it published, they try to get it published and no one wants it; there’s so many things that can sway a book from publication. The big factor, though, is the individual who wants to write it. We don’t write books because we usually don’t have the self-control to do so. It’s not that the idea isn’t big enough, or that the plot isn’t developed enough. It’s the fact that we have to put our heads in the game on a daily basis and work on it until we make the idea big enough and the plot developed enough.

Not everyone is a writer, and not all writers are good at what they do. Writing is an incredibly difficult task, trying to get at the barest bones of communication. You don’t have to work on a book in order to feel successful in life, but we could all improve our self-discipline. It doesn’t matter what you want if you don’t do anything to get it. In some areas, writing a book is easier than other tasks because you can measure how much you’ve done through page number, word count, or chapters completed. So give yourself a measure! Make a checklist and fill out your goals. Don’t let your ambitions be unrealized, but seek them out every day, because every day is a gift.

What does your face look like?

We only see the mirror view of ourselves. Others get to see all angles of our faces, but we are limited in seeing how we really look on a daily basis. That’s why seeing a video of yourself is such a peculiar event; you are suddenly the onlooker of your own actions. But what is it like for a stranger? What parts of you are most salient? What aspect of your face do people focus on?  It’s important to think about because perspective because we get really caught up in our own heads sometimes.

The fact is, we dwell on certain things. We get bored and start thinking about tasks that aren’t necessary for survival like the humans we are. However it also means that when anything occurs, we are looking through a subjective lens. The faults we see may not be obvious to other people. The beautiful parts we see might also be hidden. We are used to our own standard of features, people, places, emotions, and we compare everything to it,  but it remains an unquantifiable bar. 

All of this is just to say that it’s easy to forget that not everyone has had the same experiences. Not everyone sees what you see. To some people, our noses might be the first thing they think about. To others it might be our forehead or chin. When frustrations arise, try to look on as an outsider. Try to bend your mind. You don’t have to agree, just get out of your own head for a little bit and you’ll find that it shows the other person a great deal of respect.