5 Ways to Maintain Hope

There is always a point at one time or another when life makes you feel insignificant. Well, that’s because to most of the world’s population, you are.

And that’s okay.

In fact, what a relief.

Who needs the pressure of the world bearing down as if everything you did and said mattered? You’d end up either a shriveled, witless, pitiful, pious politician or a turd—these are the only two logical options. I come from a long line of bootstrappers, and I know that for every bullshit thing that happens, a non-bullshit thing will happen, like karma promises.

Although I am not the most level-headed, humble, nor wisest of my millennial kindred, I certainly have a lot of experience trying to achieve general mindfulness.

So, if you’re like me in a general sense (sometimes human) and lay awake at night thinking about all of your mistakes, accidentally comparing your life to others, or just generally letting your mind swirl into a volcanic mass of overwhelming hopelessness, I have some tips to stay afloat.

Tip #1: GTFO

Recognize that you are alive. Sometimes, our thoughts blind us to the world surrounding and the buildings, sites and people become as stale as 2-D images. This is not your reality. If it were, human history would be a very flat subject (LOL jokes). The best thing you can do is find your happy place.Asset 56

When you think about traveling, whether it’s the beach, the edge of a desert cliff, or the top of a mountain, go there and observe your breathing, your hands, your feet—recognize your body led you to where you’re standing. If your happy place is hundreds of miles away or in the arms of a traveling loved one, set a timer for 10-30 minutes and think of your happy place. See yourself in the place and remember it exists. It exists and you do, too. 

Tip #2: Exercise, Dammit

And no, I don’t mean listening to heavy metal while throwing weights around and snorting protein powder (unless that’s your thing). It is a scientific fact exercise releases happy feelings.

Asset 57

I know, I know. Exercise is the worst thing in the world and you’d rather die than sweat. Just recognize, working out can mean anything from power-lifting unicorns, to jogging, yoga, short walks, even commercial-break ab-work—you can literally do whatever so just do it (just ask Shia Labeof).

It helps me center and feel more confident in addition to keeping my body in line (literally). I of all people know how hard it is to get off the couch, but if you set a goal to work out three times in a week, no matter how little, you can meet the goal and feel accomplished. 

Tip #3: Put that Cookie Down

Eat Healthier. You know what to do. If you are stressed and go straight for the cake, stoppit. You will end up on the floor, in a pool of chocolate and crumbs, crying and clutching a houseplant whispering, “What have I done?” Asset 59

Eat a damn salad. If you (like most people, including me) hate the idea of salad, disguise it with something else. For example, if you want spaghetti, buy a spaghetti squash and use it in lieu of noodles. Half the calories, half the carbs, and all of the satisfaction. You won’t feel so guilty about the cake, and you will feel triumphant. In other words, your success comes with cake, too, but without the guilt. 

 

Tip #4: Silence

Sit in a room with no lyrical music, no bright lights, and no phone.

Zone out.

Write in a journal. Draw a picture. Talk to yourself. If something is bothering you, it will come out and you will be able to diagnose the problem and pursue a solution. I have triumphed over much brain-gnawing, idiotic obnoxiousness through these practices.

Asset 58

Why do this?

Silence and darkness bring forth the scary things. That’s why nighttime is “happy hour” for your darkest anxieties and fears. However, by voluntarily putting yourself in the same, quiet, focused environment, you won’t have the additional anxiety of sacrificing a full night’s rest and you can completely focus on your issues.

Tip #5: Do the Things

Do something for yourself. Often, we get so caught up in work, with family, with friends, etc. that we completely neglect the fact we are human, too. If you want to do something, do it.Asset 60

Spontaneous road trip? If you can afford it, do it.

Go to the park? Yeah, man.

Your fave cafe? It’s waiting for you.

Start a blog? Yup; the internet will not hold you back.

Prove to yourself you have the power to go out there and do what you want at least once in a while.  It gives you something to look forward to and allows more confidence towards goal-setting. This is the best tip I can give. You only trap yourself in your mind. Cheesy as it is, it’s true AF. You know what you need to do. 

To finish….

The tips, as summarized:

  1. Go to your happy place physically or mentally
  2. Exercise at least a little bit
  3. Eat a little healthier
  4. Meditate; organize your thoughts
  5. Do something for yourself every now and then

If you do at least three of these five things (don’t automatically count out eating better and exercise), you are guaranteed by me, an unprofessional who is also unqualified to guarantee anything, that you will find some improvement in the way you look at the world and yourself.

You are only as insignificant as you allow yourself to feel. Be more confident and positive by following these tips. Or don’t. These are just things that work for me. If they do not work for you, then you have your own tips to invent. 

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