Reduce Your Negativity in 4 Ways

Back in March, I started this site as a producer of positivity and hope for the masses. That goal is still incredibly strong inside me. I feel the burning urge to help people.

I feel compelled to help people through my stories and experiences. Everyday, I wake up and check my statistics for the site. I am delighted that people are reading and commenting and enjoying this site. Thank you, by the way.

I am more than content to help people, in whatever small way possible. That being said, I aim to be a ray of positivity in peoples’ lives.

There is so much negativity in the world. It seems as if people are drawn to it. The more they hear about it, the more they want to participate in it.

People surround themselves with negativity through their everyday lives. And for those who do not surround themselves with it, negativity seems to seek them out.

A) FAMILY and FRIENDS

I consider myself incredibly fortunate to have many positive and loving people in my life. These people have molded the man you are reading about today.

But, these people weren’t always there. I had to go through an intense sifting process to filter out the toxic people in life.

I suggest doing the same. Pessimistic people continue to suck the soul from your body. They want to complain, gossip, hate, negative-ate (a patented Leroy word) all their feelings on you.

You don’t need all that in your life. Cut them.

B) TELEVISION 

I BARELY watch television these days. This is partially due to the lack of time, but also because there isn’t anything to watch.

There are so few good (by ‘good,’ I mean positive) shows out there. The majority of them are crime dramas and news.

When I was growing up, there were shows like Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Wholesome television shows with positive messages about family, love, and friendship. Now the biggest shows are about jealousy, backstabbing and meth.

When did we turn towards the dark-side? While these shows are ‘entertaining,’ negative messages are propagated. Through cinematography we consume so much negativity and hate.

C) THE NEWS

This is somewhat similar to television, except for the fact that the news is literally EVERYWHERE. It’s hard to escape it. I never ever watch or read the news.

This is not due to ignorance. Under qualified, stupid reporters that spread negativity reports the news. There is never anything positive on the news. No heroic stories? No Jimmy opening up a lemonade stand? No nothing.

“But how will you fit in?”

A new friend told me in high society, people would look down on you if you don’t know current events. While that may be true, I don’t really care.

My main question is “why?” To fit into some negativity small-talk box? To surround myself with all the negative people, I’ve spent the majority of life avoiding?

Personally, I find it a waste of time.

D) SOCIAL MEDIA

Cyber-bullying is all the rage these days. It is a huge problem. Back in my day (am I really that old?), kids just called me fat and pushed me around. It hurt, a lot. But I got over it.

There is a key difference between my childhood bullying and modern bullying. My bullying was unavoidable. I had to go to school everyday. Social media isn’t necessary. Delete it, you don’t need it.

Similarly, negativity is found in literally all over the Internet. YouTube trolls, Facebook arguments, and Twitter ‘beefs.’ Do not subscribe to these forms of avoidable negativity.

Use these ‘tools’ but do not get consumed by them.

SOLUTION?

Use the word ‘No’ more often. There is great power in that word. Take control of your life. Opt for ‘No’ to anything and anyone you do not want in your life.

NO

Say ‘no’ to mindless meetings, negative people, social media ‘beefs,’ anger, and regret. Mindless television and news. Say no to all the negativity in your life. The moment you do so, you’ll notice an incredible change.

Life will be simpler, almost serene.

“When you have a tiny piece of shit in the soup, it doesn’t matter how much more water you pour in and how many more spices you put on top. There’s shit in the soup.” – James Altucher

Say ‘no’ when people try to place a little piece of shit in your soup.

Be bold, be free, and love on.

The Girl Across The Street

Yesterday, I hung out with an old friend. I haven’t seen her since February and it was a delight. Truthfully speaking, I had a huge crush on her.

We went on a few dates and things just fizzled out. Initially, I was devastated. Before seeing her, I had a fear that those feelings might resurface. I might be stuck in an emotional rut as soon as I saw her.

I think I’m growing up. I saw her and everything went well. Those feelings that I was afraid off – they resurfaced – I dealt with them.

Let Me Backtrack

I had a crush on her because she was pretty much everything I wanted. She embodied the qualities I held most dear, we have amazing conversations, and she is beautiful.

I am the type of person that will always hold feelings, deep inside, for the people I like. The feelings just hide away. When I saw her yesterday, those feelings came out guns-blazing, but they were manageable.

Girls have always occupied a huge portion of my mental and physical energy. I’ve never really had great luck in the whole relationship category. It has always been hard for me to let go of past relationships.

Call it love?

I don’t know what it was. I don’t really understand what love is. Have I felt it? Maybe once? Maybe I’m just convincing myself of love. Or maybe, just maybe, I did feel it?

The Girl Across the Street

I fell hard and fast. It hit me like a brick wall hit Will E. Coyote. From the moment I saw her I was captivated. She also embodied everything I ever wanted.

wile-e-coyote-hits-rock-bottom

We got our feelings out. For a while I thought it was ACTUALLY going to work. Long story, short, it didn’t.

Surprisingly enough, it didn’t affect me as much as I thought it would. I was an emotional rollercoaster for about 3 hours. I decided that it couldn’t affect me. There are too many priorities.

There are too many important things to worry about.

A Limited Amount of Energy

Do you spend it worrying about girls? Bills? Gossip? Work drama? I spent it on a whole lot of nonsense. I squandered it away, day-by-day, wallowing in my own self-pity.

That was a huge waste of mental energy. If I knew what I know now, back when I was 16, my life would have been different. Then again, I am a stronger person because of my 16-year-old experiences.

It makes me feel like the perfect girl is somewhere out there. But also, it makes me feel like there isn’t just one. In fact, I know that there are at least two that are out there right now. I know because I met them already.

I feel a sense of ease with that thought. Sure, it didn’t work out. But it allows me to continue on with my life, knowing that somewhere out there, there are multiple perfect girls for me.

I know that I do not have to spend the mental energy wallowing when something does not work out. I know that I will be okay.

What do you choose to spend the energy on? You have a finite amount of energy every single day. I urge you to stop squandering it, like I have, and start improving your life.

Move forward for the all petty things taking over your life and spend that valuable energy on yourself. Use it to constantly and never-endingly improve.

For the first time, I experienced ‘love at first sight.’ Was it meant to be? I guess not. But it’s nice to know that it wasn’t the end of the world.

Be bold, be free, and love on.

Where Did All The Laughter Go?

I recently began a practice where I watched stand-up comedy every single day. It wasn’t something I really considered important or practical, but it was something I enjoyed.

I constantly searched for new standup specials: Louis C.K. Gabriel Iglesias, Kevin Hart, Dave Chappelle, John Pinette, Katt Williams, etc.

I laughed very hard. Every single day I inserted a reason to laugh without even realizing it. As children we laugh about 300 times a day. As an adult, that number is reduced to a meager 7 times.

laughing

How did we go from 300 to 7? Did we cross some bridge of tears and now here we are: Mindless drones that wake up, go to work, participate in office politics, watch Breaking Bad, and then go to sleep and die?

Laughter is really hard as an adult. It must be, right? Going from 300 to 7? There must have been some sort of life-changing traumatic event that occurred between childhood and adulthood.

We need to get back to our childhood roots. We need to laugh more. Here are some the reasons why we don’t laugh and the activities that will help:

A) Play

As children we spend all day playing. We go to school and have about 2 hours of playtime between recesses and lunches. Then after 3PM it was all systems go and my friends and I would play until dark.

All the play was squeezed out of everyday till there wasn’t anymore time. That cycle continued every single day.

Every day, from now on, I will play.

B) We drink alcohol 

Drinking alcohol can be a fun time. I don’t want to be a downer or a hypocrite. I drink alcohol sometimes. It’s a part of being social.

For a short time, it helps loosen inhibitions and there are a variety of reasons (sex) why someone would want to participate. But the truth is that alcohol is a depressant.

When you wake up from a night of drinking, you feel slightly more depressed than your baseline of depression. Then, you go to a shitty job (because work sucks), filled with other depressed medicated people.

Then we feel like we’re in a loop, trapped and struggling to reinvent ourselves. Reduce your drinking to a few times a MONTH (if that) and see how you feel.

C) We are afraid to look stupid 

It’s interesting that children get embarrassed about some things. But as adults we monitor ourselves constantly. The feeling is multiplied ten-fold when we reach adulthood.

You’re judged by your looks, opinions, and what we do moment-by-moment. We wear the right uniform to work. We say the right things. We categorize ourselves in the correct groups, never falling out of the line for fear of scrutiny from our peers.

Kids don’t worry about these things on a daily basis. They jump for joy, dance in public and CRY. As adults, we can’t cry when we don’t get our raise or promotion.

At night, speaking for myself, I ponder what I did wrong, what people thought of me, what I wrote, and what I said. I replay my day, totally squandering the opportunities to have fun and laugh.

“Be who you are and say what you think because those that mind don’t matter and those that matter, don’t mind.” – Dr. Seuss

D) Adults have to clean their washrooms

We have responsibilities and priorities. We have to worry about money and life and sex and taking out the garbage. It isn’t fun not being able to handle our responsibilities, which inevitably happens at least once or twice in life.

You feel like killing yourself and crying and then medicating yourself to feel better, which makes it incredibly hard to laugh.

Although laughter is more of a cure for endless responsibilities.

E) Fresh Prince became Walter White

When I was a kid the best show on TV was watching Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. It was filled with wholesome laughs and pressing family matters demonstrated by Will Smith.

Then TV shows became about “friends” living in lavish apartments with no ‘real’ problems except for who is sleeping with whom.

Now the ‘best’ TV shows are about meth dealers who kill people and medieval beheadings (spoiler alert).

These shows make it hard to insert laughs in your day. There are a lot of funny shows on TV such as: Curb Your Enthusiasm, Family Guy, Arrested Development, Seinfeld, Brooklyn 99, and Simpsons.

Some of those are no longer on air, but you’re already on the Internet (reading this) so start streaming. Start with those and if you want to add to the list in the comments, I’d be eternally grateful.

F) Get some funny people

Spending time with good people is always a surefire way for more laughs. Recently, I’ve been hanging out with my neighbor (I know, I’ve mentioned her a lot, but bare with me).

She’s incredibly funny and easy to talk to. There hasn’t been a moment with her that I haven’t thoroughly enjoyed. She provides some quality side-splitting laughs and one of the few that remains consistent.

Spend some more time with your friends. Set aside some time each day to hang out with someone that makes you laugh.

G) Get some fast laughs 

With YouTube and High Speed Internet, quick laughs are only about 15 seconds away. Here’s what I’ve watched over the past couple days:

Speaking for the current moment in time, I still feel like I am not quite up to 300 laughs a day. I think about too many things a day. Ideas, what I’m going to write next, my goals and aspirations, which leaves very little time for laughter.

I have to learn how to take my 50,000 thoughts a day to 15,000 so I have more time for funny thoughts and laughter. Slowly I will work on it. How many times do you laugh per day? Insert more laughs into your day and grow happier.

Be bold, be free, and love on.

A Lesson in Happiness

I haven’t discovered the key to happiness yet. I don’t quite know where life is taking me or where I’ll be in the next few years. Am I happy with my life right now? Yes. Could I be happier? Of course I could. There is always room for that.

Happiness means different things to different people. Some people find happiness in money, women, drugs, sex, marriage, video games, careers, etc. Some find it in knitting, stamp collecting, wine-making, and hopscotch.

Happiness-Is...header

For me, my current happiness lies in making YouTube videos (Check out my channel here). It is something that I would have never fathomed in my younger introverted days. But, now it has blossomed into something that I truly love.

There are a ton of naysayers, a ton of people telling me pursue something with my degree, get a good job and start a family. I feel like that life isn’t for me right now. I need to follow my passions. You need to follow yours.

We can all argue different perspectives to what the key to happiness is because it means different things to different people. For me, I know that the key to my personal happiness only lies within me.

The key to YOUR happiness only lies within you. No one else possesses (or should possess) the capacity to ruin your happiness. Not your friends, family, significant others, co-workers, bosses, government, or the people I may have left out.

Negative statements and remarks come from all sides to hinder people. It is one of the many sad truths of human nature. But we cannot let these comments affect us.

Everyone is responsible for their own happiness

Do not hinge your happiness on anything external. Instead, anchor it to yourself. You are the key to your own happiness. Happiness seems like such a fickle emotion. It can change in a matter of a few seconds. But on the flip side you have the ability to choose!

In your head, you get to choose what affects you. You get to choose how you feel (for the most part). The human mind has the capacity for amazing ideas, feelings, notions, and concepts.

You can choose to let certain things affect you. You can choose what you want to filter out and disregard. Don’t let a Facebook ‘unfriend’ or a Twitter ‘unfollow,’ or any rude comments surfacing in your life affect you. They are insignificant in the larger spectrum.

I ask myself four questions when something ‘terrible’ (Most of the time it isn’t terrible, but your mind overplays it) occurs.

1) Is there anything wrong right now? (The answer is always no, unless I am literally put in a life/death situation which has never happened…yet)

2) Can I change this situation? (Can I ignore the comment? Can I walk away? The answer is usually a resounding yes.)

3) How do I feel right now? (Once I discover that I’m not in a life/death situation, the answer to this question is usually ‘content’)

4) Am I able to continue with my life? (Even though sometimes your mind decides that you can’t, when you ask yourself this question, you quickly realize that no matter what the problem, the ability to move on is always there.)

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Analyze the problem with a level head and ask yourself these questions. In most situations letting the minor things hinder your happiness is not worth it. If you have trouble with this, check out my last post.

Unless you’re in a life/death situation you should let anything hinder you. You deserve to be happy. You owe it to yourself. In life, you don’t have the opportunity of practices runs and cheat codes. You get one. Make the best of it and live as happy as you deserve to be.

What do you do when you are unhappy? When faced with adversity? Leave a comment in the section below. My readers and I would love to hear from you.

Be bold, be free, and love on.

Surprise Guest Post: The Power of Social Anxiety

Morning EVERYONE! I have the pleasure of presenting you with a surprise guest post today! It comes from my friend Rayven who is an incredibly talented writer. She is able to paint a picture in your head with her words (something that I am not so great at). She has an amazing writing style that reaches out to the readers.

Check out her blog at http://moonstruckmicrocosm.wordpress.com for more of her work. She posts everything from personal stories, advice, and poetry! She is very talented, so check her out.

Lastly, my eventual goal for this blog is make it a massive self-help/advice resource for everyone to use. I want more guest posters with unique perspectives on life. If you would like to write on my blog, I would LOVE to have you! Please contact me via Ask a Question page and I would love to hear some of your ideas.

So without further ado, I present to you her article!

Social anxiety became the friend I always needed.

Frustration lingering in the air,
tastes bitter but I cannot sweeten it with my voice.
The perception of reality dissolves around me,
and I become trapped within myself.

For a time, writing was the only thing that made me feel heard. It was the only time I wasn’t afraid to speak. I mean really speak. I was silenced everywhere else, and the worst part about the silence was that it was predominantly caused by an internal source.

silence

I couldn’t be myself; I was trapped in a cloud of anxiety, constantly worrying.

Social anxiety (or social phobia) made me afraid to be who I was, even to people I had known for years. The crippling doubt and fear I felt when I tried to speak was enough to keep me curled up and hiding within myself.

On the outside I was smiling, but self-hatred was swimming around in my head.

Being shy meant needing a bit more time to adjust; having social anxiety meant adjusting was not an option.

Blushing, heart palpitations, tunnel vision, sweating, dry mouth, and more would be a constant reminder of how incapable I was. If I knew I had to talk about something, I would spend hours rehearsing what I was going to say. After the conversations, I would painfully replay them in my head, picking them apart and berating myself for every mistake I thought I had made.

And I always walked away from interactions thinking I looked a fool.

Luckily, social anxiety is not who I am. It’s not who anyone is. We so often attribute the flaws in ourselves to who we are as people, but that is not the case.

After struggling for years and after my doctor convinced me I had to seek help for myself, I sought a therapist through my university. I was lucky to have her as my guiding light. I set myself free in that room and it seeped into everyday life.

butterflies

Social anxiety became a challenge rather than an inherent part of who I was. By seeing it as external I could fight it without shaming myself in the process. The burning in my face when I spoke in class was a source of pride rather than humiliation, because it meant I was dealing with it rather than letting it hold me back.

I still struggle with it sometimes, but I am a much more confident person and the progress I have made keeps me fighting.

You are not your depression, or your anxiety, or anything else that seeks to suppress you. Think of them as friends who need love and care, as you do. Embrace them and accept them, help them rise above, but always allow for mistakes.

Mistakes lead to lessons. Each time you try, whether it leads to success or failure, you are laying down a new brick in your path. You are always making progress, just be sure to fight for the progress you want.