People are annoyed by me. I know this because they tell me all the time how my constant “perkiness” gets on their nerves.
I can’t help it. Even when I try to tone it down, my upbeat nature pops out and there I am spewing perkiness all over everything and everyone.
It’s a blessing and a curse.
I do have my moments when misery strikes; some emotional or physical turmoil that can’t be overcome with simply putting on a happy face. People get on my last nerve and I can no longer hold my tongue or my emotions in check and I lose my temper or I break down in tears. But, I can’t wallow. I can’t let myself be angry or sad for too long because it taxes me. After a break-up, a big fight, or a stunning disappointment, I generally give myself one full day to immerse in my suffering and then I shake off the worst of it and move on (usually with a plan of attack or a plan to resolve the matter).
I don’t have a great-paying job. I don’t have a car. I don’t get out much except to go to work, run errands, and maybe 2-4 times a year we might go out and do something out of the ordinary. I’m practically a hermit. Most people don’t believe that I live a life so simple. A lot of folks around me believe that a person as upbeat as I am probably has a lot of friends and I’m out doing fun things all the time. I love my job, despite the pay and I live relatively close to where I work, so having a car is not a priority. I don’t get out much because a) I deal with several groups and types of people on a daily basis and I look forward to my time off being a “people-free” zone, even if that means saying no to seeing the latest movies in the theater, while they are still on the big screen and b) I like my books and my crafts and my blog and my family, that’s all I need to get by.
There are definitely times when I know that a bad day or a bad moment is coming or those times when I get smacked in the face with bad decisions or just plain bad luck. There are things that I try to do to keep the doldrums at bay or at least, keep myself from wallowing for too long, once I get down in the dumps. When I’m feeling like I could kick puppies and bunnies because I am really not pleased with people or life, I like to find ways to push my happiness buttons.
“Pushing my happiness buttons” is another way or saying that I like to look for ways to trigger a good mood. The following is a top ten list of things that I like to do to push my happiness buttons. Sometimes, I do more than one at a time. They don’t always work, right away, so I keep trying until I find what works.
1) Listen to music. I prefer classic jazz, but depending on if I’m in a fighting mood or a friendly mood, I can be caught jamming out to some hip-hop or neo-soul or even the “sounds of the 70s”. Jazz calms me down and helps me keep my breathing in check, particularly on days when I know that I have difficult assignments or when I have to deal with difficult people. Hip-hop gets me moving if I’m feeling sluggish and 70s music reminds me of the days I used to sit in my bedroom listening to the “easy listening” station, as a kid, trying to mentally escape my abusive home life. I know all the words and that makes me feel good.
2) Talk to someone who gets you. I usually go to my partner, but sometimes there is that one person that understands the particular thing I am going through and we can swap war stories, rant about our troubles, and share pep talks. Getting things off my chest, verbally, makes me feel good (so long as it’s not all negative banter).
3) Comfort food. I love bacon and chocolate and caramel macchiatos from Starbucks. If I can get my hands on one of those things, on any given day, that lifts my spirits, especially if they are a gift from someone else.
4) Netflix and Spiel. I like to watch my favorite shows or documentaries and talk at the screen to nobody in particular, but my partner, if he’s present. I probably miss about a third of the shows I watch because something triggers an idea or a rant and off I go on a tangent. It may be something as irrelevant as hating on a fictional character or disagreeing on the premise of a documentary. I’m most likely full of myself, but when I’m done ranting, I always feel better for having gotten something off my chest, no matter how trivial.
5) Walk it out. I do a lot of walking. When I’m walking, I’m thinking. When I’m thinking, I talk to myself. When I talk to myself, ideas about problems finally occur to me and I can typically solve half of the world’s problems that way. I always feel refreshed. I also get a sense of gleeful satisfaction looking at the faces of people in cars watching me talk to myself. This is also one of those times that listening to my favorite music comes in handy, when I’m not in the mood to have a personal chat with me, myself, and I.
6) Shut up and drive. Back when I used to have a car, this was something that I absolutely loved doing. I would just choose a direction and just go until I got lost or until I felt better, whichever came first. Turn the music up, while you’re at it.
7) Read something inspiring. I’m a sucker for inspirational quotes and pictures. I sometimes surf social media for just the right quote or photograph to uplift me or something that I can relate to and think to myself that, “yes, somebody gets what I’m going through!” I like to share what I find so that someone else might be inspired, too.
8) Get sexy. Even if you’re by yourself. Sex can be a wonderful stress reliever. Sexual activity can make you feel good once you get that dopamine running through your veins. It’s cheaper than drugs and you don’t need a prescription.
9) Find a hobby. Hobbies are a wonderful distraction from every day life. A hobby can break up the monotony. I crochet, but I, also, blog, write poetry, take online courses, practice guitar, play online games, in my spare time. I’m pretty good at a couple of those things, but I still find joy in trying to get good at the things I’m not-so-good at.
10) Sleep on it. Take a brief nap or go to bed early. Sometimes, just going to sleep and getting some rest can be all I need to get my troubles to marinate into a solution. Of course, I feel better when I well-rested, but also, after not wallowing for several hours, sometimes the solutions to life’s problem come to me much more clearly.
These are just a few of the things that I do to help myself feel better. If none of these things work, and after a number of days of feeling down, if you can’t push your own happiness buttons, then it’s time to call in reinforcements, like a licensed, professional therapist or psychiatrist and get the support you need to help lift you back up.