Wednesday, October 14, 2009
It feels fitting that in this week that I blog on something related to the Flaming Lips, what with the release of Embryonic and all that. So anyways, way back in my first year of uni, during an accounting class, the professor showed some interesting facts to keep people awake amidst the boring material. One of them was about how the Japanese believe that the human mind or body goes through a cycle. That is, there are good days and bad days and in betweens. They even model the rostering of pilots on the cycle.
Now I’m not going to find this study and base my life on their research because I have spent four years since then doing my own research. Basically I agree that no matter what level of happiness you live at and how much it may fluctuate from the average each day, you can’t deny that there will always be bad days. Maybe the enlightened are exempt from this rule, but most of us aren’t quite there yet.
I consider myself fairly happy and healthy right now but I still get some shitty days. And I think the best way to deal with shitty days is first to be conscious of them. Firstly, doing this helps me recognise how often I have the bad days. Luckily for me it seems like a lot less frequent than in years gone past and they aren’t as bad either.
But they still occur and it feels like a combination of a tired body, an irritable mind, short temper, high levels of self pity and a stronger urge to say fuck it. Generally speaking, it is a state of mind that is ready to self implode and in doing so fuelling itself to stay shitty. Because of this, just being aware of bad days isn’t enough. I think the trick is to maintain enough objectivity in you to avoid letting the bad day consume you and become a couple bad days, or a bad week.
One thing I always tell myself is that I’m not going to do any decision making when I’m in a bad mood. With my whole being feeling like crap, it is no state to make any important decisions. Decisions should be made when you are in a good mood, because these decisions will help sustain that healthy feeling. For example, choosing to learn an instrument or start exercising daily are often made when you feel good and know what is good for you. Decisions made when you feel like shit are probably laced with self pity and fear and greed.
A good thing to do is try stick to your principles even if you really don’t want to. You might be more inclined to lie, cheat, steal or give up on a bad day. I have been doing push ups before showering recently and the other day I really didn’t want to because I was in a shitty mood, but I still did them and felt better for it. It’s kind of like sticking with your sport team through the dark years of consecutive losses and wooden spoons. The good years feel even better after fighting through the bad ones.
Another good trick is to get creative when you feel shitty. I like to try channel the real feelings to help create a character who is inherently evil, or sad or something like that. Many musicians, writers and artists create magical things on the back of heart ache or rough patches. And this creativity could move or inspire other people or just yourself. Being creative gets your brain going and that should usually help improve your mood anyway. Also, looking back over what I have written has been funny sometimes. I still have a coke rage ramble that I scribbled down when in Peru that provides a funny insight into the mind of a drugged out Eden.
Finally, find your Sun and use it to remind you of what is real in this world. Find your passions and relationships and all your bad days will end.
- Eden (while listening to The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner - Ben Folds Five)