Contrary

Reading time: 2 mins

Back to work in the morning and I’m quite looking forward to it, be good to catch up with people, and start the new year with enthusiasm.

Or am I just saying that?

And, even if I am just saying it, is that enough to actually make me believe it?

You see, despite coming across as a fairly happy kinda guy, and whilst I have nothing to complain about in my life, I do tend towards morosity (if that’s a word), pessimism, cynicism and down right dour-facedness. It’s just that I tend to keep that part of me bottled up.

In fact, I am so conscious of the fact that I tend to over-compensate and that leads to my current state of mind where I find myself managing to affect my thinking simply by suggesting what I want it to dwell on.

So, instead of pondering the awfulness that is my first 6am rise in just over 2 weeks, I am focussing on what I have to get done in the next week and wondering about what other people have been up to, and with that I find myself looking forward to the first few days back in the office.

It’s the same with the whole “Humbug” thing. I’ve been actively fighting that mindset for a couple of years now and have to admit that, last year, I embraced Christmas a whole lot more than I have done previously.

I guess, after going through a (thankfully) short bout of depression several years back, I tend to find the good in situations and people because, if I don’t, I ended up all gloomy and morose. I’m not forcing myself into any sort of false cheeriness or anything, but I do seem able to better control my moods these days.

Although that does mean that I’m in danger of turning into one of those awful people who is constantly cheery about everything, all the time. I went to school with a guy like that, couldn’t stand him.

Anyone else do this kind of thing?

9 comments

  1. Trying to have a positive mindset, focussing on the good things in you life rather than the things that bring you down, can be very effective. I’ve had depression and worse on and off for ten years and have tried just about everything you ever hear about to put the beast in its place. I was lucky enough to attend a conference for a national organisation that provides a listening service for people experiencing emotional distress; the best conference I’ve ever been to. One of the sessions, based on research from Dr Richard Stevens, discussed a list of “Happiness Tools” which I’ve kept stuck on my fridge door since:

    Get Physical: take at least half an hour of exercise three times a week.
    Count your blessings: At the end of the day, reflect on things you are happy about.
    Talk time: have an hour long conversation with your partner or closest friend each week.
    Plan something: even if it’s just a window box or a plant on th kitchen window ledge, and keep it alive.
    Cut your TV viewing by half: or at least be more selective.
    Smile at/ say hello to a stranger at least once a day.
    Phone a friend: make contact with at least one friend or relation you haven’t seen for a while and arrange to meet up.
    Have a good laugh at least once a day.
    Every day make sure you give yourself a treat, and take time to enjoy it.
    Daily kindness: do an extra good turn for someone else each day.

    Attendees added many more to the list, but I am looking forward to getting back into work today too, and have to do my half hour on the treadmill before I hit the shower now…….
    Have a great day.

  2. I am tempted to start singing ‘Always Look on the Bright Side of Life’.

    I think it is important to get a perspective on things. Sometimes problems are so serious, they ought to be taken seriously, and I’m actually not very good at that.

    But it’s so easy to get het up about the most trivia and peripheral of things, with no consequences. I was rereading one of my own blog posts last night, where I had written ‘if smudging my nail varnish and leaving my phone at home are the worst things that happen, life isn’t bad’, but you can imagine that at the time, for a while they seemed fairly catastrophic. Which is pathetic. And many problems that are bigger than that are very resolvable, they just require action and patience

  3. I incline to melancholy myself and could be very solitary and introspective if I gave myself the chance. I don’t. Much better to be happy and like people.

  4. I guess that’s the whole fake it till you feel it thing. I had to pretend I was bright and happy today at work when really I wanted to give them all the two fingered salute. But the previous 2 days there had been utterly miserable and I couldn’t face giving in to feeling. So I understand where you’re coming from. 6am though? Ugh!

  5. In my experience, us Scots are a miserable bunch of cunts and we really have to fight to remain cheerful. I now live in the US in a really sunny place, and I find myself getting really fucking pissed off with the constant nice weather. I almost feel an obligation to feel happy and cheerful. I’m delighted when the weather’s overcase, as then I can revert back to being miserable and morose.

    By the way, can I become a member of your “Scottish Blogs” list even though I’m a loose woman?

  6. See, I wish I could do the over compensation end up feeling cheerful kind of thing. I’m obsessed with how gloomy and pessimistic I am at the moment. I think about smiling, but it comes out as a grimace. How do you do it? It simply can’t be that simple?!

  7. Why can’t it Alex? It’s amazingly powerful to take a moment to look at something in a different way, and smile.

    It’s sounds very twee I know but there is a moment in the film American Beauty that captures this.. that bag swirling in the breeze. Simple but kinda beautiful in a way.

  8. OK, maybe it can be simple. I guess my question is, how do you make yourself stop in the instant and choose to react differently? I know the theory, but seem incapable of putting it into practice. I’ll sudenly realise that I’m scowling and grumbling when I could/should have done is taken a deep breath and smiled and done something differently – but too late. It’s like I’m slightly out of synch…

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