Are we becoming infected?
I am afraid sometimes that I am. Yikes!
The whining, the criticizing, the condemning, the blaming, the bellyaching, the awfulizing, the complaining, the catastrophizing, the obsessing… all delivered by so many victims and malcontents. Oh my, enough already!
For many decades, the media has routinely delivered the news and it has almost always been bad. Whether you see it, read it, or listen to it… it is 90% BAD NEWS.
Remember, the news media’s goal is to make you come back to keep consuming the news. And, the most powerful method to get people hooked is to make sure they are consumed with fear, anger, and worry; the objective is to keep you feeling bad in order that you keep coming back for more. Fear, guilt, and anger, have long since been emotions to keep people hooked on bad news and wanting another “fix.” Bad emotions are more powerful and addictive than good ones.
Like you perhaps, over many years, I’ve taken regular inventory of what is in the news and most of it seems to be all the same. People are lying, killing one another, mistreating each other, acting stupid, breaking the law, betraying one another, and in trouble. Of course, there are some popular topics like sports as well as fashion, events, and entertainment.
At the same time, ongoing daily news issues remain ubiquitous including money, the economy, education, housing, food, politics, drugs, health, security, weather, traffic, resources, human behavior, and character deficits. You often end up afraid, cautious, worried, disgusted, and well-defended to protect yourself from all these bad situations and chowderheads.
How much do you find yourself complaining with your friends and family about all the bad issues that are promoted on the news? Sometimes you might notice that you get seduced into the contest of “Who is the most oppressed person?” Misery loves company.
While all this is familiar and right on schedule, how much does it appear that you are lately becoming MORE infected by all the bad news? It seems the world is getting worse as time goes by. Many more of us are divided and polarized. We all seem to be getting CRANKIER than ever before.
How much do you think that with all this obsessing, that your state of mind about your environment might be becoming a bit distorted? For example, research suggests that most Americans tend to think that the world is a much MORE violent place than it actually is.
I tend to be an optimistic guy. My whole professional scope of practice is to help and equip people with skills and habits to be mentally healthy, and get the most out of life while building outstanding and valuable relationships along the way.
At the same time, over the recent years, it seems like with all the ongoing VOLUME of bad news being broadcast, I notice that I am perhaps becoming INFECTED by it all. I am afraid that sometimes I am turning into someone I dislike! I notice now that occasionally I become cranky, critical, intolerant, unforgiving, hard, and disgusted. Everywhere I look, I see the deterioration of standards, the insanity of people’s habits, and the HUGE number of people who are CRANKY. Well, what do you know? They are behaving like me!
Am I perhaps becoming infected? How embarrassing. I could actually be turning into the very people who are the target of my disapproval. I might be behaving like a CRANKY OLD POOP! This is unacceptable. I am too young to be compared with Norman of “On Golden Pond.” Oh my!
Ask yourself, is it productive and helpful to behave this way? Hardly!!!
One recurring thing I have noticed over my lifetime, is that if I am noticing and feeling something, it’s very likely MANY people are also feeling and experiencing the same thing.
Here is the question for you… does this infection I am experiencing sound familiar? Could you also be turning into someone you dislike? Think about it. How much are you becoming impatient, criticizing, bellyaching, whining, blaming, worrying, catastrophizing, and awfulizing? How much are you now hostage to your fear and suspicion? How much have you become passive-aggressive? Worse, how much have you found yourself wallowing around in the “delicious agony of life?”
If any of this sounds like you (or certainly some of your friends and family), are you sick of this? Are you behaving in a way that you dislike? Remember your identity is often defined by two sources:
- I AM WHAT I DO! Your state of mind is highly impacted by what you do.
- I AM WHO I’M WITH! Your mind state is also influenced by your relationships.
What are you doing and with whom are you doing it? If you are CRANKY and regularly affiliating with a group of CRANKY people in your network you could be getting infected and you might be spreading the virus around.
Well, I am going to do something about this! I have decided to NOW arrest this budding infection in me, and treat it with some fine medicine with all deliberate speed.
What might we ALL do about this escalating disease of “Chronic Acute Cranky Poop Syndrome?” Well, do something different with a different group.
If you live in the USA, it is very likely you are fortunate to enjoy a standard of living that is often much better than many other countries. Here there is so much to appreciate, admire, reinforce, learn, and enjoy. And if this is so, then what is the point of perhaps turning into a CRANKY POOP?
Remember this axiom, WHAT YOU FOCUS ON EXPANDS!
Instead of continuing the whining and criticizing, I have decided to re-read, restore, and re-establish some of the initiatives in my scope of practice material on EMBRACING THE OBVIOUS.
Life is to be enjoyed. When you take life too seriously, you have serious problems! It’s time for me to again find my smile and what are your thoughts about finding yours again?
You are invited and encouraged to join me with any (or all) of the following, and remember to keep your identity in mind:
- I am what I do.
- I am who I’m with.
- Check in on others who matter to you. Call them to say, “Hey, I miss you. I am thinking about you, and want to know how you are doing.”
- Call someone you love and say, “Have I told you lately that I love you?”
- Call or write someone and say, “Happy birthday!” or “Congratulations!”
- Write a condolence letter to someone. This will really touch their heart.
- Write a letter of support to someone who is going through a tough time.
- Introduce yourself to your neighbors. Have them over for a reception. Make it a potluck because when everyone brings something, they all feel relaxed.
- Find a recipe that sounds good, get the ingredients and cook it. Better still, invite some people over to join you in the preparation. This can be fun.
- Do something thoughtful for someone or some people. Donate your time, go the extra mile, deliver more than you promise, perform a random act of kindness. You get more than you give when you give more than you get.
GO DO IT!
- Go dancing – by yourself, or with someone, in public or at home. It is hard to feel miserable when you are dancing and if you are concerned that your dancing skills are poor. Remember that dancing is really just simply wiggling. So turn on your favorite song and start wiggling to the beat.
- Get more education. Go learn something. Take a language class, or a seminar, or learn about something that has always fascinated you. Stretch. When you expand your mind, you expand your horizons.
- Take a walk and notice the trees, the flowers, and the environment. Breathe, smell, notice, and say hello to people on your walk.
- Go exercise; simply MOVE! It is hard to feel anxious or depressed when you have worked up a sweat.
- Remember when you are having good time, be sure to notify your face. Smile!
- Turn off the technology and read a book. Take your time and enjoy it.
- Watch a funny movie or a funny TV show. Laugh. Then laugh some more, and then some more after that! We who laugh, last.
- Clean out the house. You likely have entirely too much stuff. Take one room at a time, and give yourself permission to:
- Throw it out.
- Give it away.
- Sell it.
- Fix it, organize it, and use it again.
- Write your autobiography. You will be amazed what you learn about yourself. It is very therapeutic for you, and very helpful for your family to learn more about you. Write a little every day and keep going.
REPLACE WHAT YOU WANT TO STOP.
- Reinforce more than you criticize.
- Forgive more than you condemn.
- Reach out more than you withhold.
- Smile more than you frown.
- Connect more than you withdraw.
- Laugh more than you cry.
- Be more open than being closed.
- Listen more than you preach.
- Trust more than you are suspicious.
- Be more flexible than being rigid.
- Solve it more than you describe it.
- Let it go more than you take it personally.
- Let them be more than you put them down.
- Make the first move and be proactive more than being reactive.
- Get on the dance floor first.
- Touch their lives more than waiting for your life to be touched.
- Love what you can love and let the rest go.
You think of some more things to do.
LIFE IS TOO SHORT TO WASTE YOUR TIME BEING CRANKY!
Ask others to join you on this new journey. Help them learn to embrace the obvious.
It’s common sense, and common sense is very uncommon!
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS?