Probably one of the most frequent questions that I get on my twitch stream is ,
“Nolan how do you stay positive?”
I’ll tell you. It’s not because bad things or bullshit doesn’t happen to me. I’m just like everyone else, I deal with issues: both those that I make for myself and those that other make for me. But I handle them decently well I would say.
First, I have to thank my number one pillar of support: my mother. She is always there for me and has helped me through so much. She is just a wealth of knowledge and practical insight and without her advice through so many of my troubles I do not know where I would be.
I prize my relationship with my Mother, and I am very thankful for what I have.
Now, for those of you that do not have a good relationship with your mother, it’s not over for you, it doesn’t have to be with a mother in particular. Maybe you might have your Father, or a family member, or another friend. The point is, having someone in your life that can offer solid advice as well as be there for you when you need to talk is paramount.
Life is very hard at times, don’t try to do it alone.
Now, I realize that I come from a privileged position. I have someone in my life to help me through these kinds of moments, and I know that some of you reading this don’t. And that honestly saddens me. I know how tough those nights must be, where you don’t have anyone. But don’t give up hope. Keep meeting people and extending yourself, and someday you just might be able to forge a relationship that will be one that you will prize as well. After all, if you don’t then there will be nothing that you can do to improve your situation. So stay strong, put yourself out there, and make a new friend.
Don’t try too hard though, this often has a way of turning people away. Just let it happen through natural encounters. Maybe I should write a post on how to meet people and make friends some day. That would be a good post.
Second, I keep myself busy. The best way to let something to get to you is to keep on moving and get onto the very next thing: whatever that is. It doesn’t necessarily even have to be important but it just has to keep you occupied. Time truly does heal all things, so let time takes its course and help heal you.
If something is driving you crazy, or distressing you, get away from it as much as possible. Now some things out there have to be dealt with and you cannot escape them, and in these cases I would say that while you cannot just distract yourself, limit your involvement. If you are going through a really tough breakup, or divorce, or death of a loved one, foreclosure, etc., make sure that you do not let this problem consume your life. Spend time playing a game you enjoy, work, or a creative outlet so that you have some time away from the issue. Too much time dwelling on the problem is just going to get you down and likely make your handling of the situation even worse.
I don’t tell people to “not think about it” because we all know that that just does not work. This is why I advise distracting yourself. This effectively does make your brain not think about it, but in a way that actually works.
If I say “don’t think about a purple elephant.” What do you think you are thinking about now.
A purple elephant.
But If you start working on a creative project that is about anything other than a purple elephant, I sure bet you aren’t thinking about a purple elephant now are you. And there is my point. Keep yourself distracted and keep the bullshit away.
My first tip for staying positive was relational, my second tip was practical, but my third tips is stranger one. It is honestly very spiritual. Just think about how you are alive for a second. You actually get to be alive and be conscious. This is a very peculiar thing. At times very scary, but also immensely beautiful and humbling. You could just literally not be. And in fact one day you will not be. So remember, your time is numbered. Life is finite. So enjoy it. Sure, today might suck. Or this one video game match might suck. Or this one relationship really sucked.
But you are alive. Don’t use your one life thinking about things that suck.
Make the most of it. Every second you had is now gone in just a moment. So often times, remembering my mortal state can put things in perspective for me. This method doesn’t always work to keep my positive, but there are times it does.
My last tip would be to drown yourself in what moves you. For me, that is music. If I am feeling a certain way I can put on a song and it just resonates through my entire being. If you are like me, listen to music. But also, be smart. Don’t listen to music that makes you more depressed. Listen to a genre or song that helps move you in the right direction. It’s what I do every day. I use my playlists as a way to be an effective soundtrack to my life and get from point A to point B.
This is why I really need to start making music. It means so much to me, I need to just get on it more. Today I was going through some drama and I wrote some lyrics that really reflected what I was going through and honestly I think would make a great song.
Taylor Swift I get you.
On that note, I think I will end this post. Staying positive is not an easy thing, but the more you try to do it and set it as your goal, e.g. to be a positive, happy human being, then it becomes more natural and gets easier. I still get down from time to time, but I almost always bounce back the next day and return to my chipper self. And I appreciate everyone on my twitch stream who realizes this. I’m not going to always be 100% positive every night on stream, but I promise that if I am being sad, or salty, that I will get back to my real self quickly.
And tonight I will be.
See you in the chat, and keep smiling,