Perhaps you are that rare kind of person who, no matter what day it is, wakes up ready to let nothing stand in your way of accomplishment and happiness. You’re that guy who smiles at everyone and says hello to your neighbor as you’re skipping out the door. You whistle down the sidewalk, take your time to help an elderly lady cross the street and make sure to give that homeless man the $5 you were planning on spending on your coffee.
Maybe it’s possible for all of us to be like this everyday, all day, no matter what circumstances life throws at you. But the truth is no one is permanently schmuck-like happy all the time. I mean, maybe you know that one dude or chick who is ridiculously bubbly. It’s almost like they’re off the planet, smoking something. But even then, those people tend to often have a side they hide from others.
For example, psychological studies and simple history has documented comedians often afflicted with depression. A UK article earlier this year explains why comedians are a little bit mad and that these funny personalities are similar to those with mental health conditions.
- Jonathan Winters (Bipolar) Died of natural causes almost exactly a year from now- April 11, 2013.
- Robin Williams (Bipolar)
- Ben Stiller (Bipolar)
- Jim Carrey (Bipolar)
- Stephen Fry (Bipolar)
- Drew Carey (Depression)
Comedians Who Died of a Drug Overdose
Comedians Who Attempted Suicide
- Owen Wilson in 2007 after his relationship ended with Kate Hudson
- Drew Carey in earlier years (during his 20s)
- Artie Lange
- Stephen Fry
- Ray Combs
- Micke Dubois
- Tony Hancock
- Richard Jeni
- Shinji Maki
- Paul McCullough
- Ni Min-jan
- Freddie Prinze
- Charles Rocket
- Drake Sather
- Doodles Weaver
Let’s not forget that most of these artists have “dabbled” in some drug use. Richard Pryor had a heavy childhood, as his mother was reportedly a prostitute. Pryor ended up dying of a heart attack, but his well-known battle with earlier drug use and horrific childhood experiences has been well documented. If you are a Pryor fan and haven’t already watched Richard Pryor: Omit The Logic by Showtime, you should consider it.
Only in scripts made for the big screen or in a utopian world that doesn’t exist are people always happy. There is no such thing as even the happiest person on Earth never feeling a day of sadness, frustration, despondency or just having a cranky, bad-hair-day.
Here is the bottom line; we need to understand that just because we feel something it doesn’t necessarily mean that we have to let it run our lives. Our feelings can often consume us, to such an extent that it can cause us to do rather insane things.
You can watch “Snapped” on Oxygen to catch up on all the crazy women who have lived up to the show’s title. You don’t have to look far to find young adults/teens who have decided to take out their frustration or untreated mental illness onto innocent people. Just look at yesterday’s mass stabbing at a high school near Pittsburgh. Then there are all the random shootings but, I’d rather not digress into a full lineup. However, for a list of detailed shootings from 1982-2012, Mother Jones has A Guide to Mass Shootings in America article that is rather thorough.
It’s easy for our feelings to get the best of us. We are a society that is primarily driven by our feelings. Other cultures such as some Asians and even Russians are considered rude to Americans because of their facial expressions or disposition. Work ethics go hand in hand with a serious disposition for some cultures. Unfortunately, how we feel can make our lives either great or miserable. Think about it. If you feel depressed, that feeling affects every part of your life. If you feel lazy, you may not want to do anything. What if you can’t afford to take off work, but you don’t feel like getting out of bed to go to work? How about that weight loss plan you were so stoked about the first of the year? You were so ready to lose that extra 20 pounds or so and now, come April, you are not feeling like hitting the gym.
If you live in a populated city where there is heavy traffic such as Los Angeles, the drive alone can drain you. You definitely don’t feel like exercising after sitting in 1.5 hours of traffic. Come 6 or 7 pm after work, the gym can be super crowded. You may not feel like battling for machines and waiting in line for a treadmill. There are many things we don’t feel like doing. We don’t feel like walking the dogs, dealing with the kids, being in a relationship or dealing with a spouse or partner. If we always went by our feelings and ran away from unpleasant responsibilities, our world would be a whole lot different. We don’t always feel like doing the hard work and putting in the sweat and time. To do anything meaningful in our lives, it takes a whole lot more courage to continue waking up in the morning to do all the tasks, chores, goals, and steps that are on your list regardless of how much you don’t feel like doing them. On more extreme cases, some people give up on living. If they don’t take their own lives on a literal sense, they rob themselves of happiness in so many other ways.
Remember that whenever you start feeling down, frustrated, and you don’t think you are capable of doing something, you’re capable of much more then you realize. What most people fail to remember is that we all have way more power and ability than we think. How much do we really know about the brain? Currently, we are in the 21st Century and the medical science and research world are still baffled by how little we understand our brains. Scientific research and medical experts still conclude that we only use 10% of our noggin.
It’s definitely okay to listen to your body, especially if you push yourself too hard. This concept is the same for people who do not like to take breaks. Even if you do not feel like relaxing, you should and you need to. I tend to work way too much, just recently I found myself forcing myself to take an afternoon to relax and not do anything. Whether you tend to slack off or tend to work yourself too much. Going by your feelings, is not always a good thing. Especially if you suffer from depression, you have to realize that your feelings are not in control of your happiness or ability to get things done.
You are in control of your level of joy. Whether you are feeling anger or wanting to retaliate or feeling depressed and not wanting to get out of bed or do anything. This is not easy, it does take work, effort, and practice. Like a muscle, you have to practice learning how to control your emotions and not react to them in negative ways.
It is time for you to start telling your feelings how to feel, rather than letting your feelings run your life.