- Art by Ryan Putnam (here’s where you can find more of his stuff!)
- 9:29 A.M.
- Mood: jittery/content.
So, I’ve been sitting at my desk at work, obsessively scrolling through posts on Reddit (surprise, surprise!) in a little Subreddit called “Wholesome Memes”. It was just something that I thought to passively do to keep up the look of “being busy” (I’m quite sure that there are more productive things I could be doing, but this is what I’m doing instead for now), but I started to realize that it was quickly turning into more than that.
I started to feel happier and more excited about life. I was like, “Woah, what the hell, where is this feeling coming from?”. I’m used to coming to work, feeling like an apathetic robot most of the time, and miming the superficial actions of others to try to get by in daily interactions. But, all of a sudden, looking through these positive, uplifting memes, I found myself thinking about things to look forward to, daydreaming about a happy future, and feeling a bit more confident in myself.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: “How do lame memes turn this human’s whole mindset around like that?”. Well, to be honest, I’m not sure. I’m fully aware that this could be a very temporary change of pace for me, and that I could go back to feeling like shit the moment I stop looking at these things.
But, this really brought something important to my attention: Not only must you practice having positive self-talk in your mind, but you must also pay attention to what kinds of things you take into your mind on a daily basis.
This isn’t really a new thing, but I was actually surprised at how a subtle change in what you look at on the internet can even change your perspective on your life, for at least a little while. I spend most of my time either on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram or Reddit, and I always found myself feeling the same day after day. I’d feel anxious, spaced out, overwhelmed, pessimistic, and really bad about myself. This wasn’t totally due to what I looked at, but I did have to start paying attention to what I was looking at. I was looking at the lives of people who make their lives seem better than they actually are, and comparing my life to theirs. I was looking at beautiful girls that I felt inferior to, and comparing myself to them. I was looking at comments from very toxic and closed-minded communities online, and I was looking at self-deprecating humor.
Well, damn, no wonder I was feeling so crappy about everything. I was constantly going to these sources that were posed as portable comfort zones, and feeding myself such negativity for hours on end, on a daily basis. The mind is very malleable, so if you see enough of one thing, your mind is gonna soak it ALL up, and make it a reality. I was creating quite a grim, insecure reality for myself.
I, for one, feel like I’m ready to stop doing that to myself. While I may be only in a state of temporary euphoria, I understand that continuing to expose myself to things that put me in this state could very much lead to a more optimistic outlook on my days. Sure, I still have my mental illnesses, and I’ll definitely still have a lot of moments where I feel hopeless and stuck in my head. But, that doesn’t mean I should stop trying to make myself feel better by exploring optimism as often as I can.
So, I just wanted to pass that onto whoever reads this. Really take a look at what you’re reading up on every day. There’s a place for reality, what’s going on in the world, and staying up to date on what your high school classmate is doing (not really that last one, though). But, for the sake of your mental health and life outlook, that shouldn’t be all you’re exposed to. Look up music that makes you feel like doing a little jig. Scope out acts of kindness that restore your faith in humanity. Comment on someone’s status, telling them that you hope they’re having a great life.
Most importantly, groom what you put into your mind. Take in all the positivity that you can. You have control over what your mind makes into your reality.
(Also, if you wanted to get in on all the cutesy positivity I was raving about in this post, feel free to drop into the “Wholesome Memes” subreddit here!)