Tag Archives: tips

How DO You Deal with Sadness?

On the tumblr account I recently created (if you need me I’ll be over here, keeping up with ALL the hottest trends of 2007), someone asked the anonymous question:

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“How do you deal with sadness?”

Most tumblr questions I answer only insofar as they are interesting to me and/or present the opportunity to be funny via amusing myself and occasionally others (and so the circle of narcissism comes full…well, circle (I was in trouble like four words into that one)).

However, the above question struck me as one frequently on the minds of many young folk (and their not-so-young brethren such as myself), and seemed deserving of a slightly more in-depth answer than would befit the norms of that site. I’m fortunate because I’m generally one of the more positive humans I know, and I have primarily positive and uplifting people in my life, so I don’t find myself in this sort of situation very often. But when I do, it’s as potent as any other emotional state.

The answer (like all good answers), isn’t one answer. The answer is three answers. For me, at least. So far. It may be more by the time I’m done writing this thing out.

“How do you deal with sadness?”

Answer number one: I surround myself with the people, things, and activities that bring me joy.
This may seem the most obvious of the three, but the principle is simple: if you’re going to create an environment of sadness/negativity, you are going to have a lot of trouble not being sad. I’m not saying it’s not possible, you’re just creating more work for yourself than is necessary. I know sometimes when I get sad I don’t *feel* like being happy or being taken away from my world of wallowing (not to be confused with World of Wallowing, the less popular online role-playing game I invented), so instead of going right from sobbing to playing on the trampoline, it’s nice to have something in place that will act as a stepping stone, so instead of taking you from “depressed” to “overwhelmingly joyous” maybe it’s something that takes you from “depressed” to “pleasantly apathetic.” For me, it means instead of watching Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (a movie I absolutely love but does nothing to bolster my mood) — but also not being ready for the laugh-riot that is Anchorman or Dumb & Dumber — I might watch a sports documentary or a Wes Anderson film (sad but not too sad, comedy but not uproariously laugh-driven). The same is true with people; if you’re an introvert and you’re feeling down, you might not want to hit the super hip rager of a party that the popular kids are throwing, but maybe having a couple friends over to drink hot chocolate and watch Netflix (I like movies, if you haven’t gathered that already) would be enough to bolster your spirits. Maybe you’ll think it a bit passé, but I also enjoy reading with some calming but bright background music (classical, jazz, Anderson Cale) as an activity to counteract malaise.

Answer the second: I let God/Jesus do the heavy lifting.
This may not be a very popular or “cool” answer, but truthfully a lot of what gives me comfort when I’m sad or depressed is the hope that comes from relationship with Jesus as Savior. It removes a lot of the pressure that I put on myself or my successes/failures or my environment/circumstances to provide me with happiness and/or a sense of purpose, and lets me rest easy in the hope of Christ. Ultimately, the foundation of my joy comes from the wellspring of eternal love that is God, and all of life’s earthly concerns and sad matters fall into appropriately-lesser perspective by comparison.

Answer three: I don’t.
I don’t want to seem like I’m promoting the idea of wallowing in one’s own sadness, but a myth that is incorrectly perpetuated is that one needs to find a *solution* to sadness at all. The truth of the matter is that in many intense instances (death of a loved one, loss of a career, eviction, etc.), heavy sadness is a very real and very necessary response. And the same is true with lesser sad events as well. Your body is built to respond with sadness as a way to respond and reflect, and I find that meditating through the sad times can be a healthy and effective way to process and learn from sadness. If you broke your leg, you wouldn’t begrudge your body the time it needed to heal & repair, and the same is true for your emotional body as well. So oftentimes when I’m struck with sadness, I’ll let it run its course, spend some time in prayer and reflection, and let it provide the sharp contrast that makes my happiness all the brighter.

So, my anonymous occasionally-sad chum, maybe some of this is helpful to you, maybe it’s not, but either way this is how I process through the sad times, and it works for me. And if none of that helps, there’s always alcohol. Please drink responsibly.

Play on,
Dustin

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The Five Stages of When a Pretty Girl Talks to You

Spring is in the air, which means attractive women will be popping out of the woodwork left and right in your everyday life. Now don’t worry, most of these hot girls won’t even notice you, and the ones that do definitely won’t want to interact with you…however, the law of averages says that at some point a cute gal is going to need you for something (like doing her math homework or giving up your place in the movie theater line so her and her friends can see Spring Breakers, etc.), so in order to give you a fighting chance when that situation arises, I’ve written a brief guide to assist you…

Wait...why is she looking over here? Oh God, her mouth is making sounds at me, OH GOD SAVE ME!

Wait…why is she looking over here? Oh God, her mouth is making sounds at me, OH GOD SAVE ME!

The Five Stages of When a Pretty Girl Talks to You:

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30 in 30, Day 24: NFL ProTips

Ok so I’m asked a lot about my advice for the NFL season, and while I don’t claim to have any inside knowledge, it seemed like a good time to share some of my tips and tricks for the real life and fantasy pro football season.

Tip 1) Don’t overpay for Chris Johnson. One of my fantasy football drafts was an auction draft, and I got Chris Johnson for about $10 under what he was worth. This is good fantasy math, but terrible regular math. But be wary, guys who just held out for big contract extensions rarely live up to their new dollar value right away.

Tip 2) Pick a good RB corps: it’s a run-heavy league, make sure you’re not left in the dust! Or worse, other clichés! Manage your team’s running backs like the Baltimore Ravens manage theirs: a solid rotation of three good backs, and a standing rule never to make eye contact with Ray Lewis.
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30 in 30, Day 13: Ten Twitter Tips for Tons of Followers

“I hope someday you’ll join us, and the world will live as one.” — Lennon, John.
“I hope someday you’ll join us, and the world will live as one.” — Lenin, Vladmir.

A famous Tears for Fears song states that “everybody wants to rule the world,” and while I find that difficult to believe of, say, Carrot Top, it certainly seems like a person’s outreach is at a higher premium than in any age prior. That brings me to twitter. Even if you don’t have a twitter account, you’re most certainly aware of it — even if you aren’t quite sure what it is.  What it amounts to is outreach, with a higher ceiling than any of the mediums that preceded it.  On twitter, you are measured in “followers” — and in many cases, pressured to acquire more and more followers…starting to sound a lot more like Lenin, aren’t we?  Well never fear, comrade, for whether you’re a twitter newbie or a seasoned micro-blogger, I’ve sifted through millions of tweets, twerps, twits, and twinkies to bring you the Top Ten Tips that are guaranteed to increase your followers in droves, and bring you the supporters you deserve. Rise up, and read on.

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The First Time I Sold Myself (aka Handbook for the Sellout)

Somewhere betwixt the early 20th century and the late 20th century, it became very vogue for “discerning artistic consumers” (read: pretentious A-holes) to ridicule successful artists for “selling out”.  The idea being that any artist able to turn a profit in their medium (music, acting, writing, painting, etc.), had clearly abandoned their ideals and convictions in order to do so.  After they sold out, they became puppets of The Man, and as such, were incapable of producing anything genuine and spectacular anymore, which made them less cool in the eyes of the “in the know” consumers — and by association served as a way for these same D-bags to judge the people who still supported said artist.  These hip, trendy consumers have clearly never had to pay rent before — because how else could they possibly justify hating on people who have spent years struggling to eke out a living in the arts unless they’d never had any bills or financial responsibilities of their own; and as a result, were totally oblivious to the fact that artists have to support themselves and their families on something other than dreams and smiles.

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