Stop Peeing in Your Wheaties: 9 Sure-Fire Ways to Reverse Stinking Thinking

It’s said that “whatever we place in our magical magnifying mind grows.” If you’ve ever had a “spiral downward” sort of day, you know what I mean.

It seems like bad days sort of cave in on themselves.

They might start out okay. But then they become sort of “crappy lite.” Perhaps you break a nail or run your stockings (support hose?) while you’re in a hurry.

Then, the car doesn’t start, and you’re running late, and when you get to work someone at the morning meeting decides she’s going to Pee in Your Wheaties and, before you know it, you’re having a bona fide Crappy Ass Day or, CAD as they’re known in the Industry. (Yes, I just made that CAD thing up, but I get to do that because I’m writing and you’re reading.)

Anyway, CAD days are easily enough transformed into GLAD days (or, Glad my Ass is Alive Day) if you decide to focus your Magical Magnifying Mind on what is RIGHT with your life.

But sometimes, you just don’t want to participate in your own happiness. You’re down in the muck with your sourpuss self and you just don’t want to give up the sh*t because, at the time, there just ain’t no brand of shinola that feels as comfortable.

This is where the trouble really starts. Because, once you get comfortable being uncomfortable in a miserable situation, it becomes increasingly more difficult to shake both your negative feelings AND the negative consequences those feelings attract.

When you get to that point, and you’re ready to “Quit Your Bitching. Change Your Life,” here are 9 Turn-Around Strategies that are GUARANTEED to work. (I say “guaranteed” because, if they don’t work, the Universe will gladly refund your misery.)

To come back to the Land of Joyful Living, you could . . .

1. Monetize your negativity binge. What is it costing you to be negative right now? Write that down.

2. Trick yourself out of it.  Here’s a game I play – “If I wasn’t thinking about my crappy ass life, what would I be thinking about instead?” Then, think about those things.

3. Make peer pressure work for you.  Consider this — what do the people you admire think about the particular worry that has captured your attention?

4. Tell on your bad self. Take peer pressure one step further and call a member of your Wisdom Circle and tell her all your best sorry tales of woe. (See if you can do this and not be giggling by the end of the call.)

5. Look for the “why” and the “what.” In other words, “why” are you thinking about this stuff and “what” do you get out of staying stuck in your misery? Is it attention? Are you punishing yourself for something? Are you keeping yourself small so that you don’t outgrow the people in your life? (Ha! Nailed it, didn’t I?!)

6. Help someone else.  The surest way out of misery is to offer service to someone else. (Caution: NEVER use this tool if you are really invested in self-pity. It is a sure-fire self-pity vanquisher.)

7. Make appointments with your misery. If you can’t give up your suffering, at least build a container around it. Schedule dates with your misery and then only allow yourself to feel it during the pre-appointed times. When you’re not having a misery appointment, do something else.

8. Ask your sadness what it wants.  Yes, this is the most “woo woo” of the suggestions for the day, but if you’ve made it this far, you must trust me just a little. Sit down with a paper and pencil and ask your suffering what it wants from you. Then, WRITE DOWN what “suffering” says back to you. Don’t scoff. Just do.

9. Nap, exercise, prayer, meditation, and hot fudge sundaes with Spanish peanuts.  Pick any two. And repeat until you feel better.

And now we’re at your turn.

What are your Best Tips for vanquishing misery? I look forward to reading them in the Wisdom Circle comments below.

In fact, I’m going to “bookmark” your ideas for the next time I decide to throw myself a Pity Party. I’ll make myself some hors d’oeuvres, sit down with my misery, and meander through your wisdom.

Blessed Be! Love, Jennifer

Photo: Flickr, meddygarnet

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34 Responses to Stop Peeing in Your Wheaties: 9 Sure-Fire Ways to Reverse Stinking Thinking

  1. Cindy says:

    I was at a public speaking contest last night and one of the topics was “Smiles”. By the end of that speech I was beaming. Just the simple act of putting a smile on your face can change how you are feeling. Next time you are feeling grumpy or want to get out of a frump — try putting a smile on your face. It works!!!

  2. Lynais says:

    Vanquish the misery (I like that phrase): Create something, change something, make something better!

  3. Shawn says:

    I love your 9 Strategies. My favorite is to help someone else. I call it taking my eyes off me. I always come away happy when I can help someone else and stop thinking about my sad self.

    • Jennifer says:

      You’re right, of course. BUT, you should NEVER help someone out if you are really invested in your misery. Because service work kills hopelessness. Every time. 🙂

  4. Maureen says:

    Get up and get out. Outside, in nature, I mean (not your relationship or marriage…)
    The Great Outdoors is a great healer. Fresh air brings in fresh thinking (and airs out the stinking thinking you are writing about!) Just a change in venue can bring a change in you!

  5. helen says:

    i am in with nap and chocolate
    totally CAD day today and my wisdom circle hates me :/

    started taking st. johns now
    so we will see
    tomorrow is … hopefully … another day
    more chocolate please

    • Jennifer says:

      Then you need a new Wisdom Circle, love. Your WS might give you a sweet little kick in the ass, but if they “hate” you, that means they’re not on your team. Either fire them or light a fire to yourself. I like starting with the nap and chocolate. That should do it, actually.

      • helen says:

        maybe the “hate me” turns out to be a “we don.t like you today but might love forever” … we will see

        and i am going to extend the wisdom cirlce 🙂

        nap was great and now i am spending the evening on the couch with chocolate 🙂

  6. Marian Kramer says:

    When I feel anxious or sad I sometimes write the script in my head :”How Marian Kramer Changed the World When She Won the Lottery”

    Then I think of what I’d do first, pay all debt. Then pay all debt for my family. Then pay all debt for my friends. Next, how I’d fix up the house I’ve lived in for 20 years. Next the vacation I’d buy for all my friends and family. Eventually, I get out of the funk and find a smile on my face.

    • Jennifer says:

      Can I be your friend? And how big is the lottery you plan to win. If it’s not all that big, I may need to be included in the “family” category.

  7. Julie says:

    Oh my God, Oh my God, Oh my God! I MUST have a good, old fashoned “Tin Roof Sundae” immediately. I don’t care that it’s only 10am. I’m getting one, ASAP!

    • Jennifer says:

      And there you have it. The Farrell’s Fan I’ve been looking for all my life!!! I believe it was the “Parlor’s Tin Roof Sundae” and it was really expensive, like a buck 97. OMG, Julie, I just Googled it and LOOK — they are in California!!!!!!

      Did you already know? Ours went away about 30 years ago???

  8. Ruth Seba says:

    Brilliant, title, content… CAD days, to GLAD days tip would have to be some humour, if it can be found. Talking or on-line chatting with a friend, a lot of my friends are on different time zones but there are a few I can rely on more locally and it is so nice just knowing they are there.

  9. Caron says:

    “Are you keeping yourself small so that you don’t outgrow the people in your life?”

    Ha! This is one of the precepts of my current (second and LAST) marriage. It’s a cliché for my husband an me now, but one of the underpinnings of our marriage is that we always be open to growing and learning from each other in order to grow together. It was one of the powerful lessons I learned from my first marriage.


    Anyway, re vanquishing misery. I get miserable when I am tired, hungry, or have to go to pee really badly. About a week before my period the Black Cloud of Doom hovers over me and I shut off from the world for a few days. It’s not a time to talk to me about finances or anything else that demands me to be present in anything more than a superficial way. If those demands are made, I will bite. I will curl up on my bed with a warm blanket my mom made me and my computer and have a marathon session of watching documentaries or a series on Netflix.

    I’m trying to be more communicative about what I’m going through with my husband. He’s very understanding when I am able to communicate better. I will gladly accept hugs and food while I’m in hibernation mode.

    • Jennifer says:

      Awesomeness. I am REALLY fortunate this time because I’m going on a retreat tonight. I have so much spriritual reading and writing to catch up on AND it’s a women’s retreat. Then, I’m speaking on Sunday night, so that always gets me going to!!

      I’m really enjoying getting to know beautiful you, Caron. J

  10. Jenny says:

    My mom always said: no matter how bad you think you have it, there are MANY people who are MUCH worse off. I totally agree with Shawn–someone will always need help, and that always takes your mind off your problems!

    Great post Jen!

  11. Jeanette says:

    I love and use many of your 9, but for those truly crappy pity-parties, I have resorted to an SNL line…’Really!?’ Am I Really going to forget how far I’ve come? Am I Really sure that I want a whole day to belong to the doldrums? Is there Really nothing better to do; am I Really going to let someone else control my happiness, my mind?’ I won’t lie: there are days when the Pause sisters (Peri and Mennie, as I fondly refer to them) have won, but I still manage to get up and go most of the time! Thanks for your Blog! Just catching up and and laughter is a great way to start a Friday!

  12. Cheryl R says:

    Great post. Love tip #2. I read your post while waiting on line at the bank drive-though, and couldn’t wait to get home and re-read. I’m going to try #2 right now. Thanks.

  13. I have a couple of CAD busters:
    Play some music that moves me or makes me want to sing! Its so hard to be grumpy and sing at the top of your voice – in the car – on the freeway – with people looking at me as if I’m odd 🙂 or laughing as they pass.

    When I feel less than fabulous I make a gratitude list, in my head or on paper, of all the things I’m grateful for – its unbelievable how abundant life is when you stop to notice…

  14. Joy says:

    I’m a little late to the party 🙂 but better late than never, hey !!! I was having a CAD morning until I discovered (thanks Universe ♥) and started reading your blog (is this a blog?). Humour is definitely a CAD buster for me, and the subject of my humour right now is ME – I have just realised I have an “inner Drama Queen”. My ‘inner child’ is a little Drama Queen – picture a three year old in a pair of adult high heel shoes (red, of course), a wonky Tiara, hands on hips and a huge pout, stomping around trying to get some attention.
    Journaling (creative journaling or art journaling) is a CAD buster for me too. Letting it all out in a creative way. I’m off to journal about my new discovery, my inner Drama Queen !!!
    I am so glad to have found you ♥

  15. Diana says:

    To prevent the taking-myself-too-seriously routine, I keep a battery-operated jesters hat in my closet. I simply cannot wallow in self pity while wearing it.

    • Jennifer says:

      I thought you were going to say a “battery-operated cattle prod” which tells us that I need to take a break pretty soon. Thanks or the giggle, Diana!

  16. Pingback: Does My Happiness Disturb You? Dealing with Joy Killers. | Life After Tampons

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