Why Things Always Get Better

As Winston Churchill said, “If you’re going through hell, keep going.”

Listen, John, quotes are great, but I’m up to my neck in pure shit and I don’t know what to do.

Understood. What you should do is largely dependent on the nature of said shit you find yourself buried in. I discuss techniques for dealing with various kinds of shit in other posts. The point to remember here is that nothing is permanent. No feeling, good or bad, lasts forever.

It’s actually physically impossible for your body to maintain the same emotional state indefinitely. The way you feel is a combination of several factors, many of which involve a delicate balance of body chemistry. What ends up happening is that your body exhausts its ability to produce the specific hormones and other chemicals necessary to experience a specific emotion, and as such your emotional state eventually changes.

How long do I have to wait?

That depends. The initial surge of chemicals that result in you feeling uncomfortable only lasts 90-120 seconds. If it doesn’t pass after that, it means you are continuing to feed your body’s response with negative thoughts. Change the way you think, and you change the way your body reacts.

I have problems with change in general. It scares me.

Change is a fundamental attribute of the universe. Since the beginning of time, matter has been transforming from one state to the next. We often fight against this by building structures or monuments that feel permanent to us, but that permanence is an illusion. What appears solid is actually composed of subatomic particles that are constantly in motion and that continuously exchange energy with the surrounding environment.

Studies have also shown that we are notoriously bad understanding and preparing for the future. Back in our caveman days, we were only concerned with the present moment. Planning for the future doesn’t matter so much when you’re staring down a tiger and just trying to survive to the next day. We’re hardwired by evolutionary forces to want to dwell in our current circumstances.

It takes conscious effort to overcome these tendencies, but over time these efforts will become habit! The next time you feel like crap, try to remember all the previous times you felt bad and how those feelings never lasted. Happy times await.

If everything sucks and you feel like crap, know that this feeling isn’t permanent.

Conversely, if everything is awesome, remember that you can’t sit around and hope that things will continue to be awesome all on their own. Situations come and go. Whatever is awesome today will be something different tomorrow. You must continually push yourself and seek new ways to bring awesomeness into your life.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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