You know how it is. Most of us get stuck on the impact of all the negatives in our lives. Even if the positives far outnumber and/or outweigh the negatives of a certain period of time, we always remember the negatives first and foremost, even forgetting the positives. Our brains are wired this way as a survival mechanism to a point. We can combat this, though. Every day doesn’t have to end with a “woe is me” thought! We can have better lives just by the way we think about things, and, in addition to thinking, we can even take a break from thinking by climbing!!! Let’s address the thinking part for a moment, though.
A good example of making a point of remembering the positives that happen during the day is, in my case, this blog. I get to talk about climbing, or drones, or how sick I am, or anything else I want to talk about, but I have one rule about it for myself – keep it positive. What that means to me is not to slam anybody, not to put anybody down or even offend them unnecessarily, not to drag any personal negatives into the mix, no complaining beyond the occasional comment about something unfortunate happening which is then analyzed for any positive qualities the experience may possess, no profanity, no ranting without some outrageously clean humor involved, etc. You get where I’m coming from. I have a Keep-It-Positive-And-Helpful Rule when it comes to this blog, because it’s about climbing, and climbing is my life, and as you know, climbing saved my life, so therefore it’s positive!!! I want to keep that vibe even when I’m severely clinically depressed and fighting off chronic PTSD symptoms. I want to keep that up even when I’m dying from the pain of osteoarthritis or the disorientation of med changes or illness. Not all of it will make sense, but I hope that I can make somebody’s day with a touch of advice or experience or wisdom or stupidity. Hopefully I’m low on the stupidity factor, but if it makes somebody laugh who otherwise would be crying, I can be stupid for them! Humor is very important and differs from stupidity (at least it’s supposed to). Humor is something that I try to dish out a good dose of once in a while and some wild and crazy posts have come out of that. Hopefully they’re enjoyable! This blog and climbing are what I do for therapy day in and day out to make sure that when everything falls apart for real, I’ve already trained myself how to begin coping with it. That doesn’t mean I don’t ever have to call my doctor for a Coaching Moment, because I do. And thank the good Lord, my doctor answers his phone! Bless the man for that!!! Life is messy, but if you train yourself to cope on a daily basis, the really bad days won’t be so bad, and you might even be able to laugh at them!!!
Okay, so the climbing part. That’s a lifetime of blog posts in itself as far as a topic goes, but the gist is that I go climbing to calm my mind and my spirit down and to focus on something besides all the mental garbage and physical toxins that have built up in my body between climbing sessions. When I’m climbing, I can’t be thinking about all that. I have to be focused on the next hold, and climbing uses all the parts of your brain, or, as I would call them, all of your “brains”. I think that our brain is actually many organs in one as function goes, so I think it’s fair to call them brains (yes, I’m medically, scientifically, and psychologically trained and I still say that, probably because I am highly educated in those areas). Regardless of what you call it/them, climbing engages all parts of the jelly-mush encased inside your skull, and all of its extensions in the form of nerves and all the rest of that physiological stuff that goes into your physical body. You have to focus on climbing and you can’t be distracted by the rest of your life when you’re climbing because climbing pushes all of that out of your thought realm! Hallelujah for that!!! You don’t have to think about your rotten boss, or that mean prank they pulled on you at work, or how embarrassed you felt when you made some mistake, or what your next mortgage payment is going to look like on your budget map considering that towing bill because your truck broke down… None of that exists when you’re climbing. On top of it all, you’re exercising, which burns off those toxins and helps your body out by getting it working and moving and functioning in an active capacity! Climbing is great!!!
So, next time you’re feeling down, try to think of three things that are positive, even if they’re small. Nothing is stupid or irrelevant here. If you like the way it felt when you trimmed your nose hair this morning, that’s a positive. There’s one. Now think of two more. You don’t have to share them with anybody, so they can be whatever you want. And yes, you can laugh out loud and not tell anyone why. That’s perfectly acceptable!!! I encourage it, as a matter of fact, because laughter tends to be contagious!!!