Note to Self ID#129081: Living with Regrets

Regrets.

Everyone has them.

Some of them you wished you had said or did things you didn’t do. Sometimes, you wished you didn’t do the things you did or said the things you said. All the possibilities running through your mind. Maybe, maybe things would be different. Maybe things wouldn’t have to be this way. It could have been better. You could be happier. Things wouldn’t have to change. Maybe you could have done so much better if you hadn’t made that stupid mistake. You wouldn’t have to have this knot in your heart.

But that’s it. You’re always going to left wondering.

And nobody really knows if it would really turn out for the better if you hadn’t taken that step. What if things turn out worse? Have you ever thought of that possibility? What’s done is done. Forgive yourself and let it go. Stop ruminating. You did your best and make what seems to be the most appropriate decision at that point of time. You did your best. But hey, shit happens sometimes. You shouldn’t beat yourself all over it for trying your best. Mistakes are there so you can learn and grow. We can’t go through life making all perfect decisions. Some people take pride in never making mistakes. They hold it to the utmost regard. But they are almost always the most uptight people I have ever known.

I’m not saying: that having that sense of responsibility and taking the time to research in order to reach the best decision is wrong or bad. In fact, I think it’s a good habit otherwise you’ll just be banging into walls unnecessarily everywhere you go. What I mean is when things don’t turn out the way you wanted it to, that you’ve to learn to take it in your stride and learn to be comfortable living with regrets, and not let them get you down any more than it should. Cry, then brush yourself off and learn from experience. And tomorrow, you’re going to be a better man than yesterday.

As I quote from the show HIMYM: “If the eggs are already broken, might as well make omelette.”

Life’s a harsh teacher as it is already. So there’s no need to pump up the pressure even more by being harsh on yourself too. Because if even you are harsh with yourself, then who else would be nice to you? Only you can control your own thoughts and actions.

So heck with it, might as well be happy.

… and I end off with a little remake of an old work of mine as a little note to self:

Insomnia

Insomnia is a sneaky devil, I’m telling ya. One night, it creeped up to me and held my mind hostage. It wouldn’t let go for a month. During the day, it held my mind in chains. I spent those days walking in school like a zombie and because my mind felt so incredibly heavy, there were times I didn’t even feel like I was myself, as if some sort of force has decided to detach my body from my mind. By night, it refused to let me sleep. I end up tossing and turning in bed, feeling increasingly frustrated as the night wears on. Before I know it, it was the break of dawn and the cycle repeats itself again.

I did everything I could to break free of its hold on me. I cut down my caffeine intake, tried out different head pillows, stretching and drinking warm milk before I go to bed.

Nada. I was still clocking in 3 hours of sleep every night. By the end of that month, I was completely exhausted beyond reason and finally decided to get some help. I took sleeping pills on two consecutive nights and finally gotten that rest that I so yearned for. People always say: sleep is really important. Well, experiencing first-hand what a lack of sleep could do to me really hammered that into my head. I was able to finally sleep well for about a week or two after that. You’d thought that would be the end of it. That the insomnia was gone for good.

And then, the lil’ sneaky devil decided to come back. And this time, not even the sleeping pill could work. So I decided one day that I would create the perfect ideal sleeping environment and I’ve been sleeping well since then. The following is what I did to chase away the insomnia:

1. I stopped drinking coffee and tea completely. Instead, I drank water and fruit juice. I started eating salads to detox as well. My energy level took a real big one for the team, so I took supplement pills like Vitamin B and C to cope with the fatigue.

2. I started exercising on a regular basis. Sports didn’t appeal that much to me, and jogging used to be fun for me. Well, exercise doesn’t have to be so boring and it’s up to me to make it fun. So I took out some light weights from the storeroom, blasted some good beats and started working those muscles!

3. I made adjustments to my room. I’m very sensitive to the surrounding – particularly to sound and light. I sleep facing the bedroom window, and the night sky from my window is too bright for my eyes. Even the wind from the fan annoys me. If that’s not all, the sound of my hearbeat seems to increase tenfolds whenever I lie in bed. Well, the first step I did was to get curtains for the window to make the room pitch black at night. I also took out my study desk in the room to make the bedroom less stuffy and cluttered. I found a comfortable sleeping position, through many attempts, where my heart doesn’t beat as loud. My room was made well ventilated and cool as well.

4. I stopped using the computer or any electronic devices at least half to an hour before I go to bed. I was a bit reluctant to change this aspect of my life at first, because, well I confess, I’m a tech addict and a workaholic. So it was hard to get around the idea of not working or surfing the net for one hour less. But as I’ve been told, the light coming from electronic devices actually stimulates the mind on overdrive mode. So it stays awake even after you’ve stopped and would find it difficult to get into the state of sleep. So I decided to do that and it really helped a lot.

5. I drink a cup of warm milk/water, if I feel peckish or when I know something is bothering me. This helps to calm me down and avoid late night hunger pangs.

6. I count from 1 to 10 taking deep breaths, imagine I’m in a serene place and tell myself to let go, if a thought keeps pestering me and I wouldn’t let go of it. Sometimes, if I think of something I need to do the next day and couldn’t let the thought go for fear that I might end up forgetting, I get up to write it down somewhere before I go back to sleep again. If it’s something that I cannot control, like thinking about the mistakes I did earlier that day for example, I tell myself to set myself free and let go of those feelings of regret, fear, frustration or disappointment. Reflecting is good. But one always has to remember to be nice to yourself and not beat yourself too much about things that are already done and you can’t control. This is one thing I have to constantly remind myself with, as I have a tendency to beat myself up too much about the things I have no control over.

So I hope those going through insomnia would benefit from the tips given above, from one insomniac (ex) to another. If you still find that following the aforementioned tips is still not helping much, please see a doctor!

Baby Steps to Maintain the Peace

Ever had one of those days when it seems like no matter where you look, everyone seem to be doing just fine. Even if they aren’t, they seem to make it so easy pretending like they’re doing fine.

But here’s the truth: It’s difficult to stay happy. Heck, it is the most difficult thing to do in the world. It’s easy to stay morose and moody about everything in life. I know that because well, I think I’m the most morose person I’ve ever known in my life. I doubt anyone could beat my level. But over the years, I have learned to catch myself and stop ruminating. I may not get out of an emotional slump in a jiffy, but I do know a few tips to not let myself go down that spiral of doom.

1) Be aware
I know this is going to sound like a pretty dumb thing to say, but you would be surprised to know just how many people let themselves get drenched by that hanging cloud of doom and barely even notice that they’ll soon be drowning themselves. Once you notice that your moods are down and have been so for a while, then the next step to do is…

2) Acknowledge the feeling
There’s nothing wrong with being sad or moody. That’s just the way of life. Sometimes it’s up, sometimes it’s down. That doesn’t mean you’re weak or useless. Acknowledge that a certain event has triggered these negative thoughts and emotions. Try to work on why you are feeling this way and what was the cause of this reaction. Then, you would have to make an important decision…

3) ‘Do I want to continue feeling like this?’
The truth is, nothing will change unless you decide that you want to change. No one can help you feel better unless you want to feel better. Too often we lock ourselves up in our own dark thoughts and it spirals out of control. Too often it’s because we just don’t want to look up.

3) “This, too, shall pass.”
Once you tell yourself that you will not succumb to the evil alterego’s voice in your head, whenever you find that the voices are coming back to whisper many evil and dark things to get to your mood, pull the brakes there. Shut them up like a diva shaking her head and her swagger finger and go, “No! Uh-uh you ain’t gonna bring the house down on this one! Nuh-uh, oh no you ain’t!

There are a few things I like to do when I’m down. Exercise seems to be the best solution. It’s a known fact that exercise releases endorphins that makes you high. Also, when you’re under stress, your body produces this hormone that makes your moods go crazy if it stays in your body for too long. There are only three ways to ‘purge’ this out: (1) Crying, don’t be shy! It’s catharsis when you cry it out; (2) Peeing, however weird that may sound and; (3) Exercising!

Do something you enjoy doing or something that you’re good at. I love to blog it out, draw or take photos of cute kittens (WHO CAN RESIST THE GODLY POWER OF KITTENS?!). And if I can’t find any kittens around, I usually tumblr it and just melt in front of my laptop screen.

Also, every time you think you’re dealing with a lost cause and that you can never be happy, believe that this is a momentary feeling and it will soon pass! The only constant thing in life is change; Every moment, every emotion, every thought is only fleeting. It’s how you make use of it that counts. Do you want to use them to make yourself stronger or weaker?

If you find that it’s difficult to stop yourself from ruminating and those dark thoughts just keep coming back, another way is to allow yourself just a small amount of time (it could be as short as 5 minutes or go up to no more than an hour) of the day to just ruminate all you want. Indulge yourself; Think about all the things that went wrong, why it did, how it did, what you could have done to make it better. Think about it all you want for that period of time. And once that time is up, put that swagger finger up and focus on the rest of your day completing whatever that needs to be completed to move forward.

Dark, bleak moods can consume and overwhelm us so much that it stops us from being productive and moving forward. So I hope that by following these few simple steps, you could emerge a winner and not let them take over!

Good luck!