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February 14, 2024

Stepping Off the “Crazy Train”—10 Things that Thwart our Happiness.

 

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“I know that things are going wrong for me. You gotta listen to my words, yeah, yeah.” ~ Ozzy Osbourne, Crazy Train

~

“Crazy” is a loaded word.

Professionals are quick to point out it’s a derogatory term when used to describe mental health; however, there are “crazy things” in our lives that can make us feel out of control. Things we allow, things we attract to thwart our happiness, and things that don’t go away unless we actively banish them.

My “Crazy Train” is anything that makes me feel less than who I know I am (or know I could be). Aboard my train is all the stuff I’ve packed into heavy baggage I drag along for the ride—baggage that weighs me down and keeps me from getting to the places I really want to go.

When we gently but ruthlessly step off the Crazy Train onto a different (brighter!) platform, our vision goes from blurry to focused, and we get back to where we once belonged—back to the people we were born to be. 

Who and what are the “Crazy Train” passengers for so many of us?

1. Selfish Friends. 

We all tend to have a few “friends” who consume the air around us. They seem to take turns driving our trains. Releasing those with narcissist tendencies can be some of the most difficult “breakups” in life. Walking away (without looking back) from master manipulators will literally set us free. Free to experience life as ourselves instead of the listeners, pain-absorbers, and continual forgivers we seem to become when our selfish friends need our attention.

It’s easy to lose site of our own lives (and our goals) when others demand our time and energy. Getting back that time and energy can feel like a miracle. 

2. A Hyper-Fixation on Weight Loss.

There is no end in sight to the billion-dollar industry that is “weight loss.” When we concentrate on wellness and balance instead of weight loss, we become happier in our own skin. When we are happier, we make better choices for ourselves and our health.

Maitri is the perfect exercise for wellness over weight loss. Actively loving ourselves exactly how we are leads to compassion (karuna) for others, which gives way to empathetic joy (mudita) so that equanimity (upeksha) can occur.

Making friends with ourselves naturally evolves when we stop competing. When we love ourselves, we treat ourselves better. Practicing wellness is easier to sustain than any restrictive diet will ever be. 

3. Addiction to Social Media.

This is the most crowded car on our train. The information highway is now packed with content creators, coaches, silly videos, product bombardment, and all kinds of other weird ass sh*t. While there’s lots of creativity and inspiration out there, and a good chuckle from a funny, relatable video is not a complete waste of time, our platforms have become so saturated it’s difficult to remove ourselves as audience members.

Stepping off the crazy train means pulling back substantially from social media as a validation source or mindless scrolling as a numbing time filler. Strangers shouldn’t get to decide how we feel about ourselves and our lives, and they shouldn’t hold us hostage. 

4. Toxic Positivity.

I’m all for staying positive in life and looking on the bright side, but good vibes all the time isn’t super healthy. We all need to feel the feels and work through conflict in order to change and grow. Accountability and humbly admitting to certain failures is the key to future success.

Facing difficulties, especially socially, can be challenging, but if problems are swept away and we continue to act like everything is fine, we never resolve any issues. Toxic Positivity means we are masking pain, which does the opposite of what we want it to do—it keeps us stuck inside dysfunctional patterns. Real vibes matter. 

5. Arguing and Overanalyzing.

Having a detailed opinion all the time about everything (and vocalizing it) is exhausting for everyone involved. It’s okay to just scroll past. It’s okay to listen, or read, and just move on. It’s important to speak up, for sure, but silence is a powerful tool when used for personal growth and peace. 

6. Waiting for An Apology.

Our trains are filled to the brim with small slights and bigger hurt feelings for things that have happened along the way. We need to allow for some leg space and time to heal from all the emotional injuries (real or perceived) we will never receive an apology for. Letting go of our grudges helps us move forward because someone else shouldn’t be in charge of how or when we heal. 

7. “Moving Rocks.”

We spend a good portion of our lives moving our stuff around. It goes into boxes, drawers, attics, and basements. We switch things up. We hoard and we purge. All for what? We can’t take anything with us to our graves. We must choose outer order to promote inner calm. Creating order and minimizing material possessions creates a certain freedom that trumps the short-lived delight something shiny and new always brings. 

8. Consumer Culture.

We live during a time when advertisements are more like flying shrapnel coming at us from all sides. Consumerism kills women, especially, machine gun style. Everything for purchase is designed to blow up perceived flaws first, and then fix them. Avoiding the pitfalls of snake oil keeps us from being let down over and over again when a product simply does not do what it claims. 

9. Bad Habits.

We all have a few bad habits we can work on. They sit next to us on our train and chip away at our productivity and self esteem. Procrastination comes to mind for me. To end this, I’ve learned the method of habit stacking, which has led to progress in removing some of my detrimental physical, spiritual, and mental habits. 

10. Alcohol.

Removing alcohol completely from my life as a “crazy train passenger” is something I’d like to do but probably won’t. I am not dependent, but I enjoy a glass of wine or a beer with my friends. I’m working on reducing it’s presence as a crutch though, so I can feel my best and journey onward in life with a clear head.

Are any of these passengers along for the ride on your own crazy train?

Join me, and so many others. Step off the crazy train, and get back to where you once belonged—to the person you know you could be. 

~

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