Being uptight holds a negative connotation, and for good reason. If you’re feeling uptight, or “anxious or angry in a tense and overly controlled way,” I encourage you to unfurl your eyebrows, take a deep breath, and maybe do a little dance. Your immune system (and your forehead wrinkles) will thank you for it.
Buddha infamously said: “Learn to let go. That is the key to happiness.” And I hard agree.
When we let go of the trivial things in life, like complaining about traffic or ruminating on a weird conversation you had with your boss, you simply feel better. When you approach life with a happy-go-lucky attitude, the big things seem small and the the small things seem stupid.
We know that life is precious, yet sometimes we need reminded to stop and smell the roses, so to speak.
That said, here is a tip on how to tame the uptight beast when she arises, because no matter how chill you think you are, there is a an uptight trigger in all of us.
Identify Your Straightjacket
Straightjacket: “A strong garment with long sleeves which can be tied together to confine the arms of a violent prisoner or mental patient.” Yikes.
Your straightjacket is anything that’s preventing you from living your life fully. For me, it’s overthinking. Virgos like myself have a ton of mental energy and we don’t always know where to channel it, which leads to creative blocks and making up false narratives in our minds. So fun!
Overthinking is typically a result of fear of failure or judgement, and can be squashed by putting your focus on something or someone else. For example! My clothing line drops next week and I am terrified no one is going to get it. By remembering why I started the biz in the first place, my psycho brain calms down.
Perhaps your straightjacket is your negative relationship with food or insecurity about how much money you make, or your obsessive need to control things that are out of your control.
Remembering that you hold the key to unlocking your straightjacket is the ticket.
Another example: In spin class, my instructor tells the group to “unclench our jaws and drop our shoulders” as we get on the bike, and every time I do, I can — literally and figuratively — breath easier. I think about this anytime I feel tension in my face or stress about when an anticipated email is going to come through.
Without realizing it (until it becomes an uncomfortable problem), we hold a lot of tension in our bodies. This then shows up as backaches, headaches, and other body pains. I feel like a Grandma saying this, but things like joint pain (prevalent in more women than men, surprise-surprise?) can be prevented if we simply listen to our bodies.
Why? An achey body results in a piss-poor attitude, and that is not a cute look on anyone.
Stop looking at the rainy day ahead instead of enjoying the sunshine today
You know what’s a drag? People who seek out the negatives in life instead of enjoying the positives. People who drum up the miseries of the news to make conversation rather than highlighting something good in the world.
While it’s human nature to worry, it does the brain and body no good at all.
If sublime happiness is what we’re after, there has to be more to look forward to in your day other than a strong morning coffee and brisk afternoon stroll. Do these things make life better? Absolutely. But they aren’t enough in making you feel like a thriving individual.
Ask yourself what excites you about life, then execute it. For me, it’s creating weird, colorful clothing to unite the fun and playful women in the world. It’s writing a story that makes someone feel less alone in their motherhood struggles. It’s laughing so hard I pee my pants.
A big thing we miss in the whole “How to be happy” pursuit is that there needs to be meaning behind what we do every day. The challenge lies within finding it and repeating it.
Be you. A less uptight you.
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