winnie yong

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13 Sure-Fire Ways To Not Be Miserable In 5 Minutes

1  Stop caring. Caring about what people think, that is. When you care too much about what people think of you, you give them power over you (even if they don’t know it). The most liberating thing in the world is to not care anymore – if they like me, they like me lor. And if they don’t, then bite me lor. Besides, people don’t think about you as much as you think they think about you anyway. Why? Cos they’re too busy worrying about what other people think about them.

2  Stop trying. Trying to be happy, that is. The harder you look for something, the less likely you are to find it. It’s the case with car keys, it’s the case with love, and it’s the case with happiness. The moment you stop looking, the thing starts popping up all over the place. So the harder you try to be happy, the worse you’ll feel. The good news is, the reverse will also be true.

3  Be in the now. Think of the here and now. Forget the next hour, the next day, the next week. We become stressed (and therefore, miserable) whenever we think about the future – for instance, fretting about the talk you’re about to give in the next 20 minutes; wondering how you’re going to pay off that credit card bill next month; or worrying about dying old, shriveled up and alone cos you’re still boyfriend-less at 45.

4  Three things. Think of three good things you’ve got going for you. Come on, life can’t be so terrible that you can’t even do this. Okay, I’ll go first: (1) I have a great family; (2) I have a nice home; and (3) my hair looks cute today. Embarrassed at how trite your three things are? Don’t worry. You’ve just given me the perfect segue to Tip #5.

5  Expect nothing. Or at least have expectations so horrendously low that you will not only meet them but surpass them. So on second thought, forget listing three good things. Make it two (or one) not-so-heinous things that you’ve got going for you.

6  Read. About people who have it worse than you do. Go ahead, google it: miserable lives, suicidal people, celebrity has-beens, losers, whatever. Or just go look in the local paper – there’s bound to be a politician who’s recently been accused of corruption or been photographed nude in the toilet or something. Think of how wretched he must be feeling right now.

7  Fake it. 25 minutes of faking happiness and your brain may just buy it. If it doesn’t, don’t worry. The people around you may buy it and think you really are happy and start responding to you as if you were happy (instead of scampering away) and this might, in the end, boost your mood after all.

8  Buy it. Whoever said money can’t buy happiness … has no money and is a real dum-dum. Money may not be able to buy some things (although my mind’s drawing a blank right now) but it can buy plenty of other things, many of which can make you pretty darn happy pretty darn quick. Sure, it’s fleeting superficial happiness but hey, being superficially happy for 5 minutes sure beats being genuinely miserable for 5 minutes.

9  Move. As in move away from the bad situation that’s making you miserable. Of course, if the bad situation is your whole life, then I can’t help you there. But yeah, move away. If standing in a puddle of crud is making you unhappy, for god’s sake, step out of the crud. Some crud might be harder to get out of than others, so admittedly, this tip might take you more than 5 minutes.

10  Say no. Don’t do what you don’t want to do. One source of distress is saying ‘yes’ when you really mean ‘no’ and spending the rest of the day desperately trying to weasel your way out of it. Go ahead, say it: no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no-o-o-o-o-o!!!!!! And if you worry that you might offend someone in the process, see Tip #1.

11  Laugh. Watch something that makes you laugh. Put it on and really get into it. After a laugh-out-loud session, the crud that had ailed you earlier will look smaller and more distant. You will then feel less crap. But if you have no sense of humour or can’t afford pirated DVDs, see Tip #12.

12  Sleep. Nothing cures (or at least alleviates) misery like sleep. And if you’re too upset to sleep, pop a pill. Who cares how you do it, just stop being awake. Things almost always look better in the morning.

13  Trick your brain. Assign a time slot for misery, say from 5.15 to 5.45pm. For these 30 minutes, you have complete freedom to whinge, wallow and feel as wretched as you wish. You can shove your face in as deep into the crud as you want. But until the clock strikes 5.15pm, you are to go about your business and not feel like crap. You’d be surprised to discover that by the time 5.15pm does come around, your urge to whinge, wallow and feel wretched would’ve lessened considerably or if you’re lucky, totally vanished.

23 comments on “13 Sure-Fire Ways To Not Be Miserable In 5 Minutes

  1. baziqueen
    December 24, 2009

    LOL. LOL. LOL.

    You should write a book really.


    • Winnie Yong
      December 24, 2009

      I did! Am waiting for somebody to pick it up and turn it into a movie – *hint hint * nudge nudge


  2. Fiona R Biggs
    December 24, 2009

    LOL that’s precisely the attitude u had wen u approached me the first time waaaaaaaaaaaaahkakakakakakka I soooooooo remember it. Ur a clown u knw tht!? wen we catching up? next year perhaps?


    • Winnie Yong
      December 24, 2009

      Haha … what wonderful memories! yeah, i’m a clown. have to be la, otherwise how to survive and still keep sanity intact? aiyoooooooo

      we should do kopi next year – when when!😀


      • Fiona R Biggs
        December 25, 2009

        How’s the 2nd week of 2010 sound to you?


  3. Winnie Yong
    December 26, 2009

    2nd week sounds good babe – let’s plan on it!


  4. dannie
    December 30, 2009

    hmm…can’t really remember when i started to follow your blog ? and this must be your last (humoureous) entry for the year since it is fill with 13 of your personal witty advices to your readers ???
    the last one “assign a time slot for misery” was a difficult one to follow lor, especially suggested period was 30 mins !!! u really do that daily ? coz’ i can’t even do that in 5 mins !!! :))
    anyway, just wanna let you know i’ve truely enjoyed reading your blog for the year ! and hope you’ll continue to blog. wishing you here a belated Christmas and a Blessed New Year !!!

    p/s. u are still running fast & strong as i still hvn’t able to catch you at any of the running event !!! slow down yeah…


    • Winnie Yong
      January 5, 2010

      Hahaha … you haven’t been able to catch me at any of the runs cos I’m so darn slow!!!

      Thanks for reading though:-) and Happy New Year to you too!


  5. Natalie
    April 24, 2010

    Brilliant set of tips. So much better than all the “wise” and “deep” answers I’ve been getting. Sometimes a little blunt and practical suggestions are better to implement than trying to find some hidden truth behind everything.

    I could totally see this kind of advice being turned into a movie. I’d hook you up if only I knew how lol.


    • Winnie Yong
      April 25, 2010

      Hi Natalie, thanks for your comment. Yeah, I’m nothing if not honest and realistic. And if there’s a sure-fire way of being miserable, it’s trying to be too deep, which is why I’ve opted to hang around the shallower end of the intellect pool😀 haha


  6. J9
    April 24, 2010

    Hi Winnie,
    so I NEVER EVER EVER read blogs. I find them rather bleh and a bit self-congratulatory. However, these past few weeks have been rather miserable (mostly work related) and so in a fit of desperation I typed in “How not to be miserable” on Google and up popped your site. Thank you for your 13 ways. From the first one I was hooked and smiling. These steps are much more practical than say practicing Yoga breathing skills through one nostril or even taking long walks on the beach. Two ideas of which are certain only to make me more reflective and miserable. Again thanks for the smart and sound advice.
    PS what inspired you to write these steps?


    • Winnie Yong
      April 25, 2010

      Hi J9, thanks for visiting and I’m happy you liked what you read. It was lots of fun writing this post; I did it because I think some of the advice out there is – for lack of a better word – overly idealistic. Sounds good on paper but they’re not really ‘real’. At least not for me.

      I still think that the best way to feel better when down in the dumps is to laugh. Laugh at the ‘horrible’ situation, laugh at yourself. And even if none of these 13 tips work, at least they’re funny and lighten somebody’s crappy mood for a few moments. That’s good enough for me:-)


  7. Ben
    September 16, 2010

    @winnie. thanks.

    Just so you know this post is still helping people almost a year after you posted. It helped me. even though it may be temporary. it may not have necessarily have cheered me up. I feel more my own man, in control of things if only for now. I feel one can use this more often to feel better, as if to look at it and remember how to frame your thoughts in a more constructive manner. Keep at hmmm whatever work your doing, I’m sure its good and either way, ummm hi5 >.>


    • Winnie Yong
      September 19, 2010

      Hi Ben, thanks for your comment:-) I’m glad you liked it. Come to think of it, I’ve forgotten all about this post. Maybe I should peruse it once more … just to take a little piece of my own advice too:-)


  8. Lola
    October 1, 2010

    I was feeling really depressed miserable and I decided to google how not to be miserable and your blog popped up. I clicked and read your post and strangely I really feel better, I mean I was upset and know I just dont care and Im gonna stop trying (#1 and #2) and I realized that I have always did # 8. So thanks you’ve lightened my mood.


    • winnie
      October 4, 2010

      Hi Lola, that’s a really nice comment you left. I’m glad the post left you feeling a little better:-) hopefully, it lasted longer than 5 minutes! do come back …😀


  9. Miguel
    April 8, 2011

    Well.. that din’t change anything it’s just a skin while the real prob lies deep inside . I still feel miserable plus there are many things here that are like: “Easy said then done”


  10. Ashley Beauchamp
    June 5, 2011

    I absolutely love this. Thank you so much.


  11. dmc
    December 18, 2011

    Number 10. Last November I took on a task for someone as a favor. I didn’t mind so much, except when I was in it and she hit me with a deadline. I spent 2 days, nonstop except for eating and bathroom breaks, working on these 2 projects to complete them so she could gift them to people to placate them and look like a hero. I don’t want to get into the specifics, but I got sucked into her bad situation and time frame. THIS YEAR, I was made an offer to do something similar, for cash, and I declined. I’m on vacation, no need for the meager pay, and again there was a crunch deadline to get the item made by. I said no. No. NO. NOOOOOOOO. I’m glad I said no. Smartest move I made all week.


  12. Freedom Fighter
    February 10, 2012

    lmao. the sadbrain disease generally comes from the shitty and sick shape our society is in. the best cure for misery is to destroy something expensive that doesn’t belong to you. it’s the first step towards burning the world down, which is the first step towards building a better one. Many may die, but no-one in this world is truly alive.


  13. rola
    February 26, 2012

    i hope that this is gnna help:/


  14. caker
    July 5, 2012

    thank you:)


  15. Kandi
    August 28, 2012

    I love this honestly!!!



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This entry was posted on December 24, 2009 by in Life, Love & Happiness and tagged , , , , , , .

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