Factory Reset for the Psyche

Do you ever wish your mood or psyche had a factory reset option? A button that would restore you to your normal self. Preferably your normal self is happy-go-lucky. I wish I had one of those.

I wish I could recalibrate every time I got into a foul mood, and just get back to my usual self.

I must have the worst mood swings known to man. I kid you not. I could be happy as a king one minute, entertaining thoughts of how beautifully and wonderfully made the world and everything in it is, and the next I could be down in the depths of despair.


Well…and here’s the clincher, it could be for the tiniest thing ever! It takes so little to take my mood on a trip! A very long trip at that. One that leaves me tired, jet-lagged even. A trip to an entirely different time zone. Half-way across the world.

Back to the factory reset button, I’ve been thinking about this a lot more often. It sucks to be at the mercy of ones moods. To pendulum back and forth with seemingly no control. This, if you ask me, is weakness. Delegating your happiness to…come what may.

I’d like a bit more control than that.

A pendulum with such extremes from moment to moment cannot be efficient! Is not efficient. I aim to be efficient. Wired to be, I dare say. My moods part was just wired wrong. So in a bid to overcome this faulty wiring, I’m coming up with a recalibration manual! At 22, surely I must know myself a bit better.

I’ve been watching Modern Family, I’m on season 6 right now. Let me just tell you, I don’t know what I will do with my life when I finish it. Modern family makes me so happy man! Phil is my favourite character. He is always so happy! I think his secret is the fact that he is ‘quick to laughter’. There’s this episode I recently watched, it’s Halloween. If you’ve followed the sitcom, you know Claire, Phil’s wife, loves Halloween. She always decorates the house so spooky and gets a kick out of it. One Halloween, an adult who had brought some kids over trick-or-treating literally had a heart attack when the door was opened. Her props are normally put-you-in-a-hospital kinda scary. So this one Halloween, she had to work and could not spend all day decorating the house, so she let Phil do whatever he wanted for decorations that year. Phil being Phil, such a ball of sunshine and rainbows, decided the theme of the house decorations would be…”Awesome Land”. He wanted it to be fun and filled with everything he finds awesome! This being Phil, he finds everything awesome! Giant umbrellas and giant cupcakes with colourful sprinkles on them. Magic, so giant hats and giant rabbits popping or being pulled out of them. Santa Clause and candy canes. Cute puppies, cotton candy and ice cream. Phil’s head must be such a place of joy and simplicity.

His costume is a rainbow coloured tuxedo and the t-shirt he is wearing underneath has a giant smiley face on it. Clearly he also has a thing for gigantic things.

Well, a bunch of stuff happens and Claire forcefully takes back Halloween, a hostile takeover if ever there was one, and when Phil comes home and finds this out, he’s ticked off but he’s still smiling and agrees to go along with his wife’s wishes. He says the only thing that’s keeping him still smiling is the fact that his breakfast pancake had a big smiley face. He drew one on with some whipped cream before eating the pancake.

That is the punchline guys, even though this isn’t a joke. The fact that hours and hours later, after working so hard on the house and then coming home to find out all his hard work was taken apart and put away, he’s still running on the happiness that his breakfast pancake gave him, because he sprawled on a smiley face with whipped cream and it made him giggle!


Phil is my “happiness goals”!
(In case you are wondering, yes I am aware that Phil is a fictional character written and adapted for TV.)

In contrast, I could probably hit my toe on a chair right after having breakfast and that pancake that made me happy for two seconds would be long forgotten! I would be in a foul mood for the rest of the day.

Food for thought, why is it much easier to stay in a slump than it is to stay on a high? Huh?

I bet it comes down to practice. I bet after years and years of being a ‘quick to laughter’ kinda guy, Phil’s default mode is happiness. He finds it easier to stay up there. Which is why hitting my toe on something, as little as it my be in contrast to all the good things that could be going on(but that pain man!), could put me in a foul mood for the rest of the day. I’m so used to being in a slump it’s easy for me to slip into one and stay there.

Well…watch out pendulum that is always taking me back and forth! I am creating a factory reset button! Be afraid! Be very afraid!

I’ve been trying to keep track of things that get me out of my dreary moods. More often than not I wallow in them, lose sleep and basically just let my overactive imagination play out every worst case scenario of every single thing in my life. Occasionally, when in a slump and still feeling like wonder woman and like I could possibly save the world, or just myself for starters, I have found that certain things make it easier to climb to a happier place.

First, working out! That feeling after an amazing workout is incomparable. There’s a science behind it, something about feel good hormones. I know not the details. Biological sciences are not my chosen field so that stuff is a bit hazy in my head. All I know is that Kathleen after a workout is super pumped for life!

Second, doing something seemingly mundane, normal. Something like cleaning shoes, tidying up, picking rice or filing my nails. I know, very random, but I find that activities which do not require much thought beyond that at face value to complete them can be very calming. Keeps my head from whirring out of control.

Third, and last for now, is reading. Transporting the mind to an alternate dimension gets me out of my head and my present little worries. I always find that after some time, upon revisiting whatever was bothering me, it no longer seems so big and daunting.

I’m setting out to make a list of these things, in order of effectiveness perhaps. My mission, to imitate Phils child-like happiness!

That thing they say about life, don’t take it too seriously, no one gets out alive anyway. Muhahaaaaaa…
(Guess I’ve got a bit of Claire’s dark sense of humour lurking somewhere in there too.)

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  1. 1
    Kui Kubai

    I totally understand this! Sometimes even other finding sth not exactly where I left it makes me nuts!!
    This is such a good idea, listing things that make you smile. I’ll try it.
    Great read hun!

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