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5 Positive Bands For Upbeat People

5 Positive Bands For Upbeat People

It is said that music calms the most savage of beasts. For a lot of people, certain chord progressions or lyrical stylings do indeed make a large impact on the listener’s psyche. For that reason, the team here has put together a list of bands and musicians for those who want to introduce a little bit of symphonic karma into their lives.

Check out our list of 6 positive bands, as apportioned below.

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1. The Mowgli’s

The Mowgli’s are a septet mostly from Southern California with a large psychedelic sound and three lead vocalists. With two-to-three guitarists, an organist, drummer, bassist, and one female vocalist, The Mowgli’s create a rush of adrenaline and happiness that will leave you wondering, as they ask in a recent single, “How can anyone be living in a bad dream?” Younger than some of the other bands on the list, both of their studio albums, “Kids in Love,” and “Waiting for the Dawn,” are packed with tracks that will leave you feeling good about yourself. Check out their new single, “I’m Good,” in which the band decides to “see another love revolution.” Also check out “San Francisco,” which has to be the cutest music video I’ve ever seen.

2. Frank Turner (And The Sleeping Souls)

Frank Turner is a punk rock guitarist from London. He was previously in the band, “A Million Dead.” When they disbanded, Turner decided that playing music for a living was much more preferable to anything else. So Turner started churning out music and touring endlessly. Nowadays he sells out Wembley Stadium in England and gets a modest amount of attention in the US. The one defining factor about Turner is the people who like him freaking LOVE him. Oftentimes, when at Frank Turner concerts, it’s difficult from him to hear himself sing because everyone in the audience are screaming the lyrics back louder than his voice is coming out of his sound system. Songs you should listen to include “If Ever I Stray,” “Recovery,” and “Get Better,” which is the newest song off of his recently released album, “Positive Songs for Negative People.”

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3. The Polyphonic Spree

The Polyphonic Spree is a rock troupe from Dallas with upwards of a dozen members (mostly vocalists) who play a bevvy of songs mostly concerning light and the sun. Their music has been featured in the television show Scrubs and the movie The Lorax. Furthermore, their most well-known single, “Light and Day” was prominently included in the Jim Carrey movie “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.” If you’re looking for whimsical choral music with a wide variety of instruments and a light vocal range, check them out. Either way, their cover of Nirvana’s “Lithium” is totally out of this world. It might even be better than the original.

4. Dispatch

Dispatch is composed of three gentlemen from New England who have gained a wild amount of success despite never signing to a record label of any sort. With incredibly illustrative and precise lyrics, complex drumbeats, and reggae style, Dispatch gained much of their success due to the pull of such songs as “The General,” and “Open Up.” While they owe some of their success to file sharing services such as Napster and Limewire, Dispatch’s real talent lies in their amazing stage presence, in which members switch instruments often and sometimes sing in foreign languages. Dispatch is a real treat. I recommend buying “Ain’t No Trip to Cleveland,” a double disc collection of their most recent live show. While there shows are often free, it’s still tough to get in. Their original going-away concert in Boston drew upwards of four hundred thousand people, with plenty concertgoers hanging on stoplights and climbing trees for a view. They are certainly a sight to see. Watch the recording of that last live Boston show for a taste. Yes, the guitarist is wearing a dress. And yes, those are hundreds of water bottles flying through the air.

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5. John Butler Trio

John Butler Trio is an Australian reggae-esque band composed mostly of John Butler and his dobro, which as a close to an approximation of a banjo as Australia can produce. Butler is known for his metaphysical and spiritualist views, his uniquely blended American-Australian heritage, and his tendency to solo with his dobro for minutes on end. While he is likely most famous for songs such as “Better Than,” and “Used to Get High,” his most sublime and inspiring work likely came during a live show at Red Rocks, the natural amphitheater in Colorado. In it, Butler riffs and solos endlessly on his banjo-esque instrument, running up and down scales, and creating for listeners the closest approximation to musical freedom there could be. The result is called, “Ocean,” and it is sublime.

Featured photo credit: stefanog.com/Anna Calvi via flickr.com

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

For the original article by Celestine: 13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

“We all have problems. The way we solve them is what makes us different.” ~Unknown

“It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” – Hans Selye

Have you ever experienced moments when things just don’t go your way? For example, losing your keys, accidentally spilling your drink, waking up late, missing your buses/trains, forgetting to bring your things, and so on?

You’re not alone. All of us, myself included, experience times when things don’t go as we expect.

Here is my guide on how to deal with daily setbacks.

1. Take a step back and evaluate

When something bad happens, take a step back and evaluate the situation. Some questions to ask yourself:

  1. What is the problem?
  2. Are you the only person facing this problem in the world today?
  3. How does this problem look like at an individual level? A national level? On a global scale?
  4. What’s the worst possible thing that can happen to you as a result of this?
  5. How is it going to impact your life in the next 1 year? 5 years? 10 years?

Doing this exercise is not to undermine the problem or disclaiming responsibility, but to consider different perspectives, so you can adopt the best approach for it. Most problems we encounter daily may seem like huge issues when they crop up, but most, if not all, don’t have much impact in our life beyond that day.

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2. Vent if you have to, but don’t linger on the problem

If you feel very frustrated and need to let off some steam, go ahead and do that. Talk to a friend, complain, crib about it, or scream at the top of your lungs if it makes you happy.

At the same time, don’t get caught up with venting. While venting may temporarily relieve yourself, it’s not going to solve the problem ultimately. You don’t want to be an energy vampire.

Vent if there’s a need to, but do it for 15 to 20 minutes. Then move on.

3. Realize there are others out there facing this too

Even though the situation may be frustrating, you’re not alone. Remember there are almost 7 billion people in the world today, and chances are that other people have faced the same thing before too. Knowing it’s not just you helps you to get out of a self-victimizing mindset.

4. Process your thoughts/emotions

Process your thoughts/emotions with any of the four methods:

  1. Journal. Write your unhappiness in a private diary or in your blog. It doesn’t have to be formal at all – it can be a brain dump on rough paper or new word document. Delete after you are done.
  2. Audio taping. Record yourself as you talk out what’s on your mind. Tools include tape recorder, your PC (Audacity is a freeware for recording/editing audio) and your mobile (most mobiles today have audio recording functions). You can even use your voice mail for this. Just talking helps you to gain awareness of your emotions. After recording, play back and listen to what you said. You might find it quite revealing.
  3. Meditation. At its simplest form, meditation is just sitting/lying still and observing your reality as it is – including your thoughts and emotions. Some think that it involves some complex mambo-jumbo, but it doesn’t.
  4. Talking to someone. Talking about it with someone helps you work through the issue. It also gets you an alternate viewpoint and consider it from a different angle.

5. Acknowledge your thoughts

Don’t resist your thoughts, but acknowledge them. This includes both positive and negative thoughts.

By acknowledging, I mean recognizing these thoughts exist. So if say, you have a thought that says, “Wow, I’m so stupid!”, acknowledge that. If you have a thought that says, “I can’t believe this is happening to me again”, acknowledge that as well.

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Know that acknowledging the thoughts doesn’t mean you agree with them. It’s simply recognizing the existence of said thoughts so that you can stop resisting yourself and focus on the situation on hand.

6. Give yourself a break

If you’re very stressed out by the situation, and the problem is not time sensitive, then give yourself a break. Take a walk, listen to some music, watch a movie, or get some sleep. When you’re done, you should feel a lot more revitalized to deal with the situation.

7. Uncover what you’re really upset about

A lot of times, the anger we feel isn’t about the world. You may start off feeling angry at someone or something, but at the depth of it, it’s anger toward yourself.

Uncover the root of your anger. I have written a five part anger management series on how to permanently overcome anger.

After that, ask yourself: How can you improve the situation? Go to Step #9, where you define your actionable steps. Our anger comes from not having control on the situation. Sitting there and feeling infuriated is not going to change the situation. The more action we take, the more we will regain control over the situation, the better we will feel.

8. See this as an obstacle to be overcome

As Helen Keller once said,

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”

Whatever you’re facing right now, see it as an obstacle to be overcome. In every worthy endeavor, there’ll always be countless obstacles that emerge along the way. These obstacles are what separate the people who make it, and those who don’t. If you’re able to push through and overcome them, you’ll emerge a stronger person than before. It’ll be harder for anything to get you down in the future.

9. Analyze the situation – Focus on actionable steps

In every setback, there are going to be things that can’t be reversed since they have already occurred. You want to focus on things that can still be changed (salvageable) vs. things that have already happened and can’t be changed. The only time the situation changes is when you take steps to improve it. Rather than cry over spilt milk, work through your situation:

  1. What’s the situation?
  2. What’s stressing you about this situation?
  3. What are the next steps that’ll help you resolve them?
  4. Take action on your next steps!

After you have identified your next steps, act on them. The key here is to focus on the actionable steps, not the inactionable steps. It’s about regaining control over the situation through direct action.

10. Identify how it occurred (so it won’t occur again next time)

A lot of times we react to our problems. The problem occurs, and we try to make the best out of what has happened within the context. While developing a healthy coping mechanism is important (which is what the other helping points are on), it’s also equally important, if not more, to understand how the problem arose. This way, you can work on preventing it from taking place next time, vs. dealing reactively with it.

Most of us probably think the problem is outside of our control, but reality is most of the times it’s fully preventable. It’s just a matter of how much responsibility you take over the problem.

For example, for someone who can’t get a cab for work in the morning, he/she may see the problem as a lack of cabs in the country, or bad luck. However, if you trace to the root of the problem, it’s probably more to do with (a) Having unrealistic expectations of the length of time to get a cab. He/she should budget more time for waiting for a cab next time. (b) Oversleeping, because he/she was too tired from working late the previous day. He/she should allocate enough time for rest next time. He/she should also pick up better time management skills, so as to finish work in lesser time.

11. Realize the situation can be a lot worse

No matter how bad the situation is, it can always be much worse. A plus point vs. negative point analysis will help you realize that.

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12. Do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it

No matter how bad your situation may seem, do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it. Life is too beautiful to worry so much over daily issues. Take a step back (#1), give yourself a break if you need to (#6), and do what you can within your means (#9). Everything else will unfold accordingly. Worrying too much about the outcome isn’t going to change things or make your life any better.

13. Pick out the learning points from the encounter

There’s something to learn from every encounter. What have you learned from this situation? What lessons have you taken away?

After you identify your learning points, think about how you’re going to apply them moving forward. With this, you’ve clearly gained something from this encounter. You’ve walked away a stronger, wiser, better person, with more life lessons to draw from in the future.

Get the manifesto version of this article: [Manifesto] What To Do When Things Don’t Go Your Way

Featured photo credit: Alice Donovan Rouse via unsplash.com

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