50 Pieces Of Advice That Sound Like Total Bullshit That Are Actually Pretty Useful
Self-ImprovementAdvice

50 Pieces Of Advice That Sound Like Total Bullshit That Are Actually Pretty Useful

These cliche pieces of advice from Ask Reddit are more helpful than they sound.

1. Don’t suffer future pain. In other words, worrying about all the stuff that could happen stops you from doing things and worse, turns potential pain into actual worry and mental pain.

2. If you have body image issues, find one even very small thing you like about yourself. My starting point was a freckle in the middle of my left hand. Whenever you’re feeling bad about yourself, remember you like that ONE thing. Find a new small thing to like about once a month if you can. It becomes easier to find things, and eventually easier to like yourself, in my experience. Thanks for that advice, Mom.

3. Changing something about your appearance to gain confidence/self-esteem (getting a haircut, going to the gym). I thought it was a cop out piece of advice and then I got a haircut and I felt so comfortable in my skin and at peace that I remember the exact moment it happened.

4. Once begun is half done. I am a terrible procrastinator by nature. I have totally done the “well now it 5:02 so I have to wait until 6:00 to start cleaning” and I like making things seem like soo much work that I can’t possibly do them unless I take time off of work. In reality if you just start a project without thinking about it you can get everything done in like fifteen minutes a day and it’s never really that bad.

5. This too shall pass. On those days when I just feel like I can’t take it I think of that, and I know tomorrow will be different. Someone once told me, “Tomorrow may not be better, but at least it’ll be different.” In a strange way that too is comforting.

6. Keeping my shoulders back. It was a suggestion I saw for preventing panic/anxiety. Idk what it is, but when your shoulders are in that position it gives some strange feeling of control. I also read somewhere that during panic attacks the body basically wants to curl into fetal position for protection, so I feel like focusing on keeping your arms down and shoulders back is a conscious way to go against that and stay grounded in reality. Works for me, could work for you too.

7. My dad always told me ‘Ask anyway, the worst they can say is no’ when buying something or when I needed something from another person. Seemed stupid to ask if I was sure they would say no but I was also a socially anxious kid. Turns out that advice has helped me with school, with raises, with people in general, with plans with new friends…

8. Compliment people behind their backs. Sounds stupid but works wonders.

9. Not taking your cellphone into bed with you. After awhile you will sleep much easier without the distraction and blue light shining straight into your eyes before bed.

10. Stick to the same sleep schedule on your days off that you follow on days when you have to be somewhere at a specific time (like school or work days).

I spent my whole life sleeping until noon on weekends, thinking I was storing sleep in some imaginary sleep bank. I recently started waking up early on weekends, and now I don’t have trouble waking up when my alarm goes off during the week. Plus I have all this extra time to do stuff because I’m not sleeping all day.

11. You’re not hungry you’re thirsty! I would eat a big meal and wonder why I still felt hungry. It is because I wasn’t drinking a glass of water with my meal. Now if I notice I am hungry after eating normal portions I have a glass of water and wait 5 minutes before I continue eating.

12. Be yourself. The less you care what people think and the more real you are, the more people start to like you.

13. If you make your bed in the morning, it will help you to get started on your day and make you feel better when you get ready to go to bed at night.

14. In regards to dating: “You’ll find someone when you’re not looking.”

Sounds like total bs, but it’s proven true for me a few times.

15. Pull up your socks. Literally. When you’re feeling flagged and weary and still have two hours left before you can go home, sit down, take off your shoes, and literally pull your socks up.

I belittled this forever until I tried it. It’s actually a nice little pick-me-up

16. On my wedding day my Grandmother said to me, “Never do anything around the house that you don’t plan on doing for life.” At the time I thought it was a terrible advice. When I was mowing the lawn at 7 1/2 months pregnant I got what she meant.

17. Giving small compliments to people right when you think it makes both them and you happy. Think that girls skirt is cute? Tell her!

18. My doctor told me when I feel anxious or something like that to wiggle my toes and count them for every wiggle. It is something that distracts your mind and you can do it anywhere cause it just means moving your toes.

19. Put on your own oxygen mask first.

You can’t help anyone effectively if you’re not OK yourself. I was always self sacrificing – to the point of being hospitalized for exhaustion. I’d always been told to give till it hurts and then push through the pain to give more, and so that’s what feels natural, and anything else is pure selfishness.

20. Smiling at people. You can get a lot just from a simple smile.

21. Going to therapy. I’m a guy. I’m emotionally stable, so I thought it was a pointless idea. Went with my ex-gf, in order to work out problems in our relationship (mostly on her end). I learned so much about myself and got some amazing life advice. 10/10

22. My mom told me to spend good money on the things that separate you from the ground: tires, shoes, mattress. I finally bought good not cheap shoes and life was SIGNIFICANTLY better. They last so much longer and my back and posture improved too. She’s not wrong about tires and a mattress either

23. Drink water. Drink more water. Never stop drinking water.

24. I had a problem looking at people’s shoulders while they were speaking instead of their face. I told a coworker my problem who said “well just look at their ears, nobody can tell the difference”. Life changing, seriously, no one can tell the difference.

25. I suffered severe insomnia for years. Someone told me I should get up an hour earlier, go for a 30 minute run in the morning, then do yoga for 15 minutes before showering and getting ready for work. Seemed ridiculous, but I decided to try it for a month.

Haven’t suffered insomnia since. Have way more energy, sleep better, feel better. It’s amazing.

26. Wash your dishes immediately after using them. It really helps avoid unnecessary clutter.

27. Do the practice problems in the textbook. You think it’s a total waste until you actually try it.

28. When you’re texting/emailing between colleagues, friends, etc. don’t put anything you wouldn’t say to their face in writing. If you have it in writing they’ve got something physical they can hold against you or gossip about.

29. Flip a coin and choose the one you’re hoping for. I don’t even have to flip a coin now and I’m way more decisive!

30. If you feel like quitting then just tell yourself that the story doesn’t end this way. Sounds cliche, but you decide when your story ends when you stop trying. You may fail, but you will not fail today. Don’t let the story end this way.

31. Practice gratitude. Grateful people are happy people.

32. It’s better to lose a second of your life than to lose your life in a second.

People on the road need to just slow down a little. It’ll save your life.

33. Exercising helping with depression and anxiety. It’s not a cure all and I needed to be on meds to get to the point where I could do it, but it really does help me. I’ve been off my meds now for over a year (under doctors supervision don’t stop taking your meds unless you run it by your doctor) and when I can’t exercise for a few days, I can feel the depression and anxiety coming back. Now instead of going through a million things I did wrong in my head, I run for 3 miles or lift some heavy shit.

34. Bribe yourself with fun things to do the not so fun things.

Today I was tired after work but got a little care package in the mail, so I made myself go on the 2.5 mile run I didn’t want to do before I could open the package. Now I’m refreshed and happy that I did the thing I was pseudo dreading, and I have a fun care package to open.

35. Give up caffeine to help with anxiety. I gave it up to help with my vertigo years after this was first suggested to me, but it did help. I’m still anxious as fuck but I’m not reacting to it like a hummingbird on cocaine anymore.

36. Go to the bathroom first thing after having sex.

37. Try killing roaches with soapy water in a spray bottle.

It sounds useless, but it works better than any insecticide I’ve ever tried, and it’s non-toxic and really easy to clean up.

38. One day at a time. It’s been helping me stay focus in the NOW.

39. Life is really much easier if you clean your workplace/room. I clean my room often and it makes me feel calm and clears my head.

40. Unclench your jaw, open your hands, drop your shoulders, and breathe in.

41. Fans on my old MacBook died. Saw a YouTube video that said to simply take your fist and bang on the part of the computer that housed the fans.

Thinking it was a troll, I gave it a shot out of pure frustration, and lo and behold, they purred back to life and I never had another issue with them for the rest of the time that I owned that computer.

42. Cleaning your house before leaving for more than 5 days. Nothing is better than coming to a clean house.

43. As someone with a phobia of needles my entire life, I finally (30 years in) had a nurse tell me to ask for a spare alcohol pad and sniff it right as I’m about to get jabbed. She said the harsh smell is enough of a distraction to keep your mind off the needle. I was there for a flu shot, so I got to try it out right away; I wasn’t expecting much, but it worked! Ive been doing it ever since, and have no trouble with shots or blood draws now, which is huge for someone they’ve triggered panic attacks and near fainting in, before.

44. If you have a clogged nose, doing 8-10 pushups will temporarily clear it up.

45. If you can tell that someone is going to hit you, tilt your head down. Teeth don’t grow back. Your jaw is lights out. If they punch the top of your skull, they will probably break their hand. Always be drunk.

46. Putting cold water on freshly shaved skin will make it so you don’t get ingrown hairs.

Some of the best advice I’ve ever received.

47. “Your gums bleed when you floss because you don’t floss enough.”

Turns out if you floss enough, your gums won’t be inflamed so they don’t bleed when you floss.

48. That Forest app. It grows a tree for up to 2 hours and during that time, you can’t access any apps you think will distract you. If you wanna open a distracting app, you’d have to kill your tree. All your trees, dead or alive, appear in a little forest. I have always had trouble motivating myself to focus on homework and not look at Reddit/YouTube, but this app is just enough guilt to not open them. I haven’t killed anything yet and I’m surprised at how much I can care about a small virtual tree. People told me about it and I just completely assumed that I’d never use it or it wouldn’t work for me considering how distractible I am, but it works wonders.

49. My grandfather told me this and I never understood it until I had my own place. Always buy the cheap tools at first and if you wear it out/break it then you use it enough to justify getting a nicer more expensive one.

50. “There’s what you need, there’s what you want, and there’s what you can’t afford.”

My Dad says this all the time, and I never though of it as useless–I just never used it. Now I have, and my money is far easier to manage. TC mark

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January Nelson is a writer, editor, dreamer, and occasional exotic dancer. Her work has appeared on Facebook, ... Read more articles from January on Thought Catalog.