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News. Noise. Nonsense. There are so many things out there in the universe working to steal your focus, your peace, your mindset. So, we asked an important question of our incredible staff writers—a group of people able to produce creative work amidst a sea of troubles: 

How do you get into a positive headspace?

Jay Heltzer

  1. Throw the phone away. It is evil. It distracts. It annoys. It frustrates.
  2. Sit quietly. Close your eyes. Breathe deeply down to your toes.
  3. Don’t think about your Amazon order, or if you remembered to wish Dave a Happy Birthday, the ungrateful prick.
  4. Embrace the silence. Visualize what a productive win looks like.
  5. The silence is creepy, plus I can hear the upstairs toilet running.
  6. Fine, go get your phone. Open up your “Meditation” playlist… or “Funhouse” by The Stooges. Iggy Pop is an underrated front man. Maybe not Freddy Mercury-level, but one of the nuttiest wild men there ever was. Can’t have Marilyn Manson without Iggy, or Alice Cooper, but you don’t listen to him so…
  7. Get up off your ass and get something done, otherwise that promotion goes away, you incompetent fuck.
  8. Got any snacks? Leftover pizza?

Sarah Razner

What lasts three minutes and gets your heart pumping? A song, of course! Go to your favorite music playing device—your phone, record player, sound system, radio, etc.—and turn it on. Maybe you want to listen to your favorite song, or let the magic of “shuffle mode” be your guide. Whichever you choose, crank the volume, and let the harmonies and bass notes wash over you. Belt it out and dance. Listen to it with silent reverence. In a matter of minutes, you’ll have shifted away from the negative and be careening towards the positive. (Recommendation: put on a Broadway playlist. If you’re anything like me, not only will it put you in a better mood, but thinking about the miracle of live entertainment will leave you a bit in awe of the human race, too).

Jeff Estrella

Honestly, sitting down and creating something is what keeps me in a positive mindset. When the world gets to feel a bit too much and I can feel my mind racing I usually get a coffee, sit down and start typing. It doesn’t have to be anything good, or anything that anybody will ever see. It can be a poem, a blog post, a free-write, anything as long as I’m creating something I come out of it in a much better mind space.

Marybeth McDonough

Give me a Coca-Cola (yes, trademarked) and I’m in the most positive of headspaces. I assure you, reader, this is not a cheeky metaphor for anything weird or illegal, just straight-up bubbles, preferably from a fountain, but I’ll take a cold can. Yes, I know it’s terrible for me; I’ve read the early-2000s chain emails and Buzzfeed listicles that talk about it eating away at your insides and how it’s best used for cleaning grime off machinery. I care not. Add to that, a clip or two of some feel-good films (Ferris Bueller commandeering the parade float or Apollo 13 landing back on Earth will do) and everything is a yes. And no, don’t you dare try it with Diet Coke…

Josh Bard

​​The trick is to stop thinking about it, while also never stopping thinking about it. Do something that gets your mind on something else, but not something so distracting that you forget about writing or being creative altogether. I find a run is a good thing because your mind is working a little, but not too much. A walk works too if running isn’t your thing. Check your drafts or ideas folder, if you have one. Now is maybe a good time to knock out an easy errand because just completing something feels like a little win and you want momentum swinging your way. If all that doesn’t work, vow to quit writing. I’ve done that a hundred times with drinking and then sure enough, I am drinking again in no time.

Keven Balderas

Reading the entries above has already put me in a better mood, since it’s fascinating how alike human beings can be while appearing quite different. — Yes, definitely, an ice-cold, bubbly Coke unequivocally helps on bad days; and yes, the smartphone — oh, man, the smartphone is a death trap for positive thinking and its first cousin, Productivity. — And yes, wow, running is the best. Running has literally (and ironically) cured my bouts of chronic fatigue and acute pessimism. And if I had a nickel for every time I’ve wished to head in early to work, but end up rushing all late in the morning — why, besides being much less grouchy, I’d be a ba-ba-billionaire.

Jillian Conochan

These are nice and Imma let you finish, but personally I like to keep it consistent with my blood type and remain A Negative person. Like all my favorite writers and meme accounts, my best work comes from despair and rage. Just ask my sister.

The Prompt Staff

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