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How We Stay Positive

April 3, 2014


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So, let’s start with a warning. This is going to be a very long post. It’s usually just one person writing a blog post at once, but this time, we have all four of us adding our thoughts, all in different sections. Health and Wellbeing are topics that we’re really interested in lately, so we’re really pouring ourselves into this post here today. Hopefully you don’t find it too boring.

Without further ado, here we go!

Martina’s Thoughts:

Martina Shocked

Music can start off your day with positive vibes or feed into a negative emotion. I made several music playlists that include only my favourite positive songs. Whether it be lyrically positive like “Happy” by Pharell or an upbeat song that makes me boogie like “Fantastic Baby” by Big Bang, I try to focus on music that won’t channel any negative vibes. Rock and heavy metal are my go-to music for when I feel upset or angry, and although I use lots of rock music to get upbeat and feel happy, some of my favourite bands have a negative association with certain times in my life. If I listen to that album when I’m having a bad day, I remember those negative feels and it can easily pull me down into a negativity spiral. Oh that sounded so hippy, like….yeah, right? But it’s true: once you’re put into a sour mood, it’s very easy to feed into it and grow it, yet it’s not easy to remind ourselves of all the good things in our lives.

I visualize being negative like having an angry pet bird on your shoulder. It grows very quickly and easily when you feed it. It just sits on your shoulder and whispers angry negative things in your ear until you’re having the worst day of your life. Woke up late and missed the bus? You angry bird is there to whisper in your ear and to remind you that this day is already going to suck. You catch the next bus, but get bumped on the bus by someone, and that bird is there to remind you how much humanity sucks, and to fortify your early anger of missing the bus. That angry little bird will continue to poison your mind; he’ll point out people judging you, remind you that you’re not good at things, direct blame at other people for things you could change yourself. Whatever it is, that bird is there to remind you of all that’s wrong with the world and your life.

So how can we put a muzzle on this grumpy little bird? I find that, once I realize that the day isn’t in itself bad, but that I’m just hearing the squawking, then popping on my pre-made playlist of positive music can really help quiet the bird’s noise. Good positive music is the start for me, even if the music annoys me at the time because I’m not currently in the mood to hear something positive.

The hard part is acknowledging that you’re in a bad mood. Yes, that sounds weird, but you really need to say to yourself, “holy crap! I think I’m being a massive grumpy bear.” When I realize I’m actually in a bad mood, I look back on some of the stuff that’s stressing me out and decide whether or not it’s actually justified anger. For example, being angry and enraged because you’re waiting in a slow line at the grocery store…that is not justified anger. You’re angry because you want to move faster but being angry isn’t going to change anything. It’s not anyone’s fault that they, too, want to purchase groceries. Even if the cashier is slow, it’s still not their fault you’re angry. Your anger is your own issue. You’re just making yourself upset without being able to change anything. And if you can’t change anything, then it’s not worth your energy. So, I take all the things that I’m feeling angry about and I divide them into three categories:

The Three Types of Anger

1. The Angry Bird (i.e.: a slow moving line up, people wearing clothing you don’t approve, getting a bad parking spot)

Things in The Angry Bird category are actually very personal things. You may not find waiting in line to be annoying, but for some people it can send them into a rage. I think of this category as just me taking out my bad mood on other people and on the environment around me. It’s not seriously justifiable anger, it’s just grumpy angry mutterings from that sour bird on my shoulder, reminding me how annoying my day is. I’m just looking for things to be angry about, and feeding into my already sour mood. By putting a muzzle on your personal Angry Bird, you can work on bettering yourself and lowering your stress level. Your need to acknowledging these short fuses and acknowledge that they are not the only reason you are upset. There is an underlying bigger reason, and by listening to your angry bird you are only feeling worse.

2. Annoyances (i.e.: a spilt drink on your crotch, loud talkers in the library, people talking in a movie theatre)

Outside of the things that you personally perceive as annoying, there are also poopy annoying things in life that are not your fault. Sometimes you can change it and sometimes you cannot. For example, you can report the loud talkers in the library and get them kicked out (hahah not that I’ve done that…yes I have). You could also move locations. You can also personally ask them to turn down their talking volume as well. You have options sometimes. Yet not everything is preventable or changeable. A person spilling something on you accidentally is not preventable. Yes, it is annoying, but you have to remind yourself that it wasn’t done maliciously. It sucks, but don’t let it be “just another reason this day is the worst.” I’ve come to the conclusion that many people are just unaware of the world around them so when they blast their music loudly or stop walking at the bottom of a flight of stairs to check their phone it’s NOT because they’re mean spirited jerks, it’s because they just aren’t being considerate of the world around them. I file these annoyances under “unaware humans” and try my hardest to either make a change, or to just move on. Oh and if you’re the person sitting in front of me in a movie theatre gabbing on your phone, you better believe I’m leaning in and telling you to hang up. I’m not paying money to let you ruin my movie.

3. Core Stress (i.e.: work related stress, money related stress, school related stress, health related stress, family related stress)

Core stress is the real reason you’re upset. And it can wreck major chaos on both your mind and body. I’m not saying you shouldn’t be upset because someone spilt a drink on you, or you can’t be upset because you waited 20 minutes to get a latte. I’m saying that in order to manage a reasonable level of stress that doesn’t lead to despair and a nervous breakdowns, you need to learn to let those other things go. You need to acknowledge what your core stress is so that you don’t go spiralling into despair when something else happens. Like waking up with a pimple. Or missing the bus. Or having a bad customer at your work. That turns into “SCREW THIS DAY, I HATE THE WORLD I’M GOING BACK TO BED!” *Disney princess worthy fling onto the bed and sobs* Yes, I have done that. I have done that recently. Truthfully, I have struggled with anxiety and depression for a long time. It’s only recently that I’ve been able to acknowledge that listening to the Angry Bird and using annoyances to add to my “worst day ever list” is not actually helping me feel any better. It’s just not productive to my health. It keeps me from sleeping, it makes me irritable, and it makes me sad. What we need to do is discover the real core of our stress, and focus on just dealing with that. For me, I’m personally dealing with health related stresses at the moment, while before I was dealing with work and school stresses.

I personally think that stress comes from a feeling of uneasiness that comes with not knowing the future. Will I pass this exam? Will I get that job? How will I pay off my loan? When will I meet someone? When will I stop feeling pain? When we’re stressed out about something it feels like our entire life is purely made up of stress. We view the world through the eyes of stress BUT, and this is a big but, you’re only experiencing a tiny piece of your life. You’re taking that tiny piece and wearing it like poop tinted glasses in which to view the world in its full poopy nature. But you know what? Middle school, high school, university, job hunting, careers…that’s not the whole of life. Those are just more little pieces from your life. Those are just locations, actions, and transactions we go through. Life is happening around and outside those things! I realized this in my 5th year of University while applying to get into Teacher’s College.

I put all my energy into filling out the massive amount of applications forms. It was important, yes, but I was so stressed out regarding if I would get into school or not I had nervous breakdowns on the way to work. I’d burst into tears over a canceled plan with friends. I’d be unable to get out of bed. I was stressed out all day and everyday…but it didn’t actually change anything. Did it make me work harder at a specific task? No. Was it just ruining my entire day? Yes. Once I sent out the forms, I literally could do nothing but wait and see if I was going to get into school. WHY WHY WHY did I waste energy walking around stressed out of my mind? I have to receive that rejection/acceptance paper in the mail first! Why didn’t I take that energy, plan for both scenarios (accepted vs not accepted) and just move on until I found out? But I didn’t.


Looking back on it now, I saw the patterns I fell into. Listening to the Angry Bird, allowing small annoyances to turn into huge problems, but I realize now that once I take the time to breath deeply and categorize all my feels, I can see what must be changed in order to keep myself from feeling upset.

Essentially, there are things that are worth being stressed out about, like your immediate core stresses, and then there are things that you can choose to ignore. It’s really really hard to ignore them sometimes, but by doing that you can deal with core stress and have a good day at the same time.

Simon’s Thoughts

Shocked Simon

So, I don’t think I did justice to my perspective in this video. The basic idea of “think of two good things for every one bad thing you experience” and “never take things for granted” kinda gets lost when the examples I give are “my dog didn’t die!” and “my hips ain’t broken anymore!” Let me get into this idea a bit more, if I can.

In a very blunt, cold way, I can put it as this: the things that bother me in the here and now are insignificant in other contexts. I might read a crappy comment on Tumblr, and be upset, but then I can just, you know, close the computer. Walk away. Buy some flowers. Make a home cooked meal. Walk my dog who freaking loves going on walks and dances around in excitement when we’re about to go out. Go to the park and do balls, Soo Zee style. All of these things are better than dealing with or dwelling on negative experiences.

When we step away from the computer, we’ve got a bunch of friends, close friends, who aren’t really computer literate, and when we hang out with them and they’re like “what’s a tumblings?” and I think to myself of the vast world of experience out there, and how tiny this one is in the grand scheme of where my life has come from and where it’s going. Life exists outside of internet culture. Life exists outside of your classroom. Life exists outside of your job. There’s so much of it everywhere! It’s Cherry Blossom season now in Korea, and gotdamn it’s gorgeous.

Some might think that this isn’t a way to solve your problems. It’s more flight than fight. My response to this is that not every problem is worth the effort that goes into solving it. Not everything needs a resolution, and if the effort that goes into solving something is greater than the outcome, then fuck it. Move on to something different.

I think the method that I advocate most for getting over the blues is two fold. The first is to realize the insignificance of whatever event is bothering me, and secondly is to focus more attention and energy on appreciating what I DO have around me. I could be upset about dealing with our landlord, buuuut I have a soft kitty here. I could be upset that I’m not in the best shape right now, buuuut I have a wife that loves me. I could be upset that a project I had been planning fell through, but look at that sunset. Once you realize that all things are of equal significance, that the things that are happening to you aren’t as important as they seem at the moment, then the playing field is levelled. Good experiences and bad experiences have the same weight, so why not put my energies into experiencing the positives?

Why would I focus on the people that dislike me, when I could be paying attention to the people that do like me? Why pay attention to anger when I could pay attention to love? It’s hard when I occasionally fall into a rut, but I just do my best to realize the negative thought pattern, and then say “f*ck it” and to move onto something else I like instead. My life won’t crumble as a result. Things will go on.

Part of my experiences is to never take anything for granted. Anything can change in the blink of an eye. I could get extremely sick. A meteor could hit. Kim Jong Un could flip his shit. We could die in a taxi accident. There’s no guarantee that the experiences I’m having now will be experiences I’ll have in the future. There will be a time in the future when things will be different, where situations will suck more. Let me do my best to appreciate what I have now while I still have it.

For instance: You’re watching our videos. You have no duty to. Tomorrow you can say “goddamn: that last joke of theirs just pushed me to the limit” and you can stop watching. And then what? What if everyone stopped watching? Does that mean we’ll die? Not at all. It means we’ll have to do something else instead. I’ll enjoy doing this for as long as you let me, but if you change your mind I won’t be angry at you or myself for it, because I’ve done this to the best of my ability, and enjoyed as much of it as I could.

Some days I’m walking out in public with Martina. We get separated in a mall. I look for her and can’t see her. There’s no sight of her anywhere. At times like that I sometimes think to myself, did she really ever exist? The life I have with her is too amazing. It’d make sense if I was just dreaming this whole thing up. Now that the dream’s over, at least I can say it was fantastic, and I was fortunate enough to have great experiences with her. Then I see her again, and go back to appreciating as many moments with her as I’ll be given.

We had a pretty big scare lately which we didn’t talk about publicly in video, but I’ll talk about here because I feel like the blog section is a different audience than our YouTube viewers. It’s something that negatively affected us, and you might have seen that in our videos. Martina lost the hearing in her right ear last February, and after many hospital appointments and tests with ear specialists, the doctor concluded she probably had a brain tumour. When he suggested this diagnosis, the first thing I thought wasn’t “holy shit, she’s going to die” and started panicking. Instead, I thought “ok. So this is the situation. What’s our next course of action to make this better? What can I do to make things better for Martina?”

But first, Martina did an MRI to check if the diagnosis was accurate. We waited for a few days for the results. We just kept filming and putting up videos as best we could, talked to you guise online, and did what kept on making us happy, but Martina was feeling really down. After waiting a week, Martina’s scan came back…negative for tumours! We still don’t know why Martina’s hearing is gone. We think it probably has to do with her EDS, which she talked about before in her Draw My Life Videos. It’s possible that the EDS caused a dislocated bone in her inner ear. The point is, I didn’t get destroyed by sadness and panic when we waited for the results. They’re unknown, so there was nothing to think about. I focused on what we could do to be happy in the moment, and when the diagnosis came back with favourable results, I have a new thing to be happy about. It’s not gonna kill my wife! Woohoo!


I think I’m getting distracted here with examples. Basic premise in a nutshell: what I have is an infinite possibility of experiences, both positive and negative. All of them get the amount of attention I choose to give them. What I don’t have is an infinite amount of time. I’m going to spend the rest of my life appreciating my positive experiences, because the world doesn’t owe me anything, and the happiness in my life can be taken away from me at any moment. Sure, this sounds like a rather depressing standpoint, for some people, but for me I feel liberated, and I feel like I can enjoy things, like walking my dog, looking at my wife, hanging with friends, drinking a nice cocktail, sitting in a comfortable couch, not feeling ill, all of these things I can appreciate this more than many other people I know, who think that all of these things are just normal. Rather than thinking of the world as awesome by default, and feeling upset when things don’t go my way, I think of the world as not awesome by default, and feel blessed when things do go my way.

Leigh’s Thoughts

Intern Leigh here, aka: stage 2 apprentice wizard of time management and general ass-kickery. I’ve never actually done just school; every time I’ve been a full time student I’ve also been a full time something else. How do I manage to win scholarships, land amazing internships, and still find the time to watch Sabrina the Teenage Witch seasons 1, 2, and 3 over Easter weekend? I’m a time-management ninja. That’s right, I’m a ninja and a wizard. And I’ll share my ninja-wizard secrets.

Secret #1: I have a life outside of school
I take a Romantic Scholar approach to school. I don’t believe anything – a project deadline, a term paper, a film critique – should get in the way of Friday night barbecues. Or Saturday morning cartoons. Or Sunday afternoon brunches. You catch my drift? Rather than go for “well-rounded,” I focus on kicking tail at one specific area academically. That leaves more time for playing-I mean working at the studio, dragging Soo Zee to fancy whiskey bars, and shopping for new sundresses.

Secret #2: I timebox
I learned this trick from Neil Fiore. I never set deadlines to finish things. I set deadlines to start. When I get too intense about being the best video editor in the world, I fall into the pit of despair, so I make it a point to worry more about starting than finishing. Having no pressure to finish, no pressure to be perfect, no pressure to get it all done in one sitting does wonders for my stress level. Even just a solid, uninterrupted 15 minutes of work can be enough to remember that your value as a human being is NOT equal to your grades, or your art’s reception, or your personal best. (bolding requested by Martina)

Secret #3: I ignore emails
One of the most important things I learned from Merlin Mann’s awesome “Inbox Zero” email approach is that truly urgent matters do not come via email. If you need an answer right this flipping second, you’ll call me. So I ignore lots of emails. Not forever, but certainly not until I’m done with whatever it is I’m doing right now. I will check my email when I durn well feel like it, thankyouverymuch. Instead of constant push alerts that remind me I have a billion things left to do, I have blissful stretches of distraction-free time to focus on work slash research new bubble tea places and DIY steadycam rigs…I mean…pssh…not that I…do…that…RUN AWAY!!


Ok, so this was a ridiculously long post. I had no idea how to break it up into something more manageable. If you’ve made it this far, thank you for taking the time to read our thoughts on the matter. I hope you weren’t too bored with the blog post and with the topic. If you liked it, hooray! If you liked it and haven’t subscribed yet, you’re almost there! Click on the button below to get the happy juices flowing!



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How We Stay Positive


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  1. You guise: the ideas and feeling and experiences you share are so helpful and encouraging. Great video – Amazing blog post!

    1 year ago
  2. Bel

    Thank you for sharing your insights about all of this. It’s helpful and makes me rethink many stuff that’s going in my life,… you are all awesome!!!!!! -(๑☆‿ ☆#)ᕗ

    1 year ago
  3. Thank you for this post. It has made me feel better on a poopy day. Also, the hearing loss thing struck me as I remember seeing something about this before. EDS can cause hearing loss however, it seems that hearing aids generally help most people with this issue. and they aren’t old school giant things anymore. you might even be able to get a hello kitty one! Keep your chin up!

    1 year ago
  4. This post was absolutely uplifting. Was on my usual downward spiral till i saw this video and decided to properly read the blogpost. I’m so glad martina’s fine! I absolutely LOVE your videos. been binge watching your videos starting from those you posted way back in the day (i.e. 5 years ago). muahaha im obsessive like that. THANKS SO MUCH FOR PUTTING ALL THESE CONTENT UP! it really really helps! Imma try Simon’s strategy, 2 positive thoughts for 1 negative thought. :) THANKS SO MUCH GUYS! oooooo you so nasty~

    1 year ago
  5. Where do I change my profile picture?

    1 year ago
  6. Just a simple smile can brighten my day, so when I’m in a bad mood, I smile. That way, other people will smile, and that will make me happy. :)

    2 years ago
  7. I… I’m… I can’t believe I’m not crying right now, but inside I’m writhing with tears… Bless you guys, really, bless you.

    2 years ago
  8. This is my favourite post. I’m a pretty dedicated student, so I often have a hard time realizing that there is any sort of life outside of school, which really gets me down. Thank you for giving me new tips and tricks to stay positive!
    And I’m so glad Martina’s condition isn’t serious. All of our hearts would break for her.

    2 years ago
  9. Thank you very much for this video! As you are normally funny and happy and in a good mood in your videos, it’s easy to forget the fact that you have to struggle with stress, depression, etc. like everyone else. So, I really hope that those people who write bad things about you will stop their crap. If you don’t like something/someone you should simply stay away from it/them instead of badmouthing!
    One of my tactics is music, too. I like to listen to music while I’m getting ready – a bit of singing, humming or dancing and swoosh you’re in a good mood. :) I also have a little treasure box where I put things inside which remind me of the fact that I’m loved and appreciated for being myself, e.g. a sweet birthday letter of my sis or an endearing message from a friend. And before I fall asleep, I try to recall everything that happened to me during the day and be thankful for all the positive things.
    Not to forget your videos which have often made my day! :D

    2 years ago
  10. Bookmarking this for all the positivity! Will definitely need to refer back to this when I’m feeling too much pressure.

    2 years ago
  11. I froze when I read about Martina’s hearing loss, and was relieved to read it’s not a brain tumor. See, that cheered me up, because she got a terrible diagnosis which happily turned out to be inaccurate.

    When someone is unpleasant to me, either online or in real life, I just think ‘this person doesn’t know you personally and probably doesn’t care to either , so I’ll just focus on the people who do know and like me . ‘ This helped me ignore my bullies in high school and it’s still very useful. If someone doesn’t care to get to know you personally, they also cannot truly hurt you with their words because they have no details about you that they can attack you on. Furthermore, I am convinced that every experience helps you grow as a person and I cannot be more grateful for that.

    Like Simon, I also try to think of two positive things for each negative thing.

    Thanks for sharing this with us ! The four of you are role models to me. ~ <3

    2 years ago
  12. I’m a bit late reading the blog post, but I’m really glad I finally did. Thank you for taking the time to write all of this, I really needed it right now. You guys are really an inspiration to me. :)

    2 years ago
  13. I have a playlist of my favorite songs to listen to when I realize I’m starting to to get grumpy (also when I’m happy too because these songs are awesome) :) Also I currently work at Disney World so if I’m feeling stressed or upset I just head over to the parks and get some cuddles from my favorite characters ^.^ I’m going to start applying Simon’s 2:1 rule though. I get not so great guests some times and they kind of throw off my day so I’m going to start thinking of all the super amazing guests I get to see when ever I get an unpleasant one!

    2 years ago
  14. I’ve done something kind of like that before too- if I have to have a difficult conversation, I’ve put something in my field of view that is beautiful to me (don’t hate me but I’ve used an ikea catalogue for this purpose before) or a beautiful painting or a tree in a window. If I can still talk to the person and make eye contact, but also look at the pretty thing it helps me to not feel overwhelmed by the intense discussion.

    2 years ago
  15. I really found the blogpost both well written and very helpful. I’m gonna keep this page tab open in my browser so when I’m feeling depressed and down I’ll be reminded of what to do. thanks :) oh and I was really shocked to read about Martina’s ear problem, but I’m really glad it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. I hope you get better soon though. much love

    2 years ago
  16. EYK Crew, Your videos are some of the most fun to watch videos I’ve ever come across. I LOVE them! And I love you guise for what you do! I was unemployed for almost 2 years (JUST started a new job 3/31! Yay!!!!) and during that time, I found that watching uplifting, positive, happy people’s videos on YouTube realllllly helped keep my own spirits up. When I found your vids a few months ago, I became addicted and couldn’t stop watching. Honestly, I couldn’t go a day without watching them – and there are so many, I still haven’t watched them all. Your happiness and positivity really comes through and I know you’re 100% genuine, real people and I love that! That’s what keeps me coming back to your videos. Anyway, if I ever need some cheering up, I know I can watch some of your videos and they will make me smile and laugh! :) Thank you all for your dedication and hard work and don’t ever stop! You’ve been an inspiration to me, and I know you will continue to be! XOXOXOX (that’s a bunch of hugs and kisses to you!!!) :D

    2 years ago
  17. I love you guys! I seriously needed some of this. Lately I’ve been getting bent out of shape over things that don’t even matter and after reading and watching your video I feel a lot better. You both have always been big inspirations to me as people because despite everything that’s difficult for you guys you always seem so happy and positive and I love that!

    2 years ago
  18. Cis

    Hey Simon and Martina,
    I really hope you read this and figured I might best post it here, instead of in the live chat of yesterday.
    You said that the Meems meows if he wants you to lift him up.
    When I had a scottish fold, he started doing that aswell. This can however be a symptom of Hip Dysplasia(where the ‘cup’ of the is to small for the ‘head of the hip joint, very common in scottish folds) or even heart disease. My own kitty died very suddenly, after a heart attack(he had a diagnosed heart disease, HCM, also very common for scottish folds, but it was said that he didn’t suffer consequences yet). It was terrible to see, as I wasn’t able to do anything. I really wouldn’t want that to happen too you guise, so please let him get checked, just in case!

    2 years ago
  19. That was just the pick-me-up I needed^^ Thanks Guys :)

    2 years ago
  20. Aaah, Martina, I get what you mean by the Angry Bird. My psychologist calls it the attention-sucking dementor. I call it the voices in my head.

    ………do I really want to talk about my depression now. Nah. Not really.

    I will say though; God plays a central role in keeping me positive. Helping me see the bigger picture; giving me security about the future, and knowing Someone’s always holding my hand.

    2 years ago
  21. *Hugs* you just described the feeling perfectly – it’s nice to know that I’m not the only one. Your method is a really good one and I think I might use it in the future, so thanks!

    I also have another method that I’ve been using recently. I’m the type of person that’s really reluctant to open up to people and REALLY tell them what I’m feeling – if I do talk to someone, I usually brush it off and smooth it over, as if it’s nothing serious. So I’ve found that one thing really helps me: writing letters. It’s really nerdy, but it feels really good. If someone had done something to upset me but I can’t really bring it up with them, I’ll write a ‘letter’ addressed to them describing in full detail how I’m feeling. If I’m having a really bad episode and want to speak to someone specific about it, but can’t quite bring myself to call them up and really tell them everything, I’ll write a letter describing in full detail how and why I’m feeling really bad and useless and so forth. Of course, the ‘letter’ is never delivered – it’s kind of like writing a diary, except that it’s actually addressed to someone, as opposed to an object (i.e. ‘Dear Diary’). Plus, funnily enough, it gives me this extra satisfaction of having this little secret letter that no one will ever find, and yet it’s addressed to them. Am I making sense? xD

    2 years ago
  22. Simon, your new hair makes you look like an adult…. ;p

    also, I love you. your speech about appreciating the good things was really heart-warming. <3

    and wow about Martina's hearing loss story! that's harsh! it's amazing that you were able to keep it together like that! kudos to you!

    seriously though, i think i'm gonna bookmark this post. I'm someone who gets bummed out pretty easily, and i had a pretty bad breakup about 3 months ago which i'm still not over, and it caused me to gain a lot of weight, which in turn added to the depression, soooo…. i'm pretty much depressed all the time… (sorry to be pouring out my problems. lol) on top of that, i'm usually someone who turns to food to make me happy, but that's not really good when you're trying to lose weight, is it? so anyways, it's good for me to see all your different suggestions. thank you.

    2 years ago
  23. For me, I think it’s helpful to set goals that aren’t things I have to do for work or school but for me. Something like, “I want to save money for a trip,” because it’s do-able and you have a reason for those long hours you put into work. It makes you feel better at the time and it also lets you accomplish something later (and reap the reward as well!).

    2 years ago
  24. I just have to say thank you guys so much for this post. It’s like right on time for me since I’ve been very verwhelmed and stressed out. Thanks for all of the stories and tips. And Leigh, your cheeks are adorable!!!

    2 years ago
  25. I am seriously not just brown-nosing when I say this: Watching your videos is my happy drug. I might have found out I did not passed an interview, or having a really hard time with a work assignment, then after pouting a bit, I remember I haven’t watched your video or just rematch an old fav and you guys seriously make me smile again (if not laugh out loud). The joy and silliness in your videos is absolutely contagious and so yeah THANK YOU.
    Also, Leigh, loved your part about not aiming for when to finish but when to start. I have only ever drawn the scary deadlines in my planner and then the procrastination kicks in and I get more and more reluctant to start until I reach tipping point with an hour left to finish several hours work. I shall now try applying this rule to my life! It is genius I say! Thanks!

    2 years ago
  26. Just tried Martina’s trick of color-coding everything in my planner (no doodles because I’m not artistic) and whoa, it’s amazing how much more manageable and organized everything suddenly looks. And I love Simon’s “two positive thoughts for every one negative thought” advice. Thank you!

    2 years ago
  27. Can’t help it. I totally cried.

    2 years ago
    • ok, got myself together now. I’m still sorry about Martina’s hearing loss- that is frustrating! But I’m glad its not a tumor.
      I think you guise shared some wise points. Personally, I’ve lowered my expectations of myself and other a lot in the last couple of years. I’m more happy because of it. I am more thankful for what is real and genuine in myself and others now. I’m more aware of what is really important to me. I was kind of a raging perfectionist before and of course, the thing I would dwell on was the thing I didn’t do perfectly, so it took a while to change thought habits, but it has really made a difference.
      Funny: one of my kids went through this really hard time and I came across a little curriculum for kids called “Angry Birds Anger Management”. Each bird from Angry Birds has its own struggle or solution to help kids work through their anger issues. Its somewhere online.
      I’m like Martina and really respond to color and visuals. For a while there I was putting a sticker on my calendar every time I worked out, and then I could see at a glance if I was hitting enough workouts and look back at the end of the month and feel great about my efforts. Above kid started kyping all my stickers though.
      Anyway, thank-you for sharing some very useful ideas and thank-you for being you.

      2 years ago
  28. wow, It’s great that you guys can stay so positive even though things get in the way. You are such an inspiration and people can really learn a lot from you guys. I really wish I could think like you, but sadly, I’m a true pessimist and I’ve always been one. Things happened when I was younger and I just stopped believing in positive things. If something is going to happen I start to worry about everything that could go wrong….actually, I worry about everything. I’ve actually gone to the hospital because the stress made me so sick. I’ve been trying to do something about it but I would probably need professional help (which I will never get because it’s not that important to them). You really help me with your videos and blog posts and I’m so happy that I found you guys. Thank you for being here <3

    2 years ago
  29. Btw I also had a bad day today, so thank you so much Simon and Martina! Actually just watching your videos is one of the best ways to stay positive!:):):):):):)

    2 years ago
  30. When I feel stressed, depressed or sad (mostly because of schoolwork), I listen to music I used to listen to when I was in young like 90’s music, boybands(BACKSTREET BOYS!!!!) or watch my first Adrama’s like BOF, Hana Kimi. I don’t associate these things with stress because I was much younger, they remind me of the time when everything was ‘perfect’, when I didn’t have that much stress, when I see/hear these things it makes me happy and suddenly feels like I’m in another world! Exctually just going back to the past(pictures, movies, music, …)! Another thing that helps me keeping positive when I’m sad is going faaar away to a nice place/event. For example, in december I went to Infinite in Paris( I live in Belgium), I was quiet stressed beacause I still had to do so much for school and I’ve always hated sundays(my ultimate stressdays), but that day we were in Paris far away from everything, it was something we would neeeeveer do on a sunday, but it was so extroardinary/special and I totally forgot it was sunday, my favourite sunday ever!!

    2 years ago
  31. I was actually expecting the post to be longer, with a part for Soo Zee as well xp
    I just want you guys to know that you’re really amazing and definitely an inspiration to so many people. I’m not one to lose my cool easily, I’m pretty zen for no particular reason, but reading through this I find that we do a lot of similar things in our day to day lives. I’m more like Simon and I really appreciate the little things. I’m also a bit like Martina in that when I get really overwhelmed, sorting out my activities really helps me. You guys always provide nice insight, and learning more about where that came from, especially in the case of Martina and how you guys handled it, it’s really eye-opening. And Leigh was refreshingly hilarious, you awesome ninja wizard, you XDD
    I wish you guys lots of health, happiness, and love <3 And EYK is totally not going anywhere cuz you have tons of people who wanna support you, so forget them haters ^^

    2 years ago
  32. Hey! I almost cry reading this post… I’m in a difficult situation, my core stress level is in 99% and everything is critical to me. In some video, Simon talked about “one negative two positives”, and since then I take it like a way of life… In spite of I can’t fix the problems who get me bad, thinking in that way help me to not explode. So thank you for the most helping advice ever!

    And about Martina’s problem… I got a friend who has the same issue… one day she woke up in the morning and she couldn’t hear. Every new diagnose was worst than the last. After months of crying and sadness, she saw another especialist… they found that she have a cronica disease with no complications (except for no hearing, obviously) So keep the good vibres and happiness ever… no one knows what’s going to happen.

    You always make me happy, and this is the gratest post of EYK (except for the panties tug of war LOL)
    Love you guys <3<3<3<3!!!

    2 years ago
  33. Can you guys do a TL;DR about hairiness in Korea-do ppl man/ladyscape? What is the cultural norm for hair (both on the head as well as body) and if there are any Korean secrets to hair removal that ppl there do locally?

    2 years ago
  34. You guys have some awesome strategies! :)
    I guess I think I could benefit the most from Simon’s thinking though. My cat is really old too, he’s 14 and I’ve had him since I was 6 so it’s like he’s been there since I can remember. Over 2 years ago the vet said he had 6 months to live because his kidneys are so bad. But more than 2 years later, he still loves to cuddle and give sass. ;)
    Granted, he does sleep a lot now, and he doesn’t want to play at all, but at least I still have him! And I’m going to cherish the rest of the days I do get with him.
    Thanks for sharing your guise’s strategies for staying optimistic! I really enjoyed this video. :D

    2 years ago
  35. I have a question for you… I watched some school-related kdramas (School 2013, for example).. and I asked myself if schools are really like that in Korea. I mean, the gangs, the ones who always fight with each other, the leader of a group who always makes things difficult for the ”easy-ones”. The teachers always need to do million things, care about the students, their grades and etc. I mean, you can have those situations outside korea too, but where I studied (public schools) I never heard about ”two kids is going to meet up to fight till one goes to the hospital because they want to fight” and, the homeroom techer, do they really act like that, a parent and a techer together? I know it1s a realllly long question, but I got curious, because it’s not only in School2013 drama, but every drama school-related, shows it like this. I got curious >.<

    2 years ago
    • I noticed on school-related dramas that a lot of times the kids are just on their own in the classroom. Maybe it is somekind of studyhall thing and the head student is supposed to be in charge of the other kids? Is that normal too, or only a drama thing?

      2 years ago
  36. I’ve always been a closet optimistic person. I’d think of all the worst possible scenarios and plan for them, secretly believing that good things would happen. And most of the time it did. Then the most heart shattering thing, the one I never planned on happened. My beloved husband died unexpectantly. He is my soulmate, my heart, my other half. I’m waaaay past trying to stay positive. I’m mired in my grief. I’m not suicidal; I just find myself becoming apathetic to everything around me. I’m not sharing this for sympathy or pity. It’s just that once the bomb dropped all those petty things I stressed over in the past seemed insignificant. They were nothing more than spiderwebs, things to be brushed aside.

    The one positive in this is I’ve gained perspective. Now when I start to feel stress I figure “I’ve already dealt with the worst thing imaginable. Is this really going to top that?” I’ve also learned to be vocal when I need help. I had a huge project looming with an unrealistic deadline and normally I’d suck it up and do it but I told my boss about my concerns. She understood, agreed, and told me not to get stressed, that she’d take responsibility for anything left undone. Just hearing that she understood took a huge burden off my shoulders and helped me focus. It was a lot of work but we got it done.

    Finally, in times of extreme stress, it’s ok to feel some negativity or sadness. You just have to try not to let it overcome you. I think of my husband constantly and miss him so very, very much. I’ve accepted that I’m going to cry everyday for awhile. I just hope that the tears are either brief or cathartic. The aim is no more breakdowns where I cry so hard I physically get sick. I know eventually I won’t be drowning in my grief and keep pushing myself forward slowly until I reach that day.

    2 years ago
  37. I’ve got a couple ways. They probably sound totally cheesy and/or weird.
    When I’m sick, I watch Mythbusters. I wasn’t feeling well yesterday, but netflix wasn’t working so I couldn’t watch so I tried Gag Concert. Not the same probably because there were no explosions. (also normally, I’m recovering from a migraine so laughing is a bad idea)
    Kdramas are a big help to me when i’m stressed. I know that is cheesy, but several years ago, I was going through a really difficult family situation around the same time I discovered Kdramas. The poor fluffy escapism let me turn off thinking about all the horrible things that happened or could happen. That is why I have a no depressing Kdramas rule; I want 16 eps of fluff and happily ever afters. Because real life isn’t a happily ever after. I know that sounds like a depressing thought, but fairy tales end and real life continues. Bad things do happen in life and sometimes there is nothing we can do about it. If I pretended life was like a fairy tale, I’d be doing myself a disservice and making myself more depressed when it doesn’t come true (and it never did). I embrace fantasy, but only when it applies to fictional people. And kdramas are bite size fantasies. :)
    After a hard day at work, I like to watch Running Man because it is totally hilarious and ridiculous.
    This one will totally make me sound weird. I listen to upbeat music and sing and sometime it is Kpop, but for the really bad times I need the high-octane stuff- old hymns. Especially “How great thou art” – as a Christian, focusing on who God is and that He is in control, even when life seems out of control, is a real comfort and help and helps put things in perspective.
    Obviously, what works for me won’t work for other people, but find what does and I know what doesn’t work. Focusing on the unchangeable. Focus instead of what you can do to make a situation better, even a little better. and give yourself a distraction from whatever is stressing you out. If you dwell on the bad things, you will only see the bad things.

    2 years ago
    • I have a rule too- that I only watch fluffy kdramas. Real life is dramatic enough for me;) I’m always a little surprised though at how much drama the comedies have! I almost didn’t survive the first eps of Emergency Couple because it is just so, so sad when a marriage doesn’t work out. (I come from a broken family so maybe that’s why I felt it so much? idk.) I’m glad I stuck it out because of the acting, and photography.
      Do you like to listen to Avalon? They are Christian and from US but popular in Korea and have a strong sound that is usually upbeat. I agree about the focusing on God part too- it helps me to keep things in perspective. I think prayer could be a big part of it for me too- I couldn’t get through a day without asking God to help me- and I agree that listening to hymns or more intense Jesus music helps me keep focused. :) Just yesterday, I made a new playlist that has a bit of kpop (because its just so fun to dance to) and then some stuff with deeper lyrics that minister to my soul. If you’re weird, I’m weird too. We should be friends!

      2 years ago

    2 years ago
  39. So…the blog post made me cry, but in a good way. I really, really, really needed to read this today (and watch the video too). I had a pretty crappy day, well actually a really crappy several past months, but today got me super down. And your blog post was just the perfect reset and what I needed. Thank you so much for being such a positive influence and real power for good on the Internet and in the world. Know that you really and truly make a real difference for so many people. I am so very glad that EYK and all of you wonderful people exist in this world. Also, Martina, your shoes are so cute!!!!!!! ❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤

    2 years ago
  40. Martina, your shoes are awesome…I HAVE A MIGHTY NEEEEEEEED!

    2 years ago