So last week I posted about some of the anxieties that come with being a twenty-something; and it turned out quite a few of you guys agreed with me. Which in some ways is nice, but since we was talking about confusion/life pressures it’s also kinda sad. If you missed it, you can catch up here.
So this week, I thought I’d post about a wonderful little book I discovered a few years back. ‘Fuck It’ by John C Parker. Which is now apparently quite cheap on Amazon, if you fancy reading it yourself… How’s that for a coincidence eh!
Anyway, John C Parker is an immediately likeable writer, funny, easy-going and understandable. He calls this book a ‘spiritual guide’ and it basically revolves around letting go and saying ‘fuck it’ which the author notes is a “perfect Western expression of Eastern spiritual ideas of letting go, giving up and relaxing our hold on things.”
The path to spiritual enlightenment seems pretty simple, according to John. Now I normally steer clear of self-help books; I may download the free sample onto my Kindle, but generally I won’t bother actually reading the full thing. However for some reason, I bought this book and have returned to it quite a few times.
John describes a great mental exercise to gain perspective… which basically involves realising you are just one human among millions, and most likely you will be completely forgotten by history. Messed up in that meeting, got dumped or carrying a bit of extra weight? Fuck it, the world isn’t going to care, let alone remember. So don’t let it get you down, just let it go.
At times, admittedly letting go is a lot easier said than done, but never fear, the book is here. After a bit of an explanation the book is split into segments; so you can easily flick to whatever you need e.g. relationships, food and even self-control. Saying ‘Fuck it’ and deciding not to stress about small stuff* is widely accepted as a good thing. So, having a bit of spare time on my hands I decided to delve a bit deeper.
Why Saying ‘Fuck It’ is Good for Your Mental Health.
Have you ever said or done something then dwelt on it for ages afterwards? Or possibly worse yet, had something said to you and then spent days overanalysing it? (What did he mean by ‘She’s just an old friend’????) In honesty we’ve all probably all done both.
However overthinking things apparently causes us to have poor memories. So when something else happens and you return to a memory and over analyse that as well, you could actually be over analysing something that is completely wrong. Which is just a bit daft, isn’t it?
If we want to get really scientific, a study from 2010 showed that people who think a lot about the decisions they have made tend to have more brain cells in the frontal lobe. At first I this was a good thing, more brain cells = more brain power, right? Wrong.
Having more brain cells than normal in the frontal lobe is actually linked to mental disorders. While brooding is often seen as linking with depression (though you probably didn’t need scientists to tell you that.)
Saying ‘Fuck it’ and not overthinking things, it could therefore be argued improve your memory and lessen your risk of depression.
Why Saying ‘Fuck It’ is Good for Your Physical Health.
The premise of saying ‘Fuck it’ is all about letting go. Which, as it happens, has a lot of physical benefits.
In those that practise yoga/meditation/letting go of everyday life stresses “far more ‘disease fighting genes’ were active.” The study I have stolen that quote from notes that the “relaxation-effect” helps to turn on genes that battle infertility, high blood pressure and even arthritis. High blood pressure we could have guessed, but battling arthritis is a surprise, eh?
Now here is the good news, the “disease fighting genes” can be turned on quite easily, even if you don’t regularly say ‘fuck it’ and let go. Due to the brains plasticity it only takes 2 months to turn them back on. So fuck it, take a couple of minutes every day and let go of all the things you worry about.
Or at least try to, I’m not promising it will always be easy.
*Just note, if there is a big problem like impeding danger/homelessness/etc it’s probably a good idea to stress a little bit.