Remember those wish fountains at the mall you’d throw change into? Poppy Jamie’s insights are both the coins cast and the pools of optimism.
We strive to share insights based on diverse experiences without stigma or shame. This is a powerful voice.
On a recent episode of the “Inside Mental Health” podcast, I had the honor of interviewing the supremely positive – and practical – Poppy Jamie. Even saying her name makes you smile!
Jamie is the:
- author of “Happy, Not Perfect: Upgrade Your Mind, Challenge Your Thoughts, and Free Yourself from Anxiety”
- host of the “Not Perfect Podcast”
- creator of the “Happy Not Perfect” wellness app
As I sat down to write this article, I realized that Jamie was a living, breathing, fountain of invigorating quotes, and I didn’t want to water down her advice in my retelling. So, here’s a listicle, of sorts, with my favorite quotes from her episode, plus resources to act on each topic.
“Most of us have a very, very loud, inner critic, and our inner critic, it’s so devilish because, of course, it knows our worst fears, our inner secrets. It can tell us the most triggering things about ourselves.
“The power of pause was initially the most amazing thing in disarming that voice because our world tells us to be busier and busier and busier, and when we’re so busy, we don’t have time to question with curiosity what this voice is actually saying, and if this voice is actually true.”
[Ask yourself] “how would I advise a friend experiencing what I am now? That is such a powerful question because it actually helps you tap into the wise part of your brain and not be reacting with just the emotional part of your brain.
“When we are thinking about ourselves, we’re usually lost in the emotional side of the brain, and that’s often when we then kind of hype up our feelings of anxiety and whatever else.
“Commit to asking, why is this happening for me rather than why is this happening to me? I think when things happen in life, it’s so easy for us to immediately become our own victim.”
In the same way Jamie suggests reframing inner monologues, here’s how to redirect unproductive self-pity toward the emotional needs it tries to fill.
“I used work as a way to make me feel better inside. But the problem with that is when we put our self-esteem or our happiness or our self-worth [or] anything outside of ourselves, we become vulnerable to it being taken away.
“So, if work wasn’t going well, that meant I was useless. That was total evidence for my inadequacy. But when work went well, I felt a bit good. Every time I felt insecure and not good enough, I would just think to myself, just work harder, just work harder, just put another hour in.
“So, I became more and more addicted to working harder to make my feeling of not being good enough, like make it go away. But obviously, no addiction, nothing outside of ourselves can fix an internal wound. And that was a very hard lesson I had to learn.”
“You know, if we accept that happiness is flawed, then we can be happy so much more because it means we’re not waiting to have something or be something for us to feel really good feelings about ourselves.
“So happy, not perfect, is a great way for us to really self-appreciate, to appreciate where we’ve been to get to this point, what we’ve gone through.”
This article on helping perfectionist kids find balance includes helpful tips to reframe the rigid standard of perfectionism and embrace what our best is, as different as that may be, day-to-day.
“This idea that life can become this problem-free, always extremely happy, everything’s going smoothly place is an illusion and something that we probably might only see in Disney films. But actually accepting that life is always an up and down adventure and one that really is beautiful because of its imperfection … ”
– Poppy Jamie
Here’s an article that explains happiness and how to cultivate it, including during depression.
I had a great time learning from Jamie, and, as I’ve said before, I’m not a big self-help genre fan. I found her advice to be practical, upbeat, and easy to implement into my daily life — and I think you will, too.
Want to learn more from Poppy Jamie? Click the player below or visit the official episode page for “How to Be Happy, Not Perfect” Inside Mental Health Podcast episode.
Gabe Howard is an award-winning writer and speaker who lives with bipolar disorder. He is the author of the popular book “Mental Illness Is an Asshole and Other Observations,” available from Amazon; signed copies are also available directly from the author.
Gabe is the host of Healthline Media’s weekly podcast, “Inside Mental Health.” You can listen and learn more here.
Gabe can be found online at gabehoward.com.