By: D. Harrison, PhD
1. Save your major worries until about midnight, then start heavy thinking. Suggested topics include your age, losing your job, the mistake you made at work last week that they haven’t discovered yet, that suspicious wart you’ve had for five years, or radon in your basement. You can work up a good panic by 1 AM.
2. Keep an inventory of your faults. Ignore strengths. Focus only on your bad points. Try to select friends who will remind you of how awful you are. If you don’t have friends like this, you probably have some relative who can be counted on to point out your weaknesses.
3. Set unreasonable goals. No matter how much money you earn, remember there are others doing better. Try to name three of them, preferably younger and better looking than you. Think how others could do a better job.
4. When your children make mistakes, don’t accept it as part of growing up. View each situation as the first sign of impending moral decay, delinquency and a wasted life.
5. Put off everything until the last minute. In this way, you can create a sense of frenzy and chronic stress no matter how much time you had in the first place.
6. Aid and abet the creation of stress. Sleep as little as possible. Eat junk. Drink a lot of coffee. Never exercise if you can help it.
7. Never let others know how you feel or what you want. You shouldn’t have to tell them: they should be able to read your mind. If you assume this, you stand a good chance of feeling deprived.
8. Never trust anyone, particularly a counselor. Struggle with problems alone. If you feel the urge to confide in someone who seems to care, remind yourself that people are basically no good and are out only for themselves. Convince yourself that asking for help is a sign of weakness and that you can tough it out alone.
9. Never take a vacation. It’s a luxury you can’t afford, especially if you’re working up to a really good state of exhaustion.
If you follow this program, you have a good chance of feeling really rotten in no time at all!