Top 5 Ways to Get a Natural High!

Today, we have a user submitted list! Today’s list is Top 5 ways of achieving a natural high.

Today’s guest lister is Randi Smalley. Randi grew up in a town of like, what, 6 people? She eventually ended up going to school at UW-Oshkosh where I met her. She currently is living in the LaCrosse, WI area and submitted this list. So let’s forget our troubles and get ready to be happy!

Here is what Randi has to say:

My Top 5 Ways To Get a Natural High

I’ve never really been ‘high’, so I use the term loosely to describe extreme happiness that I can’t contain in my soul.  A few factors contribute to the subject of this list.  A. The campaigns in the last few years to be ‘above the influence’.  B. I have been spending a lot of time around teenagers (see number 2 on the list), so I think a lot about ways to have fun without drugs and alcohol.  C. Life is too short to be miserable, and I believe in creating your own happiness.  D. I don’t have any specific hobbies or in-depth knowledge on a subject that would quantify into a good top five, but I am darn good at having fun.

5. Music – I’m a repeat offender.  I find a song that I love and I play it over and over and over and over.  It could be a particular lyric I identify with, or it could be a hook, a bass line, or a general feeling. I find music in both the obvious and the most obscure places.  I love exploring new kinds and I love listening to it as loud as my car/headphones/speakers/computer will allow.  (I’m sure my neighbors appreciate that.)  Music also equals a love for dancing, and it just doesn’t get better than an 18 person dance party in a dorm room. Here’s a current song I just can’t stop listening to.  [Side note – the artist is an unintended pun.]

4. A Good Laugh – Not just a chuckle or an LOL. I’m talking that gut-busting, fall-over, slap yourself, can’t-breathe, start crying kind of laugh. It’s the kind of laugh where your abs hurt (mostly because it’s the only workout they’ve had in the past month).  My friends are good for giving out those kinds of moments, which is probably part of the reason I love spending my time with them.  And, let’s all be honest, other people’s laughs are pretty damn funny sometimes, too.  So a good laugh can lead to a horrible cycle of “I’m laughing at the way you are laughing at my laugh because you laughed first” which is indeed everything but horrible.

Randi and her friends Laughing.

3. Boat Rides/Country Roads – I grew up in the country and on the Mississippi River, so the best memories from my childhood are on the river or in the woods.  On a hot summer day, there is no better way to bring a smile to my face than blowing the wind straight into it!  I love boat rides in the back-water sloughs where you never know what will be around the corner. I love driving country roads with the windows down and the music up.  During a summer after college when I was unemployed and severely miserable, the only way I found happiness was cruising around on winding roads with one of my best friends where we could just forget about our troubles and explore the corner of the country we grew up in.

Um, Ok?

2. Coaching Softball – I’m quite sure my veins have laces because softball runs in my blood.  My dad was a head softball coach for over 20 years, and naturally, I grew up on the dirt.  Now that I have become a coach, I can’t get enough of it.  I love watching my girls improve and grow into athletes and young adults.  If you ask any of them about my coaching style, they’ll tell you I’m absolutely weird and crazy, but that’s because I LOVE the game.  I LOVE watching them hit doubles, make spectacular diving catches, dig hard when stealing bases, and get routine outs. I cheer loudly and make big gestures and get ‘hot guts’ just thinking about it.

“If ANY of you girls sneak in the shocker into this picture, you will all run laps until the sun goes down!” -Coach Randi

1. Love – I’ve been in many kinds of love, and let me tell you, nothing bursts my soul wide open quite the way love does.  I’m talking about the billions of ways we show, feel and experience love.  It’s the instant love and awe I felt holding my nephew the first time.  It’s the joy of sharing in my sister’s wedding day and seeing everyone who came to celebrate their love. It’s the hugs between seven people who have been best friends for almost 10 years.  It’s sharing a dance in the rain, sneaking off into a crowd for a kiss, learning the constellations in hay field, having a hand to hold, or spending a lazy afternoon on the couch together catching up on TV shows.  Yes, love can kill you, but more importantly, it can bring you back to life. I have never felt more alive and more high than when I have love surrounding me from my family and friends.

Honorable Mention: Any adrenaline-producing, somewhat-dangerous activity. Cliff jumping, rope swings, cow-tipping, etc.

Nice list there Randi! Here is my top 5:

5. Rollercoasters – I HATE rollercoasters. But I think I secretly like them too. I am always scared waiting in line. I am scared sitting in the seat and buckling in. I am scared when I look around at the 19 year old kids wanting to just go home for the day acting as the “safety managers.” I am practically crying as they coaster climbs the steep incline. And I find myself looking up praying instead of down at the tip top. But then something amazing happens…the rollercoaster stops clicking and enters free flow and all of a sudden, BOOM. You drop. You no longer have time to be scared. You just go with the ride. For those next 30 seconds, you are free. You have zero control over anything in your life and that is exhilarating. You finally slow down pulling into the station and the pains of life catch back up to you and the only thing you can think of is “I am NOT doing that again!”. But then after waiting in line for four hours, you are right back at the apex of the next coaster…

No thank you.

4. Teaching – I am not a classroom teacher. Not yet anyway. Maybe someday. But I still find great joy in teaching. I love trying to impart what little knowledge I have to someone starting out fresh in something. You don’t know how to play a card game? I will help you. Having trouble with your wiffle ball swing. Nothing would please me more than helping. The real high doesn’t come from showing someone how to do something though, it comes from them doing it without you. Seeing them succeed. Seeing them strike someone out. Seeing them play a flawless game of cribbage. I love that. Someday I hope to be a baseball coach.

This good, this bad.

3. Games – Games and sports are different but similar. Games, as in board games or card games, tend to have zero amount of physical activity in them, but rely heavily on the mind in order to outthink, outsmart, and out strategize an opponent. Beating someone, or many people, at a fair game where really anything is equal is a fantastic high feeling. Even when something involves luck, like Poker or Blackjack, winning is an incredible feeling.

BSG Board game. Galactica is under attack!

2. Sports – very much like games, but also requires physical exertion. In sports, you play a game with equal rules, but it is what everyone brings to the table personally that differentiates winners and losers. I will probably never beat Michael Jordan in a game of hoops. But I will probably never lose to a 4 year old kid in a game of hoops either.  But when things are somewhat equal, finding out where you stand in a group of peers or amongst other players is a ton of fun. When you find out you can do as well as other people and have a chance to win that is a wonderful feeling. Making a great play, diving for a catch, or breaking a long run in football is a tremendously high feeling.

Wiffel Ball

1. Ding Dong Ditching – Ok, before you judge, I agree this is really childish. But like Ferris Buhler said, so is life…or I think it was something like that…anyway, if you haven’t done this, I suggest you do. It is fun at any age. Don’t know what it is?! Let me tell you (teaching, it gives me a high): Some time when it is dark out, you sneak up to a neighbor’s home. You get to the front door and then you press the doorbell super-fast about 17 times. Then you run to the nearest bush and hide. You have to find a spot where you can see the unsuspecting target come to the door and open it…to see NO ONE IS THERE! The looks of confusion you get are rewarding as you hide just a few short feet away looking on. Try it. Alright, maybe this was a little childish. But perhaps it demonstrates that being a child is my number 1 for this list after all.

What are your ways of feeling good without the use of drugs? Join in in the comments section below and feel good today.

Leave a comment


  1. Adam K

     /  July 19, 2012

    Not sure where but Eating would have to be on my list.

  2. Nice job Randi, wish I had your literary talents, plus the multimedia adds much to the message. Sorry about finding out this late in life that you have laces in your veins.

    Jeff. Speaking of Top Five, coincidentally I am having a Top Five party on August 17th. By invite only, bring your top five songs, your beverage of choice, and an appetizer to pass. I will play all the number fives, then fours, and on to number one. After each song, the person who selected it will talk about why it made their list. I realize that you are half a continent away, but for whatever strange alignment of the planets and you are in the area, please consider yourself invited. Dennis Smalley

    Check out my blog at Been writing about my retirement for about a year.

    • Ha, thats a GREAT idea actually for a party. I can just submit a list for you and you can have Randi read mine out loud or something. As you can tell, I really enjoy making lists and that would be a next to impossible one to ever feel good about since musical tastes change by the minute to match the emotions you are feeling at any given point…but i love the idea.


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