Happiness, according to the great tome of wisdom that is Wikipedia is “a mental state of well-being characterized by positive emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy”. The Oxford English Dictionary defines optimism as having “hopefulness and confidence about the future or successful outcome of something; a tendency to take a favourable or hopeful view.” To me, these two wonderful qualities are intertwined like the Morning Glory that is clinging on stubbornly to my back-yard fence. I like to call it the Happiness x Optimism Ratio – both of them must be present in equal amounts so that one may have an adequate amount of self-esteem about their person.
I think I can speak for a large percentage of the masses when I say that the recent crises in the world are getting us all down. It seems that watching the news leaves me in as a sobbing, snivelling mess, surrounded by a litter of soggy and snotty rolled up wads of tissue paper. It is, in effect, a form of self-torture. Albeit, a squelchy one. So how do we inflate your self-esteem and subsequently, our Happiness X Optimism Ratio when our lives feel seemingly sub-par? When it’s hard to find the silver lining? Well kids, gather round, Jayne is about to drop some knowledge.
1. Mingle among the elderly, flaunt your mobility.
Yes, this seems like a mean way of launching your superiority, and sure, if you roll that way, feel free to break-dance or present yourself before the mobility-retired older folk with an impressive interpretive dance, but for those without an inherently mean-streak, have a go at chatting with the gummy wrinkly ones, they have pools of knowledge and smell a comfortingly like mothballs.
2. Matt Preston achieves a kind of self-appointed aristocracy via the astute combination of neckerchief and weight.
Perhaps you can achieve the same effect via the acquisition of a cane or cosmetic bayonet? Although I would caution against this aesthetic somewhat as if one can not similarly act all high-and-mighty, one may be confused with a loony, overweight, homeless bloke who is stuck in the 1800’s. However, for those who remain interested in finding a cravat: here are some classy options. Also, try a monocle on for size (FYI: I’ve secretly always wanted to wear a monocle).
3. Find out what you’re good at. Do it a lot. Receive Kudos.
For me this would be making bad jokes so incredibly horribad I have a “Groan Track” playing in my head every time I spout one of my classics. Also, photography. I like it. Other people like it. It makes me feel happy. I do it a lot. The only instance in which this advice is contra-indicative, is if you happen to be a serial killer and/or a mime. No one likes it. It doesn’t make other people feel happy. Stop doing it. Hand yourself in to the proper authorities. Mimes, I’m looking at you.
4. Indulge in a self-congratulatory tattoo, such as “Me Forever”.
As my mother would see this movement as a sort of self-sacrilege, I’ve taken to writing it in wobbly pseudo-typography on my wrist in a Sharpie. IT’S FRAKKING FOOLPROOF.
5. Smile manically, forgive spontaneously.
I’m very well known for smiling manically at people – sometimes so much so that I’ve actively scared small children. Why do I do this? Well, research has shown that once you let loose a smile into the world, especially if you aren’t feeling at all gleeful, you actually begin to feel happy by default. Forgiveness, on the other hand, is a little less easy to dole out in large quantities. However, a study that was compiled after running a bunch of college students through a variety of tests showed that forgiving quickly actually improved cardiovascular activity. IT LITERALLY HEALS YOUR HEART!!!!!!!! REALLY!!!!!!!! Motto of this story: be quick to unleash an unsuspecting smile whilst forgiving an enemy – not only is it great for your personal health, it will also completely freak them out.
6. Consume mass amounts of tub-based ice-cream.
I’m not going to present that I understand how this act of private competitive eating lends itself to an emotional uplift, but it evidentally does. According to new and amazing studies that are, believe it or not, actually funded by real people, fMRI technology has shown fluctuations in the Orbitofrontal cortex (OFC – positive emotional pleasure and reward centres) of the brain when one consumes ice-cream.
“Ice cream has an immediate effect on parts of the brain that previous research shows responds to pleasurable tastes, including the orbitofrontal cortex, the ‘processing’ area of the brain”
Is this the amazing effect of advertising and sugar in action? Well, if it is, I’m not arguing. Now, where’s my double-choc ice-cream gotten to?
7. Surround yourself with those who love you genuinely, such as those whose limbs you are alleged to have sprung from, or those related to you legally.
As much as you’d believe that these individuals are your worst enemy – when push comes to shove, these people will certainly indulge your need for flattery and actually genuinely enjoy the fact that you are not dead. In fact, whatever your basis for your misery – your hideous appearance, your excess sebum, your failure to achieve anything of note, warts – they will not only forgive you, but remind you why life is only ever seemingly sub-par.
8. If all of this doesn’t work, have a look at these:
- Dramatic Rescue Gives Hope in Japan
- Twitter impacts Japan disaster awareness
- Japan Quake as Seen from Twitter