30 April 2011

the guide to unhappiness

Today was a wonderful day! We went shopping, out to lunch, and I even got a book about gnomes! What could be better?
The plan today was to study. That didn't work.
So I logged onto my email and I saw an article (you know me and my articles!) about things that can put us in a bad mood. I fall victim to these things, because sometimes I will be happy and all of a sudden a small thing will ruin it. So here are some things to help keep you - and me - happy and resilient.
First, sleeping with the lights on or the TV on can put a damper on your mood. Why? Here's the anatomy logic: melatonin is a hormone that helps you sleep. But it can't be produced with light on. So it never gets produced, and you never get sleep. And that's why you are grumpy the next day.
Second: someone else puts a damper on your day. This happens to me all the time. I will be really happy about a test score, or something from swim practice, or even just in a happy mood and someone else will complain about how miserable life is and ruin my happiness. Just remember to avoid people like that, and remember that you didn't cause it, so don't feel bad about it.
Third: the antics of children, spouses, in-laws, parents, aunts, uncles . . . The things they do that drive us nuts will wreck our good moods. How can we avoid it? We can't. Family is always there, so we have to confront the troubles. If we talk to our family about why they bother us, we can sympathize with each other.
Another not-surprising one: weight. Everyone gets down on themselves about weight. The ironic thing is, if yo are stressed about your weight, or really anything, more fat is stored in your body. This is because your body cannot break food down when it is stressed, so it is converted to glycogen (essentially, fat). Instead of stressing, try exercising. That will work a lot better than stressing.
Sometimes I wonder what happiness is. I know what happiness is not. And it's the things above. Think into the future and think about how these things we fret about now will not matter in 10 years, maybe even 5 years from now.

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