Pick-Me-Ups

I have to admit that sometimes, I just don’t feel like being happy. I know, I know – this totally goes against my Journey To Happiness Experiment and my personal pledge to continuously find ways to be happy. Sometimes, I wonder what possessed me to make such a pledge!

There are times when I feel like wallowing in self-pity, eating a ton of ice-cream, chocolate and peanut butter (in any combination but when things get really bad it’s usually chocolate peanut butter ice-cream eaten using a Snickers bar as a spoon).

On days like these, I just want to curl up all day on the couch, wrapped in the pale, yellow blanket my Mum gave me for Christmas, to watch every single movie on the Astro movie channels no matter how bad the movie is…. and trust me, some of them are really, really bad. Don’t believe me? Well, the last time I had a  Gloomy Glenda day, I happened to catch Dinocroc Vs Supergator on TV.

Isn’t that the worst movie ever? I mean, it’s so bad I think actually getting eaten by a Dinocroc or Supergator would be preferable to sitting through 90 plus minutes of this heart-stoppingly horrible film.

The good thing is that the Dinocroc Vs Supergator fiasco taught me a lesson. After I watched that movie, it dawned on me that that was two hours of my life that I would never get back again – ever.

So, I resolved to avoid the sorry D grade movies the next time I happen to feel a Gloomy Glenda Day coming on which happens to be today : (

I suppose the fact that I’m feeling a little under the weather (headachey, sneezy) has a lot to do with this overwhelming ocean of self-sympathy that makes me want to get under the yellow blanket again and reach for the remote. Fortunately, I dredged up just enough willpower to avoid that trap this time, focused on what I’d learned from my Happiness Library of books and turned instead to the video (at the end of this post) that served as instant an pick-me-up. Studies show that it’s possible to boost your happiness just by employing simple tricks and tips, some of which can take less than a minute.

Among the most effective happiness boosters:

1. Looking up (literally)

Turning skywards can give you an instant happiness hit. This has something to do with the mind-body connection, which makes sense since we naturally tend to look down when we’re miserable. To get the most of this pick-me-up, just keep looking up at the ceiling or the sky for about 60 seconds to improve your mood.

2. Aromatherapy.

Catching a whiff of a pleasant scent can put you  on the path to happier times. Just-baked cupcakes, the smell of rain or my personal fave – fresh laundry.

3. Pets.

It’s been proven time and again that animals have healing powers. Petting my cat Charley never fails to uplift me. Even if you only have access to Animal Planet or a funny video on YouTube, watching/interacting with animals is an effective mood booster.

Speaking of YouTube, I here’s my personal pick-me-up that totally shifts my mood from positive to negative every time I view it. It’s an SNL Digital Short by Andy Samberg which lasts just over 2 minutes. He’s made some forgettable shorts but when he gets it right, it’s absolutely hilarious. I think Samberg is a genius! Some people might disagree (citing big-brained award-winning science types) but hey, Einstein never made me laugh this hard!

Enjoy!

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Sad Movies Always Make Me Cry

I watched War Horse with The Engineer,  a few days ago.

While I must congratulate Mr. Steven Spielberg for being the master storyteller and world class director that he is, I do take umbrage on a couple of points that totally ruined the movie for me.

1) Spielberg seems vaguely obsessed with communicating the meaninglessness (is that a word?) of war (think Saving Private Ryan and Schindler’s List). While I do believe that it is indeed a rather worthy issue to be obsessed about, I think he takes things a little too far. Parts of War Horse was focused on World War I and were frankly too traumatic and almost impossible for me to watch. It took all my self control not to openly weep in the cinema. The suffering endured by that beautiful, dignified horse and the sweet boy who was his owner was simply horrible.

2) I do realize that this movie, although not based on a true story, does give the right impression of war. I believe real war  robs everyone involved of practically everything they hold dear – or at the very least – they get really, really close to losing everything. Either way, there is no way anyone can go through a war and come out of it unscathed. You pay a price either emotionally, physically, psychologically, financially and sometimes all four. Spielberg skillfully brought this truth to the fore with War Horse but in so doing, the message of love, honour, trust and faith, took a back seat. I felt distraught after watching the movie instead of hopeful.

These two points made War Horse one of the saddest movies I have ever had the bad luck to watch.

I love animals and it was almost beyond my ability to watch many parts of the movie ( I seriously considered leaving the cinema). I ended up burying my face in The Engineer’s sleeve half the time which only helped a little because I could still hear what was going on.

I don’t like sad movies. I don’t see the point. Real life can be hard enough and I don’t fancy paying good money for a large dollop of unhappiness.

I ended up feeling miserable and exhausted that day – not what you want to experience on a weekend night at the movies. I had to talk myself out of feeling entirely hopeless and it took at least a couple of hours to feel better.

So, if you’re thinking of watching War Horse (and especially if you’re an animal lover) you need to be armed with more than a box of tissues. You need some sort of mental defense mechanism as well.

If not, proceed with extreme caution. It’s going to cost you some happiness for a while.

pic credit http://www.moviefanatic.com