How to be happy: Cosmo style! Part 3
If the cheap and easy ways to be happy and the Seven Secrets to happiness weren’t enough, you can now have 24 shortcuts to a happy life. You don’t have to take the long way around, thanks to these rules. You can just take 24 wonderful shortcuts and get there much faster.
Maybe before you read lots of magazines (Cosmopolitan is a good example) that told us that we could become happy by trying a new life-changing eye cream (the writer there has been searching for the One, meaning the perfect eye cream), finding true love with the hunky lifeguard person, or getting the perfect job (note: I searched for “dream job” on the website, and most of the stuff I got were shirtless bachelor pictures). Some even told us that we could find happiness by moving to Sweden, of all places. (WOOHOO! Men pushing baby buggies!)
But contrary to what they say, those things — true love, eye creams, and dream jobs — are not what true happiness is all about. True happiness, instead, is about 24 easy little shortcuts. In fact, Cosmopolitan, to quote, has “unearthed piles of research on the power of positivity to show you just how easy it is to put yourself on cloud nine in an instant.” Knowing people in general, it’s generally understood that people love instant stuff.
Instant coffee is pretty awesome. So is the tea that you just put in a cup of hot water for a few minutes. We love instant. Maybe that’s why the idea of getting something good instantly appeals to us.
Or maybe it appeals to that part of us that is tempted to steal the free ketchup packets at McDonalds.
Since there are 24, I will not be able to go into them at much detail. However, I shall do my best. Do notice that there are 24. These 24 correspond to the hours in a day. If you try to do one an hour, you will be in Happiness Land on a day.
Don’t believe everything you think. Like when your inner voice (no, not the same voice as Oprah’s inner voices, though it could well be the same. I don’t know) starts blabbering about how much of a fatty you are. You might be a fatty, and then again you might not.
C0py the catwalk. If you walk like a model, you’ll be happy. It’s proven. Think like a runway goddess. By the way, in my church there’s a family where the women walk like models. The mother wears very tight clothes so that it seems like she’s wearing a corset. I’ve concluded that she doesn’t know how to breathe anymore. But anyway, she and her daughters walk like models. The sway of the hips, and the foot in front of the other.
Cosmopolitan says that this way of walking is the reason that Gisele Bundchen is so happy. Not because she’s rich or because she has such a beautiful body.
You know, runway models look so darn happy all the time. I’ve always wondered why. Now I know.
Pad your time. Don’t run late. Not only will you be happy, but so will others, too. Like your date who’s been waiting at the restaurant for the past hour.
Get engaged. Not the wedding bells way, but rather getting really absorbed in something. Like a raunchy romance novel. Those things are easy to get absorbed in, or so I’ve heard. True to form, Cosmopolitan does say mention that thumbing through their latest issue is very absorbing and thus happiness inducing. I wouldn’t know. When becoming absorbed in a project, example being thumbing through Cosmopolitan, you boost your sense of competence and well-being. Yay! Another excuse to read that magazine.
Grin, even if you don’t feel like it. Remember the forced grins? Apparently some of you commented saying that you wished it worked for weight loss. Sorry, ladies (and guys), it doesn’t. Though I understand why you think it should work.
Go out on a school night. I wouldn’t know because I like to stay home on school nights, but people have shown the blahs staying alone by themselves. Sometimes it’s great to just go out to a bar and get picked up by a random guy…
Shorten your “I wish I’d…” list. No objections.
RSVP “no” to invites that feel like obligations. You don’t like them, you don’t even know them, and you don’t even speak to them. Believe me, they did it out of obligation as well, to be nice, and they’ll be all over themselves once they see the “no” on the RSVP card.
Paint a wall, rearrange your furniture, or take the curtains off of your windows. WHAT THE HECK? What kind of phrase is “off of”? My grammar book says it’s VERY WRONG. *mutter* But yes, this is why I have so many bumps and bruises. And this is also why you hear lots of banging when I’m in a bad mood. And also why my house looks like a wreck.
Listen to elevator music. … ok.
Own your screwups. Again… claim some responsibility here. It’s not the evil forces’ fault. It was yours for not reading the sign that said “cars parked here after so and so will be towed at owner’s expense.” Though if you do live in the city of Boston, I can’t help you here. Sorry.
Dump your diet. Screw Cosmopolitan! Screw Glamour! REBEL!!!
Always have something to look forward to. Dinner reservations. Blind dates. Concert tickets. What would make me happy is music. So I buy music CDs. It’s fun waiting for them to come, especially if they ship from Britain and take a couple of weeks to come. Right now I’m waiting for a Switchfoot CD and a Casting Crowns’ Lifesong CD.
Blow off a grudge. I think this is the smartest thing Cosmo has said, since… since… I don’t know. I didn’t think they had it in them. But you know, bad energy and all that. Karma. Whatsitcalled.
Get dirty. Go back, back to your days of being a toddler playing in dog doo… back to the nostalgia of feeling the happiness of the poo sliding through your fingers, before the big ones came and snatched you away with a loud voice. You cried. But you can still go back to those days.
Line your favorite and famously uncomfortable stilettos with moleskin. Huh? (By the way, I intended to put a picture of someone’s high heels over here, but WordPress was being annoying and wouldn’t show it. Stupid wordpress, sometimes.)
Create a ritual. Because life is just so unpredictable, we need an oasis in the desert, an island in the midst of the roiling oceans of life. It keeps you grounded. And makes you happy. I’m not sure how, but hey…
Don’t flake out. You probably know the girl who always cancels at the last minute. Don’t be like her. You will become friendless, lonely, and possibly die single. Or become one of those crazy women with cats. It’s nice to cancel once in a while (like in the case of saying no to obligations you really don’t want to attend) but not all the time.
Perform a bad-mood intervention on yourself. Out! Out, you demons of PMS! It says that covering your eyes help a lot. So does deep sighing.
Treat yourself to a massage. There’s nothing like the feeling of skin-to-skin contact. Really. It sends happy signals to your brain. Touch is awesome. So much that there’s a Touch Research Institute somewhere in Miami.
Visit O-Town today. Not Oprah town. The other one. Open the floodgates of … um…
Try color therapy! With Sesame Street! Cosmopolitan tells us that there are four certain colors that provide “major mood-boosting benefits.”
- Red increases your heart rate. It also makes you want to sleep with anything that’s human, male, and is breathing.
- Orange will give you energy. “It’s the Energizer Bunny of brights.”
- Yellow can relieve depression and make your memory better, so you can think about all the bad times that you’ve had before.
- Green is soothing. Especially mint green. You’ll be too relaxed to think about how horrible your life is.
Remember these colors for the next time you’re in a bad mood and are tired of rearranging the furniture. You can always buy a bucket of paint and redo all the walls by yourself.
In closing, Cosmopolitan has helpfully provided the five symptoms that show that you really need to start following all 24 shortcuts. In fact, if you find yourself thinking HALP or OMG or a variation of any of those, and you most likely will, you have to start using those shortcuts NOW.
- The sight of a kissy-feely couple makes you physically ill. Physically ill meaning that you want to throw up. Your stomach feels bad, and you are deeply regretting that bag of colorful (yet happy inducing) Skittles you ate for lunch. This might be a sign that you need a man and have been lonely too long.
- The only time you’re in touch with Mother Nature is when you’re walking to your car. I have no idea what this means. It probably has something to do with the wonderfully fresh city air. Or something.
- When a coworker asks “Is somebody having a bad day?” you actually growl. Or grunt. I grunt. Like a man. Do you?
- Your boyfriend gave you a new sweatsuit for your birthday. Because exercise is so totally fun, and there’s no pressure at all. So why do you want to bite his head off? You need a new boyfriend, STAT.
- You blow off your girlfriends because you’re too busy… doing a whole lot of nothing. It’s a horrible thing to be busy doing nothing… though that’s kind of an oxymoron.
Do you show any of these symptoms? You are a very diseased individual who needs plenty of help. Start following the 24 shortcuts to happiness right now, before you get any worse.
Have fun! With these 24 shortcuts, you’re guaranteed to be a very happy woman! And maybe you won’t be single anymore!