How to be Happy: The Real Simple Way

We have studied numerous ways to be happy. We have studied how to ignore the chores that need to be done in favor of a more carefree lifestyle, where the bathroom is always locked and we know the manager of the gas station. We have envisioned ourselves as golden statues and considered moving to Sweden, until our families rebelled. We have also walked around naked and taken showers in the dark. Afterwards we put some pretty band aids on the cuts and scrapes that ensued from barking our shins on the handle of the bathroom cabinet.

400355074_319a64687fBut how about the Real Simple way to be happy, as told by Real Simple magazine writers? The Real Simple way is, of course, real simple. So simple, your dog could probably do it. Or your baby.

Readers of this magazine know that Real Simple is the queen of lists. Need something done? They’ve broken it down for you in some helpful little steps. Preferably 10. Need to know what clothes to wear? They’ve arranged a list, with pictures. Need to know how to broil a steak? Buy peanut butter? Buy a gift for a friend? The list (pun intended) goes on.

The same procedure goes for happiness.

As simplicity goes, they have supplied us with a real simple list of real simple stuff you can do to reach happiness in the next half hour. Nine short things. How much more real simple can you get? In living a simple yet fulfilling life, lists are key.

The opening paragraph offers encouragement. Come on ladies, this isn’t too hard after all. Happiness is effort, but it isn’t that hard to be happy once you put your mind to it.

Being happier doesn’t have to be a long-term ambition. You can start right now. In the next 30 minutes, tackle as many of the following suggestions as possible. Not only will these tasks themselves increase your happiness, but the mere fact that you’ve achieved some concrete goals will boost your mood.

So, not only will you start walking on the road to happiness which will lead to a glorious sunset, you can also lift the dark crowds by tackling happiness as you would a to-do list. Write it down on a piece of paper. Then tackle the goals one by one. Remember to start right now. And try to do as much as possible, because nothing feels better than tackling a long to do list and accomplishing the goals listed on it. And nothing feels worse than not accomplishing a list.

2215069210_cdbf2b0bc5And remember, this list is only supposed to take 30 minutes. So let’s see how long it takes us to reach true happiness.

1. Raise your activity level. This involves standing up and pacing when you’re on the phone. If you’re like me and you still have one of those old fashioned phones that actually have a cord, you might end up tangled in a knot, and your activity level will increase as you attempt to detangle yourself while fending off the mother of the girl your daughter accidentally knocked over in an enthusiastic game of freeze tag.

You can also put some more energy in your voice. You can either be bubbly or cheery…

Or you can yell.

Talking on the phone to annoying lady = 2 hours.

2. Take a walk outside. Something to do with sunlight and chemicals. I never was that good with chemistry. I think they mean that you have to take a walk while it is sunny, because it will make you happy.

Taking walk = 2 hours. You had to stop to chat. You also had to stop because your dog took a poo under someone’s mailbox and you had to clean it up because said neighbor gave you dirty looks.

3275857316_151e165e9f3. Reach out. Send an email to someone you haven’t seen in a while. Facebook is good. Recently I actually went through my friends’ list and left notes on people’s walls. I didn’t know who they were, but anyway… I’m sure it had the effect of one of those strangers that randomly wave at you and smile even though you don’t know them.

Reaching out = procrastinating on Facebook + getting distracted on applications + stalking your old flame + actually reaching out= 3 hours

4. Rid yourself of a nagging task. Like all the stuff on this wonderful happiness list. You know that if you don’t raise your activity level, the first item on this list, it will nag at the back of your mind until you do it. Then after you raise your activity level, you’ll take a walk outside, and then spend some time on facebook, and then… “Crossing an irksome chore off your to-do list will give you a rush of elation.”

So far = 7 hours

3729254711_0b974bf88d5. Serenity is key. Create a serene environment of order and peace. Spend some time organizing. Remember the toilet that was dirty yet got passed over for doing something happier? TACKLE THAT TOILET NOW. Otherwise it will be the only dark spot in your serene and clean and organized home. It will help you be peaceful inside. Zen is good.

Serenity = Cleaning toilet + organizing bills + organizing mail + looking for cleaning supplies for toilet = 1 hour and a half

6. Do a good deed. Such good deeds, according to the writer, consist of setting your single friends up, passing along “useful information” or praising people.

Doing good deed = setting single friends up by email + realizing that single friends aren’t single anymore + fending off complaints from a misunderstanding + passing along the 10 forwards in your inbox warning against chaynmessagia flu + spending some time in tears in the bathroom = 10 hours

294004131_948a47d1237. Save someone’s life. No, don’t jump in front of a car or something. But in the event that you do, be an organ donor.

Takes all of five minutes to sign up.

But telling the family… now that takes longer. How long? Let’s say 1 hour because of some misunderstanding.

8. Act happy. Fake it till you feel it. Plaster that smile on your face, girl, and the feelings will come! A grin can make you feel happy, even if it’s fake. I wonder why that doesn’t work for plastic surgery.

Like the Botox thing that supposedly keeps you from becoming depressed. Or helps depression. Whichever.

But by grinning fakely while the gossipy friend drones on and on and on… you will actually feel happy instead of wanting to spear her with your stiletto or something.

Acting happy = 24 hours and then some to massage face muscles

2980268644_4f5952bb379. Learn something new. Buy a book about something you’ve always wanted to know. Or read about it on the internet.

I believe that if you read magazines like Glamour or Cosmopolitan, you’ll know all the information you ever wanted to know, like 10 different ways to use ice. Or the best bathing suits. Or the secrets that men know but won’t ever tell you but will tell a staff of a big magazine for a few bucks. Or if you ever wanted to know what your man thinks when you cook him a nice meal. After all, men are items to be decoded, as much as women are. What would we do without these magazines? Subscribe to them. Subscribe to all of them.

I also learn new things from the tabloids every day when I go to the supermarket. Like Jon and Kate? Wooo.

Time? Perhaps a couple of hours or more every day.

Now let’s add them all together. I got roughly 52 hours! That’s like two whole days.

But at least you know that you’re one short list and two whole days nearer to happiness.

July 27, 2009 at 11:17 am 8 comments

The Face Wash which Changed My Horrible Life!

Do you remember the sad fairy tale of the damsel who was the victim of horrible acne? Who ended up living happily after with perfect skin with all her life problems solved?

miley-cyrus-2009-oscars-03The former damsel indistress has truly devoted her Twitter to talking about this amazing new product which changed her life, in the hopes that it may help others as it has helped her.

Of course, it is a well known fact that celebrities, as friendly as they may seem, don’t talk to their fans. There’s simply too many fans who are urging for them to come to their country and tour or just “PLEASE PLEASE MILEY PLEASE FOLLOW ME MY LIFE WILL NOT BE COMPLETE WITHOUT YOU FOLLOWING ME ON TWITTER”

They also know that as much as they might want to, they can’t go into a restaurant to hang out with their fans. They would be met with squeals of excitement and maybe a few tears.

“Miley Cyrus, you are my hero. I love you. Will you marry me? Can I take a picture with you? OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG *SOB*”

Ahem.

If Youtube and Twitter comments are anything to judge by.

Shortly after the incident when she first mention Sensai Kanebo cosmetics and the fact that it had changed Miley Cyrus’s life and pushed her to promote this product and “give others hope,” Cyrus has devoted numerous times on twitter to chatting with some of her fans and urging them to please please please try this new product. W

And see their life change before their very eyes.

*drum roll*

Which you know is a pretty unusual thing.

Of course, such a testimony can not be without pictures.

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Miley posted this picture, sans makeup, to her twitter, adding a comment to it.

sensai3

As she says, Sensai by Kanebo came into her life, and left her changed. They made clear skin possible for her.

They brought light where there had been only darkness.

Truth where there had been lies.

Clear skin where there had been pimples.

Redemption to a generation of teenage stars who had spent most of their lives with makeup coating their pimples.

(I love the lacy bra strap in the picture. And the pouty mouth. And the shiny nose. And the slightly red eyes. It looks like she scrubbed her face very hard.)

But notice something. She took the chance not only to praise Sensai, but to praise a lot of her favorite brands. The teen star loves her moisturizer and her 4 in 1 camellia balm, whatever that is.

Here’s a sample of her “chat” to her female friends that night.

sensai2

There you go. The list of about 1% of the beauty products Miley Cyrus uses. Happy buying!

Notice that the star uses a lot of Jhlabeauty stuff. And talks about that a lot as well.

I told you in my last post about Sensai that the Sensai product that Miley’s specifically talking about costs a hundred dollars in total, not counting shipping. In response to a fan’s question regarding the cost:

sensai

Because a hundred bucks really isn’t much anyway.

*ticks off fingers* So far, we know that Sensai is a miracle. It is life-changing. It brings light where there had been darkness, truth where there had been lies, and clear skin where there had been pimples.

But…

dude GIRL! Sensai brings SALVATION!

From what? I’ll leave you to decide.

However, I will say that it could be salvation from darkness, pimples, lies, a mundane life, and brings a release into the light of perfect skin heaven. Cue flashbulbs and paparazzi and runways. And squealing preteens. You might even get a date with Nick Jonas!

All that aside, several days after this chat with her fans about her beauty products, Miley Cyrus reported that the Good News had been shared, and one of her friends had found salvation.

sensaifriend

2893436280_5a2e17f2ab

The lesson we can learn from this is that celebrities usually don’t talk to their fans. However, if they want to talk about a makeup product, only then will they open up the lines of communication to rave about that new product and gather comments about said product.

We can also know that business will be brisk at Jhlabeauty as well as Sensai.

Finally, Sensai brings salvation. Miley Cyrus says so. So it must be true.

That is all you need to know.

July 25, 2009 at 10:34 am 9 comments

It’s a Sad World

When Obama ascended to the Presidency, people celebrated in the streets. They cried tears of joy, knowing that this was a milestone for the American people. After all, this was the first time a man with African American blood had succeeded in becoming president through the choice of the people.

No wonder people wept.

He carried the hopes and dreams of all of us. We had faith in him. We knew that he could be something great. We knew that he could fulfill all the dreams that we had ever wanted, including pulling the troops out of Iraq. He had a lot of potential.

He was the perfect man.

I say “was.”

For soon after, President Obama committed a grave error.

An error that he would not soon recover from.

He wore mom jeans to a baseball game.

*silence*

0721barack-obama-mom-jeans_fa.jpg

See? SEE??

What made this grave sin worse was the fact that Michelle Obama is a gorgeous woman and has an amazing fashion sense, not to mention nice guns.

According to Glamour, on the Today Show, Meredith Viera asked the President the “really, really tough question.”

The fashion police went after you. They called them dad jeans, nerd jeans. You are married to one of the most fashionable women in the world. Do you want to defend the pants?

michelle obama formalShe really puts it out there. “Do you want to defend the pants?” We know you messed up. The mark of a good president is of whether or not he admits that he was wrong in his fashion choice and promises to do better. Defend the pants? Dude, that’s just… not wise.

What did Obama say?

I’m a little frumpy.

He didn’t even blink an eye. Our president also stated that until a few years ago (why until then?) his wife made fun of him for only owning four suits. He also apparently hates to shop. Obama continued, “For those of you who want your president to look great in his tight jeans, I’m sorry, I’m not the guy.”

What was Glamour’s response to that? The blogger lady concluded that he had indeed defended his “mom jeans.”

If you click the link I provided, you can watch the video where the Very Important Question (as the blogger called it) comes up, along with Mr. President’s response.

Newsday also stated that we could stop talking about his wife’s toned arms and start talking about our president’s “unflattering, baggy blue jeans.” A fashion stylist, trying to look at the positive side, said, “Kudos for him to be thinking about moms.” While some felt that our president is not very concerned about fashion because he’s doing his job as a president, others disagreed. They pointed out that he was very happy to talk about his White Sox jacket which he wore with his mom jeans. Obama even stated that his wife thought he looked cute in the jacket.

OBAMA_Barack_2005“It’s not clear what she thinks about the pants.”

New York Magazine was very very very horrified. They were so horrified that they were sputtering with all the words that they were trying to say about their horror. We cannot let this sin go on! This mistake is a big mistake and must be corrected immediately! How offensive!!

He wears clothes because they’re comfortable? What is he — some sort of dad? Oh, right.

Last I heard, he had two daughters. But fatherhood pales in comparison to his role as President, and subsequently a man who must not burn our eyes with horrible mom jeans.

No one expects the president to waltz into JCPenney like it’s Five Guys and order up a hot new pair of pants as tight as Zac Efron’s. But that doesn’t mean he can’t try something a little darker, a little longer, and just a tiny bit slimmer. Surely Michelle’s aide can add an extra item to her basket the next time he or she online shops at J.Crew.

Yet another blogger complained that Obama wasn’t manly enough.

Yup – “one size fits all” – tends to separate the men from the boys.

She continues by stating that baseball is a manly sport and that Barack slipped on his wife’s jeans by mistake, and that he should have thought more about his choice of pants. She said that he was a bit… nellie. Whatever that means. And that he should “butch up his act a tad.”

Maybe you didn’t know this, but he has also committed the same fashion sin before. People still remember. At least the fashion police do. It’s apparently burned into their retinas. Glamour started their report by asking,

You know how your dad embarrassed you terribly in fifth grade by telling bad jokes and asking your friends about the boy you had a crush on and–maybe the most egregious–walking around in a pair of nerdy, faded Lee jeans that he’d had since the 70s?

Can you just feel for his daughters right now? He had some mom jeans that looked like Urkel or whatever, and then he bought a nicer pair of jeans because he was getting a hard time from all the blogs. Talk about pressure. With his newer, nicer pair of jeans, he was TRANSFORMED from a frumpy president to a less frumpy president (because people didn’t like the jacket he wore with the new jeans).

1030barack-mom-jeans_fa.jpg

One thing is clear from this: If you are the President of the United States, don’t wear mom jeans. Not only will you horrify everyone who knows what good fashion is, you will be expected to spend more time shopping. You will also insult all of mankind by appearing like a woman. And finally, you will embarrass your daughters and your country. So make the right choices in fashion, and you will live long and happily and will probably be reelected.

It’s also a sad world where the President has to defend his super offensive mom jeans.

July 22, 2009 at 9:16 am 12 comments

How to be Happy: Glamour Style

299983279_d17fea7cdbOprah and Marie Claire have shared their respective secrets for happiness. So of course Glamour has to get into the game, right? Right.

They have devoted numerous articles to this subject. I will look at at least two.

In the first, one of the bloggers on staff posted about a Harvard Study that supposedly found the three true secrets of happiness. By that, you should take that to mean that these are the ULTIMATE secrets to happiness. Final.

At least until another study proves that chocolate is the true secret to happiness.

The next study involves Botox.

Anyway, in the happiness study, said Glamour, 268 Harvard sophomores were asked to participate for a whopping 72 years. This study, which started in 1937, tracked these sophomores as they grew old and died.

And at the end of this study, what did they find?

The Three True Secrets of Happeeness.

Guaranteed.

938615249_8f9a6249521. Have a healthy outlet for stress. A few days ago, my grandmother came to our house and started lecturing us on how we have to be understanding of my father and let him blow his top when he gets angry. I said something to the effect of “but being understanding doesn’t mean that him blowing his top and hurting people is acceptable.”

Her reply? “You want him to DIE!”

Um, no. I just want him to take up running.

So… running is a healthy outlet for stress. So is photography. I write and snark on certain places. It lets me release my stress without doing bad thing.

2. Don’t take life too seriously. Smile. Accept the ups and downs. Easier said than done, sure. But don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Grouches don’t get married, except to those with grouch fetishes.

Or as the Joker says: “Why so serious?”

3. Finally, share zee happeeness with zee WORLD! If you’re like me and are like a recluse, you will never be happy. The happy people are those who have relationships with friends and family and go out and eat with their friends and stuff. Remember a past post where another site told us that having a relationship is a good key to happiness? Well, it’s true. In a sense.

2973194536_835410c794The blogger adds her own thoughts:

(Have you ever taken a vacation alone or eaten dinner alone at a restaurant? Don’t you end up wanting to share the experience with a loved one?)

No, I haven’t. Because I don’t go to restaurants alone. I stay home. And if I take a vacation alone, it’s because I want some downtime from all the crazy people begging for my attention. (Kidding. Love you guys.)

The blogger added a postscript at the end, leaving the readers with some other tips to feel happy.

P.S. Feel-better moves: Wear red lipstick and shower in the dark and walk around naked and fly a kite and bake a cake with Pop Rocks and have an orgasm and wash your bras for once (ha!)

3578248556_513e5b235eFor there is a certain magic to wearing red lipstick (I believe it made men swarm around the blogger), showering in the dark (a sweet-smelling candle adds to the magic, and may even make you feel good after you fall with your face into the toilet), walking around naked (Um. “I could run around naked, free as a bird!”), and washing your bra. You wouldn’t believe how many women do not wash their bras.

What’s the other secret to happiness?

Botox.

You might think that Botox can only make you happy by its power to make you beautiful and expressionless. However, there’s more to Botox than a lack of expression, not the mention that you don’t get parenthesis on your face.

The girls in the beauty department at Glamour read an article about how Botox can treat clinical depression. Basically the expressions you make can have an effect on how you feel. So you if you smile, you will feel happy. If you look like a grouch, you will be a grouch. What you look like determines how you feel. I myself have read about this study before, and it’s interesting. A doctor injected some people with Botox until their brows weren’t all gross and wrinkly, and the after two months, a psychologist evaluated these people. He determined that nine of the ten people who had been depressed were no longer depressed.

458334304_3c850225a1You have to continue the Botox treatments to be happy, though.

Not very cost effective, right?

The banishment of a few wrinkles can make your life so much better.

So if you’re feeling unhappy, remember the Three Ultimate Tips for finding Happiness, besides other stuff like wearing red lipstick and walking around naked.

Finally, don’t forget the beauty treatment that can actually make you happy. Botox.

Happy Expressionlessness!

July 19, 2009 at 3:27 pm 3 comments

How to be Happy: Marie Claire style

In my last post, I looked at Oprah’s tips on how to be a happy person. It involved thinking of yourself as a golden statue and avoiding bathrooms that needed cleaning, among other things. In this post, we’ll see how Marie Claire magazine handles their tips for happiness.

As far as I can see, they have two main topics.

The first one is “How to be Single and Happy.”

The second is about “The World’s Best Country for Women.”

I’ll look at both.

2450891473_0bae641976How can one be single and happy? According to those at Marie Claire, it is possible. For those who have believed for a long time that happiness means having a man at your side, you are sort of right, unless you’re dating the wrong kind of guy. We live a world where we have been conditioned to believe that happiness does not come to those who are single, and Marie Claire certainly adds to our impression of this on certain occasions.

At the same time, how are you going to attract someone if you’re always unhappy?

It’s impossible, unless he has a grouch fetish.

So for the sake of your future Facebook relationship status, please be happy.

Maura Kelly, a blogger for this magazine’s website, talked to Gretchen Rubin, who is the author of a blog called The Happiness Project. Does being in a relationship make you happier? She asked for advice on how to feel all right about her single status.

Remember how much freedom you have, as a single person. You don’t have to coordinate your schedule with anyone else’s. You have all the time you want to go to the gym, see old friends, make new ones, take classes, meet new people—whatever you feel like doing. Don’t focus on what you think you’re missing. Focus on all you can do.

2227187658_fb2bd0915aOk, that’s great. Then Kelly asks, “Are people who are in relationships actually happier than those of us who aren’t?”

Gretchen concedes that there is much happiness that comes from having someone there. However, there are ways to find the same benefits by having some strong relationships with friends. If you have trouble finding friends, just put yourself out there. Find a club with something you’re interested in. I like books, so I should go to a book club. (Too bad the only book club around here is for romance novel enthusiasts.)

Kelly suddenly recalls that saying to herself, “I should be on the look-out for someone to flirt with” makes her want to talk to people. She realizes that to be able to flirt well, she has to be happy and confident about herself. Gretchen tells her that if Kelly wants to be set up on a date, she has to set other people up on dates. Someday someone will return the favor.

To be good at flirting, you can’t be gloomy. Set people up on dates, and someday someone will set you up. To be released from the curse of singlehood, be happy. Come on. You can do it.

2664937922_3dd0f205e2Finally, if that doesn’t work, move to another country! Marie Claire states:

If you want to be happy, healthy, and powerful, you might consider packing your bags and moving to a picturesque country on the other side of the Atlantic.

No subtlety there. But where?

Sweden.

Somewhere reported that Sweden was the #1 place for ladies like us to live. There is reference to some Swedish girl named Ebba who is the woman who has everything. She’s the perfect example of what women become when they go to Sweden.

Part of it is because Sweden has a pro-female culture, with equal rights and female politicians and stuff like that. It’s Barbie’s dream. Male toddlers are encouraged to play with dollies, while females play with toy tractors. (I would so have had the toy tractors have relationships with each other. No kidding.) They have to learn metalworking, woodworking. Both sexes.

Do they allow the little girls to play with dolls?

And girls outperform the boys in college. Girl power!

Which of course leads to the men pushing the baby buggies, as a website quoted in the article states.

I have pictures of my friend when he was in Sweden. He was here, and was sitting around there somewhere.

I have pictures of my friend when he was in Sweden. I think he actually was here, and was sitting around there somewhere. He's not in this picture though.

Before you pack your bags, though, there is a dark spot in all this flawless whiteness.

Drugstore lipstick costs 15 bucks.

NOOOOOoooooo

After stating that fact, the writer goes on to say that families watch Sex and the City together. It’s a perk. Right? Right?

Sweden’s acceptance of women as the aggressors in relationships has its perks: Anna-Maria regularly dates three or four men at a time without social disapproval.

Oh, ok.

In conclusion:

So is Sweden the ultimate sisterhood heaven? The verdict, of course, depends on your point of view: Japanese women live longer, American women earn higher salaries, Greek women have lower rates of breast cancer, and according to one poll, Italian men are better kissers. Overall, though, Swedish women seem happy with their lot. “I’ve traveled to many countries,” says magazine editor Ebba. “But life in Sweden is truly special for women. There’s nowhere else I’d rather live.”

My friend took this picture of an escalator in Sweden.

My friend took this picture when he was on an escalator in Sweden.

So here’s reasons why you should move to Sweden.

  1. People are happee there, so you will be happee there.
  2. Female friendly.
  3. Little kids play with tractors and dolls.
  4. Girls get better grades than boys.
  5. Men push baby buggies.
  6. You can date as many men as you want.
  7. Women are cops and are good at it.
  8. You can finally pay for dates.
  9. You can hit on guys and no one will blink an eye.
  10. You can date as many men as you want and no one will think you’re weird or a slut.
  11. Sex and the City is a family show.
  12. You can sleep with whomever you want, as often as you want to. (I hope that they have a program against STDs.)
  13. If you get preggers you have more time off.
  14. Toilets there are unisex. No lines. But the chance to do stuff in there. Like, stuff. Use your imagination.
  15. But we’re just… just… so happy!!

And there you have it.

July 15, 2009 at 12:48 pm 7 comments

How to be Happy: Oprah Style

Part of the ingredients for Perfection is Happiness.

However, this particular brand of happiness is quite elusive. Many have tried to pursue Happiness and failed miserably (no pun intended). Without finding the happiness that they have sought, they have died without ever getting a significant other, finding the perfect facewash that banished their Miley Cyrus acne, or finding a bra that fit them correctly.

304916374_5449336482Is there any hope for any of us?

Yes, there is. The magazines have all put their individual heads together and thought about what happiness means, and how to get happy, and how to stay happy. We have Oprah, Marie Claire, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Real Simple, and Shine! Yahoo. Surely with six major authorities thinking about this matter, we can’t miss out on our chance of happiness. Right?

Well, you’ll see.

In six posts, I will write about these individual magazine/places’ tips about happiness. In this post, we will look at Oprah.

Oprah says that there are five things every happy woman does. Read the writer’s tips, and you’re sure to find their special secrets for happiness! Yay!

It starts with,

Sages going back to Socrates have offered advice on how to be happy, but only now are scientists beginning to address this question with systematic, controlled research… we canvassed the leading experts on what happy people have in common — and why it’s worth trying to become one of them.

First, they start off by finding their most golden self. Upon reading this, I thought of self-tanner, which is supposed to make people feel good about themselves. But no. Think of yourself as a “golden figurine that would be revealed by cracking away an outer layer of cheap pottery (the person’s baser exterior).” That line was followed by some stuff that sounded like it was in a different language. But yes, I get that. I’ve thought about it for some time, though not in such flowery terms. I think they’re saying that if you try to take on new challenges, the pottery that is your baser exterior will fall away to reveal your inner goldenness.

1128041331_b2943ac6a7This can also be taken as a metaphor. Say you don’t look like a model. However, after climbing some more mountains and stuff, you will look like a model and be happy. The fat will melt away, revealing a thinner, more beautiful you.

<—- Somehow I can’t help thinking of this. Ugh.

Next, you design your life to bring in joy. You have to analyze your life. Your happiness is something that you and only you can control. So by designing your life in a way that an interior designer would design a beautiful house, you can call in the happiness to live in you. Or something like that.

It’s a well known fact that unhappy people do not design their houses beautifully and so need people like Oprah to tell them how to design it beautifully.

But come on, it’s as easy as not doing the things you don’t want to know and doing the things you want to do…

28399359_91c7a37218… right?

Schkade says that if you transfer even an hour of your day from an activity you hate (commuting, scrubbing the bathroom) to one you like (reading, spending time with friends), you should see a significant improvement in your overall happiness. Taking action is key.

Forget the grungy bathroom that needs scrubbing! Forget the toilet that needs plunging! Forget that the sink isn’t going to clean itself! Just lose yourself in a romance novel! Come on girl, take action!

I can see a lot of visits to the gas station down the road in your future.

Also, don’t think “if only” fantasies. Those are useless and can only get you down. “If only I cleaned the toilet” is just going to make your life better, not worse. The toilet is not going to be cleaned in the pursuit of happiness anyway, so just forget it. “If only” isn’t going to make you any thinner. Thinking of yourself as a golden Buddha statue is.

2644741652_6a2c1ce6dbThere’s something about hedonic adaption which I didn’t quite understand. Maybe if I understood that would be the key. I don’t know. Reading about the brain’s natural dimming effect is making me all woozy. So you’ll have to forgive me.

Happy people put their best friends first. After themselves and redesigning their lives, of course. You must always come first. Take the time to talk to that cool friend instead of running around trying to talk to everyone.

The last point: allow yourself to be happy! Don’t feel guilty for having fun. Don’t feel guilty about that toilet that is so clogged with poo that you will need a bulldozer to unclog it.

By being happy, you’ll make other people happy too.

Just forget about that bathroom … oh shoot.

July 13, 2009 at 11:52 am 5 comments

Being Yourself

“Don’t worry. Just be yourself.”

314540734_5579a8bd22These words of advice were dispensed to us by our grandparents, our parents, our uncles and aunts, cousins, and sundry other friends. We received them when we signed up for ballet lessons in first grade and decided to quit after 2 weeks of falling over our feet. We heard them when we wanted to fit in with that cool group of girls in middle school who always had the hippest makeup. We received them when we went on our first date with the football player in his last year of high school. And then in college, when we were deciding what to do with the rest of our life, we heard them once again.

It sounds so easy, doesn’t it? All you have to do is be yourself.

By being ourselves, we can find the key to happiness, get the best careers, find the hottest hunks, and get the best tans.

Women’s Health magazine has realized that it is a wonderful thing to be yourself. The tiny little slogan above the magazine title reads, “It’s good to be you.”

According to their mission statement:

Women’s Health is for the woman who wants to reach a healthy, attractive weight but doesn’t equate that with having thighs the size of toothpicks. We know that exercising and eating well will make you happier and stronger (even if after-work runs can really suck). That looking and feeling good have very little to do with cosmetics and high heels (though they can help you feel glamorous on a Saturday night). And that life can be stressful since there’s never enough time, but balance is achievable (with a little help).

This magazine vows to be that help that we need to achieve such a balance. They want to reach out to women in a different way that the other magazines do. They know that we don’t feel that great about ourselves when we read other magazines. We feel inadequate, alone, and a failure.

Unlike the other magazines, Women’s Health doesn’t want us to feel like that.

They sure have an interesting way of doing so. The writers want us to embrace ourselves and love who we are. We should seek to improve ourselves to be the best that we are, complete with six pack abs.

Their philosophy in a nutshell is WORK. Just plain hard work to be your perfect Self, as this magazine cover from 2007 reveals.

But that was then. This is now. Hasn’t things changed?

Not much, except that the cover models are now printed in color.

Here’s a fairly recent cover.

All the ladies on the cover are blonde models with six pack abs, flawless skin, and the “perfect” body. Replace the cosmetics and high heels with a bikini and a flawless tan. Balance is achievable with a little help. Just get your own fitness trainer and personal gym installed in your home and you’re all set. Exercise and eating well will make you happier and stronger, after all. While your thighs will not be the size of toothpicks, they will still be slender and muscular. A healthy and attractive weight is amazingly skinny like black and white cover model up there or colorful Elisha Cuthbert in her skin baring tank.

Apparently this magazine is devoted on helping you become the best of yourself, through dieting, fitness, sex, and makeup. Who could ask for anything better?

So what does being yourself entail?

1. Slim down secrets! Leaner legs, flatter butt. The ideal You is slim and lovely, with a tight butt gained through 10 minutes of rigorous exercise with said hunky personal trainer. Exercise can help you get the most of out life with your ideal Self. This is why a home gym is important.

This ideal You also burns fat efficiently.

And blasts cellulite away with the touch of the mighty Exercise Ball.

Lilys Exercise Ball by Christina Welsh (Rin).

Picture from Christina Welsh.

2. Cheat-proof his love! The ideal You knows how to love, and love well. The ideal You, with the help of a magazine, can cheat-proof your man’s love by following several steps. I wonder if one them involves keeping him on a leash. My personal advice to you is to kill him. That way his love will be cheat-proof — forever.

Another way to a man’s heart is through sex. There are five amazing sex secrets that will be guaranteed to make him never want to leave you. Followed by tips to have more fun in bed, followed by the six sex secrets he’s hiding for you, and more.

3. More money, less stress. This combination is ideal. By getting more money, the ideal You will have less stress. So start raking in the big butts, lady! This magazine has advice on how to be Yourself in such a way that you earn more money, get the raise, and save more. Including free things to spend your time doing at night. Your wonderful self can gain the looks to land the perfect job! Botox and breast implants optional.

Bikinis are the cause of much stress. More money can give you less stress, but so can a good bikini put upon a toned body.

It’s a truth universally acknowledged, that a woman in possession of a toned body must be in want of a bikini.

4. Sexy beauty! You are a sexy beauty. I see it in your ideal future. Turn heads with this magazine’s tricks and tips! The ideal You is a sexy beauty. And if you’re not a sexy beauty, that means that you are not your ideal Self. You must also look great naked. Zoe Saldana does.

5. Energy. The ideal You has boundless energy, reached by 10 quick energy tricks that work, which of course goes with the AM trick that works every time.

6. No blemishes. The ideal You has a beauty regime that blasts away all those acne.

It’s not easy being you. That’s why the magazines can help you be your ideal Self with about 2,145 all new useful tips (that are of course, recycled from two years ago) to reach that state of being a wonderful You.

Women’s Health’s JanFeb 2009 cover

Have fun and remember to be yourself!

July 11, 2009 at 4:29 pm 3 comments

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