Tag Archives: happiness

Cherish and Perish

I think that some of us are so rooted in ourselves and now that we forget about the inevitable and others. It’s definitely true of me some of the time… This makes it too easy to take things or people for granted while there is the potential for our situation to change drastically, however likely or unlikely that is.

For me personally, I can get annoyed at relatively small things but I often forget that in the hopefully-not-too-near future that I won’t be around some of the people with those habits I concern myself with.

I’ve listed below in no particular order, some of the trivial things that get on my nerves.

  1. When someone posts a lot of similar photos to Facebook or Instagram
  2. When relatives/people you don’t know well hug or kiss you
  3. When someone accidentally buys the wrong thing/a duplicate for you – it’s nice that that they got anything at all
  4. When someone meaning well upsets you (I’m thinking of that time my eldest brother tipped me upside down over the dog’s water bowl as a ‘game’)
  5. When someone talks quietly/has poor hearing – sometimes I just nod and smile if I don’t hear them initially, and I’m also not the most patient person
  6. When someone repeatedly click their pen absent mindedly or not/don’t return what you lend – I’ve probably done the same and it’s nice to assume you’ve helped them in a little way by providing them that stationery
  7. When the (heavy) dog steps on your foot – dogs tend to love you no matter what, so let’s love ’em back IMG_8633
  8. Being dragged along to a wedding of a couple you don’t know but your parents do/a christening/niece’s performance etc – it doesn’t actually  take up that much of your time and it’s great for your family to support you (my seven year old niece was actually alright, it was funny when she was basically pushing the boy next to her out the way when she was doing her dance routine and I got to hear Stiches by Shawn Mendes at one point)
  9. When someone asks you for help/copies you – just be glad you’re trusted and remember you’ve needed help too! (never let them copy if it’s more than notes though)
  10. When you hand your phone for someone to look at a photo and they start swiping through your camera roll – how dare they invade my privacy! I don’t tend to hand over my phone now haha
  11. When someone breathes loudly – I don’t know why this annoys me but it does
  12. When my dad pipes up in the car when I’m listening to music so I have to keep turning down the volume (below is an old drawing by me)WYUD4870
  13. When a relative takes forever talking to you – appreciate their efforts

I’ve been working on relaxing and enjoying what I’ve got though, nobody’s perfect and that’s fine. Here are some little things that I do like:

  1. Random compliments especially from strangers 
  2. The sound of a good-natured person’s laughter – it’s nice to know they’re having a good time or if they like your jokes
  3. Basking in the sun/when you’re cosy in bed before you have to get up/putting on clothes fresh from the dryer on a cold day
  4. Walking through crisp autumn leaves or fresh white snow
  5. The invigorating feeling of splashing cold water on your face/a cool breeze especially in winter
  6. The shapes of clouds and the sky’s brilliant colours – one day I plan to find a good spot and do a time lapse of the sky at the same time over a month
  7. Watching rain drops run down the windscreen of a car/the sound of rain – I have a song playlist for when it’s raining because it creates such an atmosphere. And I took the photo below by accident whilst trying to capture the rainbow but it turned out kind of cool and tumblr-esque. Or is that just me?
  8. When a song you like comes on and being reminded of a pleasant memory, e.g. Girl On Fire by Alicia Keys when I read The Hunger Games
  9. Being treated randomly – sometimes my mum brings back an exquisite chocolate cupcake and at college one of my friends kindly shared a box of celebrations at Christmas with everyone
  10. When someone picks up something you dropped/opens the door for you/shares something with you/invites you to join them if you’re on your own and general reassurances – like that time a popular guy at my school offered to help me put up a promotional poster and at college a random girl asked if I was okay
  11. Genuine smiles – people are very pretty when they’re happy
  12. Surprise hugs/tight hugs by people you like because it’s comforting
  13. When someone remembers little details or quirks about you – something I’m terrible at sadly

It would be awesome to hear your favourite little things in the comments below 🙂

Notes: I was inspired to write this after seeing a post of general life tips circulating on Twitter, and also because of my own experiences. Featured image is not mine but the other photos are.

Song: All the Small Things by Blink 182 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Ht5RZpzPqw)

Bible-basher bashing

If you’ve been following my blog (thanks by the way 🙂 ) you’ll know I strongly support LGBTQ+ rights and I thought discussing aspects of that and gender inequality would be a good way to exemplify my opinions here.

To some extent, I’m inclined to believe that the Bible (and other scriptures of other religions I’m much less familiar with) is like poetry; the ambiguity of teachings means we can’t know the intended meanings without asking the authors who are now long deceased. In addition, the teachings can be used to support a wide range of ideas which oppose each other, adding to the confusion. The many denominations of a single religion may further muddy the waters of morality. As if it isn’t perplexing enough, everyone has their own unique views within those denominations – they may be devout, or simply be informed by the fundamentals.

I’ve actually found quite a few quotes that are useful reminders. But since scriptures were written ages ago, it makes sense that some of the teachings are dated and not so agreeable… For example:

Ephesians 5:22-24 (KJV)

“Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.”

I think we can safely assume that’s a tad patriarchal.

And according to http://www.plainsimplefaith.com/2013/06/the-bible-doesnt-say-love-the-sinner-hate-the-sinner-the-defense-series/ the Bible teaches people to love sinners while hating their sin. The problem I have with that is what constitutes as a “sin”. I would say there are several homophobic references such as:

Leviticus 20:13 (KJV)

“If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.”

Romans 1:25-27 (NKJV)

“who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of women, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.”

(The quotes from the Bible I used were from the website  http://www.biblegateway.com/)

It says on http://www.christianbiblereference.org/faq_homosexuality.htm that the Bible does not specifically say anything about homosexuality and only condemns homosexual acts. However, by condemning any expression of homosexuality they are basically condemning gay people in my opinion. I honestly don’t see what is so scandalous about loving the same sex, it’s a sad state of affairs.

Anyway my mother has always taught how love is so important and Jesus’ main teachings seem to be about love and forgiveness – here are some quotes that I think support equality:

Mark 12:28-31 (NIV)

“Love your neighbour as yourself.”

Matthew 6:14-15 (NIV)

“For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”

Matthew 7:1 (NIV)

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged.”

Here are two maps which show how deeply religious countries tend to coincide with few or no gay rights (sources: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/politics/and-you-thought-uganda-was-bad-map-shows-where-in-world-it-is-worst-to-be-gay-9152558.html and https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/world/gay-rights/):

religion by country map

illegal to be gay by country map

However there is a slight plottwist to this post. It’s not all negative, I did say it would also be on happiness!

When I was doing some research for this post I learned that there was a 2013 study which found “patients who are being treated for mental-health issues such as depression or anxiety responded better to treatment if they believed in God” – go to http://www.livescience.com/52197-religion-health-brain.html for more studies. So being religious can be quite a benefit in some cases.

Despite this, there is a much smaller proportion of religious people in some regions than there used to be. I was quite surprised that the 2011 UK census showed 59% of the population was Christian with 25% saying they had no religion (source: http://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/culturalidentity/ethnicity/articles/2011censusanalysisethnicityandreligionofthenonukbornpopulationinenglandandwales/2015-06-18#religion). I thought there would be a lower percentage of Christians.

5 ways to be happy (excluding religion):

  • Worry less, don’t overthink – I’m guilty of worrying a lot so I’m still working on it. Being organised and doing your best in all your pursuits you can hopefully counter any reaosn to be worried. And remember that people don’t notice every little thing you notice about yourself if you’re self-conscious like I am
  • Just DO something! – I recently stumbled across the deceptively simple advice that is linked to the physics law “Things in motion stay in motion”. If you lie in bed all day feeling sad you’ll feel the same at the end of the day. If you get up and brush your teeth, have a shower you will feel fresher first of all, and may have gained enough momentum so that you’re not stuck in the dumps. Anything productive is a step in the right direction, be it reading a book, tidying the house, brushing the dog, weeding the garden, go on a walk, see your friends/make friends, make one page of revision notes. Today I went into town and saw a man busking, and his voice and guitar playing was beautiful. Keeping busy means you don’t have too much time to mope. A book I started skimming through (How to Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie) outlines stuff like that
  • Exercise regularly, eat healthy “A sound soul dwells within a sound mind and a sound body.” There is scientific evidence that supports that these lifestyle choices help improve your mood, reduce stress etc. Find something that works for you. It’s win-win
  • Give back to the community – even Jesus taught this; Luke 6:38 (NIV) “Give, and it will be given to you.” As http://www.christianbiblereference.org/jneighbr.htm says, “Service to others brings meaning and fulfilment to our lives in a way that wealth, power, possessions and self-centred pursuits can never match”
  • Remember that happiness is like life; it’s about the journey not the destination – if you’ve read The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald you’ll know even the wealthiest are dissatisfied about something

Notes: I was just trying to come up with a snappy title, I’m pretty indifferent about whether someone is religious or not. This post is going to be my opinions on religion/atheism and happiness. Feel free to comment your opinions. Featured image and infographics are not mine.

Song: Piano Fire by Sparkhorse (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V6Gzly1HGeo) because it never ceases to give me good vibes.

(Also I was actually a vaguely practicing Christian until about seven years ago. I don’t think being religious, atheist or otherwise makes any difference to how good of a person you are, it’s what you do that matters.)