The pursuit of happiness
Despite the countless differences between peoples' characters and careers, or their likes and their dislikes, it seems that we are all connected in this weird and wonderful life by one thing: namely, the pursuit of happiness.
Happiness means, naturally, different things to different people. For myself, happiness is synonymous with horse riding, Cadbury's Creme Eggs and spending time with my friends. Some people are at their happiest at home, whereas others find their paradise through travelling far-off foreign lands. Happiness can be as simple as a surprise bunch of fresh flowers or a really strong coffee, just when you need it most. Sometimes, happiness comes from spending time with loved ones; at others, it's having a well-earned quiet night at home, with nothing but Netflix and a cosy bed for company. Trying to neatly sum up happiness would probably take a whole lifetime!
Since it comes in so many shapes and sizes, it's sometimes easy to take happiness for granted - especially true if it's been 'one of those days'. Maybe you overslept, missed the bus and had to walk to school in the rain, only to be told off for being late. Or perhaps, because of work, you had to cancel plans with friends, despite looking forward to seeing them for ages. Forgotten keys, delayed flights, an argument with your parents, untimely illness or injury ... all very frustrating, and understandably guaranteed to make you feel unhappy.
Luckily, there are a few simple, scientifically proven ways to make the glass seem half-full again. To start with, things like trying out a new recipe, cycling or walking instead of driving to work and listening to music are great mood-boosters. Volunteering or getting involved with a charity are two ways in which you can become happier through helping others. Last, but certainly not least, try hugging your way to happiness; it's been suggested that we humans need a minimum of five hugs a day. Whether it's wholly scientifically accurate or not remains to be seen, but it's a great excuse; and if you've been having a bad day, there's nothing better than a good old bear-hug.