So You’re Starting University…

It finally happened. After all of the insanely late nights spent working on your UCAS application, then checking your offers and emails, all while juggling the stress of revising for how many exams again?! You’ve got your place, and in September, you’re off to University. Well, as perfect as finally getting started may sound, you need to be aware of some of the things that no one tells you about starting uni. Nope, these tips I’m about to share aren’t in any handbook, on any brochure or mentioned on any open day.

So today I’m going to save your life, and give you my top 7 tips for your first semester at university.

Tip #1

Establish your own rules

If you’ve moved into halls it can seem incredibly exciting. You’re finally away from your parents and siblings, and have room and time to yourself. Wrong! You need to establish the rules between you and your dorm pals. You can’t let everyone in at 3am for the first month and then when you’ve got work up to your ears, lock everyone out with nothing but a sassy note left on the door.

Tip #2

Discount

So many places accept student discount nowadays that you need to shop around more. I know  I know, you love the mac & cheese that your mum always made you with ingredients exclusively from Waitrose, but girl, this is university and you can’t shop at Waitrose any more. And for the rest of you that can’t wait to live like a student and have nothing but takeaway all of the time, I’ll tell you a secret, the Co-op accept NUS cards. There you go, this is a majorly unknown fact, so you have absolutely no excuse for having stale pizza for breakfast for the third day in a row.

Tip #3

Wash Up After Yourself, Dammit

There are two types of people that live in halls. Those that feel like they’ve met their friends for life, and therefore don’t mind doing everyone’s washing up, every night, for an entire year, and those that leave their dishes to be washed by someone else, every night, for an entire year. To stop the former from having a breakdown and eventually turning on the latter, and attacking them with a spork on the final night of the first year, just do your own washing. If everyone does their own, everyone’s gets done and no one has to cry.

img_8432Tip #4

Being A Grown Up Isn’t So Bad

I know you may think that you can only understand the washing machine and cookbooks once you’ve finished your degree, but trust me, nothing is as difficult as it seems. Those big buttons on the front of the washing machine are literally self-explanatory. “Colours? Wtf does that mean?!”

Tip #5

Leave It, Lose It

You’ve got to be careful with your stuff, because whatever you leave in a public area, will become public property. Unless it is locked in your room, it is no longer solely yours. Yep, even if you have your name on it. Even your tub of your moisturiser is now for the random guy that stayed over in your friends room last night…

Tip #6

Sign Up, Level Health Up

It seems to be a right of passage that everyone gets freshers flu, the important thing is to know the difference between freshers flu, and still feeling unwell at the end of the first semester. Make sure you sign up with the local doctors surgery at university, otherwise if you do get ill in the future, you’ll be stuck with your friends staying away from you and people pointing at you from across the street. There will still be doctors in the town of your uni, they are still not allowed to talk about you to anyone, everything is the same, so sign the hell up!

Tip #7

It’s Nothing Like This

Finally, you’ve gotta realise that university is going to be nothing like you imagine it to be. It’s not going to be scary and intimidating, but it’s also not going to be insane party after insane party with everyone going wild, not if you don’t want it to be. It’s still a new environment, so people will be feeling their most vulnerable. Some people will compensate by being louder and more outrageous than they normally are, and some will hide in the corners and backs of the room. Gravitate towards those are acting how you are feeling; those are your friends for life.


Those are my top 7 (not to be taken seriously) tips for your first semester at University. I hope these tips help some of you guys out, and remember, don’t worry about starting uni, it’s going to be fine. You’re going to make some of the greatest memories and friends of your entire life, enjoy it all.

Advertisements

Tips For De-stressing

After I wrote my post on procrastination, I realised that as it is still exam and deadline season, that a lot of us will be feeling stressed and tense. So naturally I thought, why not share some tips for de-stressing? So today I’ve collected 4 tips that I’d recommend for how to de-stress, to share with you guys.

Exercise | I know everyone always says that exercise is great for alleviating stress, and we all roll our eyes and say we’ve heard it before. But the truth is that if you’re starting to feel yourself getting more stressed and tense as the days go by, it is a good idea to invest some time undoing that tension. You don’t have to go for a 5 mile run every night, in fact the types of exercise that I find are most useful for undoing knots and relieving tension, are yoga and light walks. Another benefit of walking is that you are removing yourself from the area that is causing your stress.

Socialise | Set some time aside every week (or day, if you prefer,) to spend with your friends. During this time you can easily forget about your stresses, or you can actively talk about your stress, which will help you in combating it.IMG_7767It’s not you | When you’re feeling stressed, you can find it incredibly easy to blame yourself for things not going to plan, and therefore find yourself stuck in a negative cycle. But it’s important to remember that it isn’t you, so try and give yourself some positive affirmation, it could be through doing something you’re really good at, or just taking some time to pamper yourself.

Change | If your stress is not due to exams, or other deadlines (i.e your stress has a time limit) and it’s a much more permanent part of your everyday, then it’s highly important to see what you can do to change. Be it working with different people, changing your work area, or looking for alternate work altogether. It might seem like a daunting idea, but stress is not something that people should just put up with, if it’s more permanent, you need to make a change.


Those are my main tips for de-stressing, I hope that if you’re feeling stressed that you can take something from each of these tips, and that they’ll help you out. As I mentioned, stress shouldn’t be a permanent part of your life, so don’t leave it if it is starting to affect you every day.

Thank you so much for reading this post, be sure to let me know what type of posts you’d like to see from me in the future!

Are Sub Boxes Worthwhile?

I’m sure that we’ve all heard a lot about subscription boxes, whether good or bad, we all know what they are, and it seems like everyone has at least tried one out at some point. Unfortunately, recently all of the reviews I’ve seen surrounding sub boxes have been negative, as the receiver seems to be disappointed with the products included.

I managed to get May’s Birchbox to review, but today I’m also going to be weighing up whether or not I feel that subscription boxes are worthwhile.IMG_7760

May Birchbox

Products Included:

Spectrum Collection’s Unicorn Tears Wonder Sponge RRP £4.99

theBalm cosmetics Stainiac in Beauty Queen RRP £10

Philip Kingsley PK Prep Polishing Balm RRP £18.50

Caudalie Vinosource Moisturising Sorbet RRP £23

Rituals Tao Wai Wang Mild Exfoliating Body Scrub RRP £19.50

IMG_7753

Wonder Sponge | The sponge is cruelty free, which is a great aspect, as I think that we are all gradually becoming aware of cruelty and non-cruelty free companies and products, and this is beginning to affect our buying habits. This sponge is just as easy to use as any other sponge or the famous beauty blender, and comes in roughly a pound cheaper. However I do think that this is a product that people either already have, or don’t have it because they prefer using brushes. It’s not necessarily a worthwhile product to ‘try out’ in a sub box. It is also, as Birchbox boast, a full size product, but it would be difficult to dispatch these sponges in smaller, tester size.

Stainiac | I was actually nicely surprised by this lip and cheek tint. The deep blood-red colour of the tube made me weary of trying it, as I thought it’d be far too pigmented, and perhaps sticky and uncomfortable on the face or lips. However when I did try it, it just added a light touch of a pink-red hue to the lips, and dried to the point that I couldn’t even feel it, not sticky or uncomfortable at all. I would probably look into repurchasing this if I wanted a tint.

However, this product showcases how I think sub boxes are misleading. The stated RRP for this product is £10, showcasing that you’re getting a great deal, as the box itself is £12.95. However that RRP is for the 0.3oz stain, and in the box, you get a 0.04oz product. This might sound confusing and like it doesn’t matter, but what it means is that you’re getting 1/12th of the product that is worth that £10. So technically, this product is worth 83p. Or you can get it free as a tester HERE.

Polishing Balm | As I’ve spoken about my love for them before, I was actually really excited to try this out. I was really impressed by the consistency of this product, it isn’t quite a balm, but it is similar in consistency to that of a conditioner. It distributes easily throughout the ends of the hair, and does leave it smelling delicious, while it also smooths down any flyaways and frizz.

However again, the impressive RRP of £18.50 is for the 75ml product, and you receive a 20ml product. So this tester is actually worth £4.93. Although this is again, misleading, I do still find almost £5 worth of product to be impressive.IMG_7755Moisturising Sorbet | It takes some time to work out what this product is for, as it explains that it’s a moisturising sorbet, but it doesn’t say where it is to be applied. Fortunately on the back of the product, underneath the French usage instructions, it says that it’s for the face and neck. It is a somewhat moisturising product, but I found it to be like applying cold water to your face, at first you feel moisturised, but then your face is just wet, not actually moisturised. It took a lot of working this product in for it to completely be absorbed into the skin. I did find that it left an incredibly light and flowery scent, but nothing overpowering at all.

This product is clearly the most expensive included in the box, an insane RRP of £23. I know, more boring maths coming your way, but please bear with me. The product that you receive is actually worth just under £6. Again, this is insane for a 10ml product, so it’s better to have it included in a sub box than it is for you to buy it alone, but I don’t think this is the type of product that anyone is going to fall so madly in love with, that when this tester is empty, they buy the £23 version.

Body Scrub | As I’ve spoken about Rituals recently, you can see my review of their hand cream HERE, you know that I love everything about their products, so when I saw that this body scrub was included in the box, I was pleasantly surprised. Obviously I loved this product, and am impressed to say that you can get 2 uses out of this sized product. I also think that this particular size is good for a tester, as it gives you a good sense of whether or not you want to repurchase the full £19.50 tub version at 325ml.


Ultimately I think that sub boxes are a really good idea, you get to try out new products each month, and you don’t have to shop around for them. However I do think that people can be mislead into think that they are getting more than the box is actually worth, for example, if you took the RRPs as gospel for this Birchbox, you’d think you’re getting £76 worth of products, when in fact you get £19.83. (Assuming you paid for the lip and cheek tint, and didn’t get it free as you can elsewhere.)

Please don’t get me wrong, I’m obviously not just talking about Birchbox here, this is true of all sub boxes. I’m not dismissing the fact that the company need to make a profit, while still paying some companies to feature their products, but I do feel that sub boxes need to be more inventive with what they include. I’ve seen many people complain about receiving toothpaste and clear nail polishes. To me, the key to a good sub box is, getting to try products that you either don’t already have, or wouldn’t buy yourself, either because it’s slightly more luxurious, or a brand you haven’t heard of.

I also am aware that you pay £12.95 a month for these boxes, so even if it is worth £19, you’re still up by £6. But to me, I think that the prices of sub boxes can come down drastically and perhaps feature less, but full sized products. Or the prices can be increased slightly, but you’re guaranteed full sized products, and you can input preferences. (i.e. no toothpastes)


Thank you so much for reading this post, it really means a lot to me as I know it’s really long, but this felt important to me. Also don’t forget that I am daily blogging for this entire month, and you have a brand new podcast series that starts THIS FRIDAY!

Rituals Miracle Balm Review

Recently when I was shopping in House of Fraser, I wandered over to a counter that I hadn’t really given much attention to before, but found myself really drawn to particular products. It was the Rituals counter, and I found myself really liking the look of their newest ranges, so I decided to try something out (also taking full advantage of the 20% store-wide discount that was on at the time…) and let you guys know how I got on with it!

There were lots of products that enticed me, and sounded really interesting, but I decided to stick to just one product at first, to see if I thought that other products were worth me investing in. So I chose a hand lotion, because I thought it was something that I could immediately get use out of, and keep in my bag, and it was one of my favourite scents when I had had a cheeky smell of a couple of things.IMG_7696

PROS

The first pro of this product for me, is the fact that it’s in a metallic-like packaging, that easily dents. Now to a lot of you, this would be a con because if you don’t treat it right, it might look a bit bashed up, but for me it’s an enormous pro, because you can clearly see how much product you’ve got left, whereas with most hand creams, you have no clue until you’re finishing the product. I also think that the packaging is really unique and pretty.

Another pro for me is its consistency. This formula is unusually thick for a hand cream, (as the name boasts, it’s a balm) which again might put some people off, but if you really suffer with dry hands, or you’d just like a hand cream that really feels like a treat (as this hand balm states that it can also be used as an overnight mask) you can really feel the difference when using this one. I fee like it really lives up to the Rituals slogan, “Transform your everyday routines into meaningful rituals.”

The smell. I’ve never smelt a hand cream that is this pretty and perfume-like. It’s white lotus and ginkgo biloba, which is a leaf that contributes to normal blood circulation, which means that this balm can actually improve the condition of the skin on your hands, in the long term.IMG_7694

CONS

The only real con I can think of for this product is its price. Not everyone wants to spend £10 on a hand cream, but for me, I thought that the price was definitely worthwhile, because this is a much more luxurious and hard working product, unlike most unscented and watery hand lotions.

Obviously as I’ve also mentioned, a lot of the ‘pros’ for me, are actually going to be cons for other people, but for me, the only obvious con could be the price.


That’s it for my review of the Rituals Miracle Hand Balm, let me know if you enjoyed it in the comments!

Have you tried this product, or anything from Rituals? I’d love to know what you’d recommend!

7 Deadly Sins Beauty Tag

Hey guys! I wanted to share a tag with you today, but I wasn’t sure which one to do. So I spent some time searching through the Internet, and I found this one. I thought it seemed quite unheard of and unique, so I’m going to give it a go! Hope you enjoy!

GREED: What is your most inexpensive beauty item? What is your most expensive?

Most inexpensive would be my Collection Extreme 24 hour Felt Liner (my favourite) and my most expensive item would be my Alice in Wonderland Urban Decay Palette.

WRATH: What beauty products do you have a love/hate relationship with? 

My most love/hate relationship with any makeup item is just attempting to put any eyeliner in my waterline. No matter how good the product is, it just never seems to stay, yet I would love to wear it. (BONUS: Matte lipsticks. They are gorgeous but why do they have to be so drying? I mean, I know why, but still.)

GLUTTONY: What are your most delicious beauty products?

My eyeshadow palettes smell good enough to eat, but MAC lipsticks are deceptively delicious smelling and tasty on the lips…

IMG_2371

SLOTH: What beauty product do you neglect, due to laziness?

Lipsticks, if I could put it on once and it’d stay all day I would, but reapplying is such a pain.

PRIDE: What beauty product gives you the most self-confidence?

Just about any felt liner, because I live for WINGED EYELINER.

LUST: What attributes do you find most attractive in the opposite sex?

Sense of humour, kindness

ENVY: What items would you most like to receive as a gift?

I just always like trying out new things, so literally anything I don’t already have, ha!


That’s it for the 7 Deadly Sin Beauty Sins Tag, I hope you guys enjoyed it!

Pick 2 of your favourite questions and let me know your answers!

Earth Day 2016

Hey guys! Today is Earth Day, so I thought it’d be a perfect time to talk to you about what it’s all about, and what you can do to help!

The inspiration behind holding an annual ‘Earth Day’ is for the movement to provide a voice to an emerging consciousness, channelling human energy toward environmental issues. To inspire us to take control, and be more aware of the repercussions of our action, and think about the well-being of our planet. This year is the 46th Earth Day, and in the run up to the 50th, the people behind Earth Day have put forward a series of ‘bold initiatives’ which they aim for us to complete in time for this momentous anniversary.

These initiatives aim to “encourage people to take action in their local communities and cities to carry our message and movement forward. The first of these four initiatives is also the theme for Earth Day 2016 — Trees for the Earth. Help us reach our goal of planting 7.8 billion trees by 2020. Let’s start with 4-5 trees in your backyard or place of business and build from there.” This particular bold initiative really reflects how the power is in our own hands – individually we can each perform one act, that can really make an impact and a difference.

So today I hope you guys had some time to reflect on just how fortunate we are, to have a planet that so perfectly sustains us. But also, realise that we have an element of responsibility when it comes to our planet. Every single day, billions of us are doing things that are incredibly harmful to our environment, and if we don’t do something about it today, we’re not guaranteeing a safe environment for future generations.

We are all highly aware of the fact that we are polluting our air by releasing both direct and non-direct greenhouse gases, and therefore damaging the ozone layer of our planet. We have done a lot to combat and reduce the majority of that, but statistics show that urban background pollution has actually been increasing, and is currently at its highest point since records began.

The onus is on us, to make change now.

It might sometimes seem like all of this talk is repetitive, and unnecessary, but the fact is that unless we look after our planet, it’s not going to be able to sustain us. We’ve already seen changes and mutations in animals and plants as a result of our carelessness when it comes to taking care of our surroundings, but we don’t tend to make major changes unless it directly affects us, be it through our lifestyles, or our food.

It’s clichéd to say, but we need to make alterations now, while we can.


Thank you so much for reading this post, I hope it inspired at least one of you guys to be proactive and make a change in your life. If we all did that, we’d make an incredible difference.

Mindfulness In Mental Health

Today I wanted to cover something that I’ve been wanting to talk about for quite some time, but I couldn’t quite figure out how to talk about it. Every time I decided to set aside some time to write about this, I felt myself feeling like I was going about it the wrong way. Essentially, I told myself that I wouldn’t write this post, until I had found a way to write it in a style which could help people, and not just draw attention to problems, without at least attempting to share some ideas on how to handle them.

Now to start out with, I’d like to mention how happy I am to feel comfortable talking about this, and how proud I am that we as a generation are striving for the disappearance of stigma, and openness in regards to mental health. Now I’m not entirely blind to the fact that we still have a really long way to go before there is absolutely no stigma surrounding mental health and everyone feels they can be open about how they’re feeling, but I feel that we will vastly progress if we are unapologetic and each individually open with our struggles.

We have the power to make this a topic of discussion. We have the power to make people think. We have the power to create needed change.

So today I want to share something that has really improved my life, and that’s bringing mindfulness into your life. Mindfulness is defined as “the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something”. I can only speak from my own experiences, but using mindfulness in my day to day life has vastly improved how I feel.

Essentially I have found that by doing the following things, I feel much better, more present and relaxed.

Mindfulness of your breathing | I didn’t want to just share tips that can only be done when you’re at home, or have a lot of free time, so this one is perfect for if you’re feeling anxious or trapped, or having a difficult time in a situation that you cannot remove yourself from, bringing your attention to your breathing can be a quick way to slow your heart rate down and clear your mind. Try and focus on taking longer and deeper breaths, holding it for roughly 2 seconds.

Mindfulness of your activity | I know, that is just a sly way of saying exercise. Now trust me, I am not one for crazy exercise routines, so I’m not going to recommend spending 3 hours in a gym 3 nights a week, because I know that doesn’t work for everyone. For me personally, I just try to go for a walk or a light run if I’ve noticed that I’ve been inside for too long. Your body will let you know if you need some fresh air, it’s all about listening to it.1Mindfulness of your surroundings/influences | If you take a step back from whatever it is that you’re doing, take a moment to evaluate whether or not it’s benefiting or bettering you in any way. If you’re surrounding yourself with negative people, and find yourself watching and listening to negative things, those things will affect your mood, and your approach to everyday life. I know it’s so easy to say ‘cut those things out of your life’, whereas the reality is that it is incredibly difficult. But believe me when I say you’ll be infinitely aware of how much more positive you feel about your present and future.

Mindfulness of your diet | Again, I am not one for diets, be they fad or not. I just think it’s important to listen to your body when it comes to what you’re eating and drinking. By all means, eat chocolate if you’re craving it, allow yourself a cheat day if you are dieting and you want a cheat day. The best piece of advice I could give anyone is to simply drink as much water as you can. That, and sugar free lemonade is life changing, you won’t believe how decreasing a little bit of sugar in your diet can clear your mind and make you feel fresher and better rested, as opposed to the harsh ups and crashes of caffeine and sugar.


Thank you guys so much for reading this post, it means a lot to me that you guys read my stuff. I am so grateful to the blogging community for being so uplifting and supportive, it truly is a place where I feel I can be open about anything I want to discuss.

Please leave any tips you guys have for picking yourself up because I think it’s always helpful to hear a range of tips from different people.

Why Cats Are Awful & No One Should Ever Have One

Cats. We’ve all encountered them, heck, some of us even share our lives with these little furry hatred-filled beasts.

After so many years of experiencing the world that is living with cats, today I’m going to be taking you guys through the pain that is having a cat.

The fluff

It will get everywhere. If, like me, you wear a variety of colours, no cat is suitable, because their fur will cover everything. And it doesn’t just stop at your clothes, it will cover your furniture, your floors, and somehow, against all laws of physics, be constantly airborne.

The claws

Do you have skin? Well too bad cuz cats just don’t understand that. If you’ve got an tiny area of exposed skin, you best believe your cat is going to slice it, beautifully. From a cold and collected swipe, to a highly unpredictable rabbit-like attack when you’ve leant in for a kiss. No one is safe.

The boundaries

These really no longer exist.Whether you’re in the bathroom, or you’ve just gotten up from your chair, nothing is sacred. Your chair? I think you’ll find it’s the cats chair now.

The cries

Automatically programmed to be of the same frequency and pitch of a child’s cry, we naturally respond to the sound of a cat crying. However, through no amount of pleading or bargaining will the cat just tell you what it wants. Usually a half dead mouse, we don’t understand it, and neither does medical science.


That pretty much covers why cats are terrible, so I hope you guys enjoyed this post!

If you hadn’t already figured it out, I am of course kidding throughout this entire post. I love my babes, and I love having them in my life. Let me know in the comments if you’ve got any pets, I love to hear about them! (Also I love to see them so please tag me @corinnebygrave in any pictures you might have!)

Can Happiness Be Measured?

Today I decided to talk about something that interests me quite a lot, and that’s happiness. It’s a really interesting emotion to explore and evaluate, so please indulge me for today while I have a bit of a delve into whether or not we can measure it!

backgrounder.png

When it comes to 2 millions years, we all consider that an incredibly long time, but in fact, when it comes to Evolution, 2 million years really is no time at all. In 2 million years, the human brain has nearly tripled in size, from the 1 ¼lb brain of our ancestors, Homo Habilis, to the nearly 3lb brain that we all posses today.

With this growth of our brains, the structure of our brains altered too, leading to the development of what is now referred to as the ‘prefrontal cortex’. The ‘prefrontal cortex’ is the area of the brain that determines decision making and holds our ability to essentially, ‘experience things, without experiencing them’. As Dan Gilbert explains in his talk with TED, “The Surprising Science Of Happiness”, an example of this function can be explained through why Ben and Jerry’s don’t have liver-and-onion ice cream. “It’s not because they whipped some up, tried it and went, ‘Yuck.’ It’s because, without leaving your armchair, you can simulate that flavour and say ‘yuck’ before you make it.” The prefrontal cortex goes through most major changes during the ‘teen’ and pubescent years, which heavily contributes towards why teenagers tend to make impulsive and irrational decisions.

Naturally, with this development in the brain, we also developed problems with it. As we have grown and developed, we’ve discovered something known as ‘Impact bias’. This is the tendency for this ‘experience’ simulator, to work badly. Over time, we have internalised the idea that many situations that contain 2 differing outcomes, have a typically ‘good’ outcome, and a typically ‘bad’ or ‘undesirable’ outcome. From covert field studies, to overt lab studies, we have found that examples such as winning or losing an election, gaining or losing a romantic partner, passing or not passing a test, etc, have far less impact, less intensity, and a much shorter duration than we expect them to have on our happiness and lives. A further example of this is when people were questioned whether or not they’d be happier with winning the lottery, or becoming a paraplegic.

Naturally of course, all people that were asked, answered that they’d rather win the lottery. This is because we naturally assume that we’d be far happier with that outcome. But the truth is, that a year after experiencing one of these life changing events, either winning the lottery, or becoming a paraplegic, both groups of people rated their levels of happiness as exactly the same. This is the ‘impact bias’ in full swing.

A recent study carried out by Kubler-Ross led to the ‘Kubler-Ross Change Curve’. This chart demonstrates how major life traumas effect people, and it suggests that if the event occurred more than 3 months ago, with a few exceptions, it had no impact on an individuals day-to-day happiness.

So how are we going through such life changing events, but merely 3 months later, almost completely unaffected by it? We are able to do so, because happiness can be synthesized. Sir Thomas Brown wrote in 1642, “I am the happiest man alive. I have that in me that can convert poverty to riches, adversity to prosperity. I am more invulnerable than Achilles; fortune hath not one place to hit me.”  Human beings have something that we refer to as a ‘psychological immune system’, a system of cognitive processes, largely non-conscious cognitive processes, that help us change our views of the world, so that we can feel better about the world in which we find ourselves; and, like Sir Thomas, we all have this machine.

Before getting into this machine, and how we synthesise happiness, we must first understand the difference between ‘synthetic’ and ‘natural’ happiness. Natural happiness is what we feel when we get what we wanted, and synthetic happiness is what we make when we don’t get what we wanted. However, in our society, we seem to have a strong belief that synthetic happiness is of an inferior kind.

We synthesise happiness, yet we still believe happiness is a thing to be found, or a destination to be ‘reached’. Examples of people showing signs of ‘synthesising’ happiness typically occur when people seem to be ‘stuck’ or ‘trapped’ in situations. An example of this could be a woman that embarks on a date with a man who hasn’t shaved, and picks his nose, is unlikely to see the man again, but take the exact same situation, but the couple are married, and the woman deems the man ‘loveable’ and focusses on his better aspects and traits. This is because the woman is synthesising happiness by making the best of her situation and options.

A further example of a person synthesising happiness is that of Moreese Bickham. Bickham was jailed for 37 years in a Louisiana State Penitentiary for a crime he didn’t commit. But was  released for good behaviour halfway through his sentence. However, after his release, Bickham was quoted as saying, “I don’t have one minute’s regret. It was a glorious experience.” This is a prime example of synthesising happiness. Bickham has looked back on his experiences, and actively chosen to take the good from it. Ultimately using the word ‘glorious’, which is commonly a word we reserve for something greater than ourselves, such as a religious experience.

So how does all of this relate to happiness and whether or not it can be measured? As Dr Dan Siegel was quoted, “Well-being, of course, is a very subjective and individual experience.” Some argue that happiness cannot possibly be measured, at least not objectively because none of the obvious behaviours can be linked to happiness in a reliable manner. Even an outgoing and friendly appearance, which is so frequently observed among happy people, can be put on as a mask by those who are unhappy. Furthermore, as Michael Blastland said, “Your well-being may not be improved by the same things as mine, the fact that you like to get stoned isn’t going to see cannabis in Tesco.” Objectivity is not being influenced by personal feelings or opinions in representing facts; but that’s exactly what happiness is, and how it is effected.

Ultimately, it can be argued that happiness can indeed be measured, because it’s already happening, right now. Since 2010, The ONS have, as a result of governmental request, been including happiness and well-being questions in their surveys, meaning that we have self-assessed data from the past 5 years detailing our happiness and well-being levels. In the year 2014/5, we as a nation rated our ‘Life Satisfaction’ as 28.8%, up 2% from the year 2013/4. Since we have this data, therefore, surely it must be possible to measure happiness, right?

You might ask yourself, “Why does it even matter? Happiness is surely an individual and unique experience to everyone.” And well, you’d be right. As soon as the reasoning behind why the government wanted The ONS to collect information on our ‘happiness’ and ‘well-being’ levels was investigated, their motives are obviously deeper than just wanting a happier nation. Our government, naturally, want to improve our country’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product) which is the monetary value of all the finished goods and services produced within a country’s borders in a specific time period. And it was believed that by monitoring and attempting to improve our GNH (Gross National Happiness), our GDP would increase as a consequence of that.

A further reason as to why we need to be measuring happiness is to ensure we understand ourselves on a deeper level. An example of this could be that happy people are simply more likely to want to get married, and therefore we have the cause and effect the wrong way around. Whereas we falsely attribute happiness to people that are married.

Ultimately, we can all agree that yes, happiness can be measured. This is because I can ask any one of you, on a daily basis, to rate your happiness, and you’d be quite capable of doing so. However, we are only able to rate and measure our own happiness, because we exclusively have access to our, and only our own, unique data, and we can draw conclusions from that. But because we don’t have many control variables, we can’t necessarily compare our data, so the conclusions can only exist as unique and independent data.


This post really does run the risk of being a tldr, so if you made it this far, I’d like to really thank you for taking the time to read this post in its entirety, it means a great deal to me, and this is a topic that I really enjoy writing about.

I thought it’d be fun to cover a much more in-depth and deeper topic, because I very rarely delve into topics that deeply interest me, I feel like I’d stagnated into just pushing out content about generic and predictable things, and doing different things like this is something I’d like to start doing more.

Do you believe that happiness can be measured and compared? Let me know in the comments!

 

10 Things That Make Me Happy

Who doesn’t love a big ol’ dose of happiness? I saw posts like this floating around on a couple of blog post idea lists, and I thought it sounded like fun, and a little way for you guys to get to know me better. So today I’m sharing 10 things that make me happy with you guys!

backgrounder

Big groups of people being brought together

I mean most people that know me well will be able to tell you just how hilarious this fact is. I really love seeing people being brought together by things, be it through events such as music festivals, going to see a theatre show, or joining in a holi-themed festival. My own brother can make me cry by saying the word “crowds” to me. So yeah, it’s kind of a huge flaw in my otherwise very harsh, unloving and cold mystique.

Upside down kittens

I mean, who isn’t brought to near-tears by a cat who has fallen asleep and rotated their head completely upside down? Just me? Well you guys are missing out, like forreal.

My Friends

This does sound really cheesy and cliche, but I swear it; I have the greatest, most supportive friends in the entire universe. They always seem to be right there when I need them, with the best advice and shoulders to cry on. I owe a lot to them all. Soppiness.

Chicken Nuggets

Obvious. Offer to buy me chicken nuggets and we’re kinda best pals for life.

Seeing the moon

I just seem to find seeing the moon wherever I am quite comforting. No matter how far from home I am, no matter what happens each day, the moon will always come back. Plus it’s really gorgeous, like seriously we should all appreciate it more.

Cute/fluffy socks

These are something I seem to how low key-collected over the past few years. They are just so cosy and lovely, and there are endless pretty and insanely cute designs, so you appreciate them on both a comfort, and aesthetic level too.

Rilakkuma (& Korilakkuma) (also Pusheen tho) ((and Gudetama omg))

Aren’t all of these guys just insanely adorable though? Look at Rilakkuma and tell me you don’t want to smile. LOOK AT HIM. I think I have a very soft spot in my heart for Korilakkuma because I pronounce it like Corinne-akkuma in my head, so we’re like soul mates or something. And Pusheen is a cat, so what’s not to love? (Gudetama is like my lazy spirit animal/egg)

Vintage cameras

I’ve recently discovered a deep love for not only owning vintage cameras, but learning how to properly use them, it must feed into my passion for photography and general composition of shots.

Big Band music

Perhaps feeding into my love for the general 1950’s and vintage style, I do love hearing a big band or orchestra performing live. In fact, I actually think it feeds into my weird thing with crowds and people being brought together, gotta be honest.

Deadpool

No wait, Ryan Reynolds. No it’s Deadpool. Ryan. Deadpool… Reynolds. Both, oh my dear god.


That’s it for my quick list of 10 things that make me happy, let me know in the comments some unique things that make you happy too!