How to feel happy – the feel good factor

Bronze statues at Woburn Safari  Park - do they look happy?
Bronze statues at Woburn Safari Park – do they look happy? By Peter Reason licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Many people reach for chocolate, drink, splash some cash or go to a party.

Depressed elderly lady. How to feel happy...
Depressed elderly lady.

But other things have become popular in trying to solve the problem of ‘how to feel happy’.

According to the Yellow Pages own old statistics [i] there has been a massive rise in the number of companies that specialise in making us feel better. (And this trend has continued).

For example:

  • Aromatherapy is up 5200%.
  • Shiatsu (a Japanese massage technique) is up 3100%.
  • Cosmetic surgeons up 1780%.
  • Yoga instructors up 635%.

These are not just small, insignificant increases, these are massive rises in demand for such things.

How to feel happy and just feel better:

One expert at the London School of Economics described this huge increase in things making us feel better as:

Just as changes to the Oxford English Dictionary reflect the evolution of language, changes to the classifications in Yellow Pages reflect the evolution of business and are an equally valid tool for social scientists.
In the last 10 years businesses have responded to the new opportunities arising from rising incomes and new technologies.
But if we’re no longer a nation of butchers, bakers and candlestick makers, what are we?
It seems we’ve not only moved beyond the basic necessities of life, but almost beyond goods themselves, so the areas of growth are things that make us feel better about ourselves.
Rather than trying to keep up with the Joneses, we’re running to keep up with ourselves and with the pressures of modern life.”

Tim Leunig, professor of economic history at the London School of Economics.
Beautiful flowers, gaillardia Bijou. Some flowers will lift us for a while.
Beautiful flowers of Gaillardia Bijou. Some flowers will lift us for a while. By Peter Reason licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Wanting to feel better about ourselves is a natural desire.
This is okay provided that we are not trying to cover up a more important spiritual desire – that is, to know God.
God created us to be in relationship with Him. Jesus said:

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.’

Matthew 11:28-30

[i] The Yellow Pages Alternative Census 1992-2002
[ii] ‘The new Yellow Pages: goodbye greengrocers, hello cosmetic surgeons’ The Guardian
Depressed lady image thanks to Serif ART CD

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