There are a lot of stress factors in life that can weigh you down and make you forget how lucky you really are. Financial stress, work problems and family life can all bog you down and make you feel like the world is against you. These stresses can pile up and make you forget what a wonderful life you lead. If you are reading this hub on a computer screen you are a very lucky person. You are part of a tiny 30% of the world’s population that has internet access. Here are some small reminders of how fortunate you are. I hope they make you a little more cheerful, and more appreciative of what you have in life.
What’s that on your feet? Shoes? You mean you help make up the 40% of the Earth’s population that own shoes? And I bet you have more in the wardrobe don’t you? Under the bed? Beside the sofa? By the door? Well aren’t you a luck chappie.
What’s that I hear you say? You’re going to turn the lights on. Well I guess you can go right ahead, seeing as you are one of 70% with access to electricity.
The weather’s a bit rough outside today, huh? Good thing you’re not one of the 23% who don’t have any shelter. Why you can just kick back, take off your shoes, turn on the lights, and browse the net all evening. Good for you.
You’re getting thirsty already? But we’re only just getting started. Well all right then, just make sure the water is clean. Oh it is? Well aren’t you the fortunate one! There are 823,059,578 people in the world who don’t have access to clean drinking water. I’m glad to hear yours is clean though. It’s great to know you’re safe from water-borne disease.
Stressed out by schoolwork? It’s not fair is it, all the pressure that’s being put on you? It’s so unfair to have to learn and further yourself. If only you could be part of the 121 million children in the world you are out of education. Oh you’re older than that? Then all you have to do it put down your books and become one of the 93.3% of people in the world without a college degree.
Have I tired you out? You’d better get along to bed then. Don’t forget to brush your teeth though. As one of 4.2 billion toothbrush owners you have an obligation to take care of your teeth!
When you really think about it, life isn’t so bad, and it’s certainly not out to get you! Appreciating the little things in life can help to reduce stress and put problems in proportion.
A little homework
If you’re having trouble appreciating the good things in life try these exercises. I guarantee that after a couple of days you will be a brighter, happier person!
Every morning when you write, make a list in your mind of the things you are looking forward to. The answer can be as simple hugging the person you love or having your favourite cereal for breakfast, or as exciting as graduating university or starting a new job. Try to think of lots of answers that span your entire day. If there is something you are not looking forward to that day (like an exam or a difficult interview), look forward to it being over and to the sense of relief and freedom you will have in the evening. Once you start on this question, you will realize you have a great many answers for it.
This next task is similar to the first one, but is one you should do at night. It is an ‘appreciation list.’ Make a list of all the things you are grateful for today. Once again they can be small things like ‘I’m grateful the sun was shining’, ‘I’m grateful for the dinner I just ate’, or bigger things like, ‘I’m grateful to feel loved’, ‘I grateful for my health’
These little exercises are quick and easy, can be done anywhere, and serve to remind you of your reasons to be cheerful!
Increasing Your Level of Happiness
Mindfulness meditation is a proven way to increase your level of happiness, no matter what your circumstances are. This TED talk video explains how it works in a brief and entertaining way.
Some great global statistics sites
- Worldometers - real time world statistics
Live world statistics on population, government and economics, society and media, environment, food, water, energy and health. Interesting statistics with world population clock, forest loss this year, carbon dioxide co2 emission, world hunger data,
- Poverty Facts and Stats — Global Issues
This part of the globalissues.org web site presents some of the hard hitting facts and statistics on poverty.
- UNESCO Institute for Statistics
- Shoes for Humanity - Recycling shoes for the barefoot poor - Charity to help the poor
Make a donation to help provide shoes for the world's barefoot poor.
What makes you happiest?
© 2012 Emer Kelly