Sometimes living in Japan is a bit depressing...

Good morning everyone,

I didn't check to see what the high was yesterday, but it felt a lot warmer than I expected. I ended up taking off my hat and gloves during the ride home because I started sweating. Today will be cooler with a high of only 8C and a mix of sun and clouds. The weather won't really change for the rest of the week with partly cloudy skies, highs around 10C and lows all week will hover between 0C and 2C.

In the world, we often hear of Thailand referred to as 'the land of smiles'. And when I went there I felt it was true. The people there smiled a lot. In Japan, it's just the opposite. Whenever I'm walking down the street, I'm hard-pressed to find anybody with a smile on their face. Why is that, do you think? Is it cultural? Or are people just saving their smiles for when they get home and are with their loved ones? Or is it because they are all worried/stressed/over-worked?

I have no idea what the reason is, but I have so ideas about how to make 2015 a happier year-try some of these, they may put a smile on your face!
  1. Go to sleep when you are tired. You aren't doing anybody any good by forcing yourself to stay awake when your mind and body need a break.
  2. Take your breaks and vacation days.
  3. Take the time to cook a good home-cooked meal at least once a week.
  4. Take a second out of every day to think a positive thought about yourself... even if it's just the fact that you're having a good hair day.
  5. Make your bed and open the blinds.
  6. Write out a blurb of your thoughts as often as you can and save them in a box. Writing often puts things in perspective.
  7. Always listen to calming music when you clean. You'd be surprised at how therapeutic dusting can become.
  8. Drink more water.
  9. Don't take your work home with you.
  10. Give yourself a small challenge to complete every week - as opposed to feeling defeated when Sunday rolls around, you'll feel accomplished! These challenges could be as simple as smiling at a stranger every morning or skipping sweets every other day.
  11. Hike more often.
  12. Eat breakfast every day.
  13. Take snapshots of your good days and happy moments.
  14. Try with all of your might to wake up when your first alarm goes off.
  15. Find a way to shake up your daily routine so as to avoid getting into a rut. Try a new coffee drink, eat your lunch outside - anything to break up the monotony.
  16. Give yourself something to look forward to on Friday evenings that isn't always necessarily a social event, like taking a bubble bath, starting a book you've been meaning to read, or making a dish you've been craving!
  17. Don't rely on social media as entertainment every time you're bored.
  18. Don't go to bed in a bad mood.
  19. Go on more coffee dates with friends.
  20. Don't work and eat at the same time.
  21. Cry when you feel like crying. Repressed negative emotions never lead to a happy disposition.
  22. Carve out time every morning to stretch and also to sit and drink your cup of joe without feeling rushed.
  23. Don't let emails be the first thing you see when you wake up.
  24. Always talk to somebody you trust when something is bothering you - don't keep it to yourself.
  25. Eat more ice cream.
I don't know about you, but I can say from experience that when I do some of these things I feel so much happier and you know what happens when you're happier? You smile more. And you know what happens when you smile more? Other people around you smile more! Smiles are contagious! Give it a try! You will be surprised at how much less stressful you feel!

Have a great day!

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I totally agree with you, Jerry! The converse is also true. I mean that negtive feelings are also contegious. After all, who can make us happier is no one except ourselves. I can say so from my experience...