By LISA SMITH MOLINARI
The Meat and Potatoes of Life blog
As we milspouses board life’s runaway train for another year of twists and turns and ups and downs, we can’t help but wonder, “Will this ride be better than the last?” We make resolutions, set goals, and hope for the best, but so many factors are simply beyond our control. The economy, deployments, orders, our health, the future - how on earth are we supposed to ensure our happiness in the coming year?
After much analysis, I’ve formulated a hypothesis to address this fundamental question. My research indicates that there are three basic lifestyle choices that positively correlate with human contentment.
In other words, I’ve discovered the keys to happiness.
* Wear comfortable underwear.
Ever had one of those days when your knickers keep inching up your derriere? You dig your skivvies out of your crevasse, but they creep back in. The constant wedgie adds a subtle undertone of discomfort to your day, making you grumpy. When you’re grumpy, you snap at your boss. When you snap at your boss, he fires you. When you get fired, you go broke. When you go broke, you are not happy. See how that works?
It doesn’t matter if you prefer the near-commando feel of a thong, or the maximum coverage of cotton briefs - wear comfy undies if you want to this to be a good year.
* Install a new shower head.
Does your shower head emit a wimpy trickle, making it difficult to lather, rinse and repeat? Do you dare to condition, only to find it impossible to rinse it all out? Do you spend the rest of the day feeling greasy and lacking self-confidence?
When you lack self-confidence, you can’t decide what to cook for dinner. When you can’t decide what to cook for dinner, you make frozen chicken nuggets. When you serve chicken nuggets for the third time this week, your spouse gets annoyed. When your spouse gets annoyed, you argue. When you argue, he sleeps on the couch. When he sleeps on the couch, you are not happy, and neither is he.
So dash to your nearest hardware store, and find a shower head with a water output similar to that of a regulation fire hose. The therapeutic massaging action of the pelting water will blast away stress, tension, toxins, troubles, soap, conditioner . . . and sometimes the first layer of skin.
Regardless, you will emerge clean, refreshed, and ready to face the year with confidence.
* Attain digestive regularity.
Have you ever had one of those days when your pipes are clogged? Do your intestines occasionally go on strike? Does your digestive tract stubbornly maintain a holding pattern, hovering with no landing scheduled on the flight plan?
Let’s face it - if the “magic” doesn’t happen, it can ruin your day. You feel full, heavy, lethargic, bloated. When you feel bloated, you are irritable. When you are irritable, you yell at other drivers when they cut you off. When you yell at other drivers, they stop to give you a piece of their mind. When they give you a piece of their mind, you swat them with your purse. When you swat them with your purse, you get arrested. When you get arrested, you are not happy.
Eat leafy greens, guzzle copious amounts of coffee, get new reading material for the bathroom - do whatever it takes to convince your nether regions to declare a truce. Succeed in attaining digestive regularity, and you will face the challenges of this year with a cheerful spring in your step.
In all seriousness, I’m sure that none of us will end up broke, on the outs with our spouses, or in jail in the next 12 months. Nevertheless, if we want to be happier this year, we need to remember that, sometimes, it’s the little things in life that matter the most.
Little things that make us happier:
Good morning, Sunshine! -Not only will 15 minutes of exposure to sunlight three times a week boost your body’s supply of vitamin D, but sunshine (even in artificial forms for those of you stationed in Alaska) can have a positive affect on people prone to depression and anxiety.
Get to bed. According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults need seven to nine hours of sleep. Lack of adequate sleep negatively affects physical and mental health, attention span, memory, learning and even body mass index.
The Dog Days aren’t over - For the last 25 years, research has shown that living with pets lowers blood pressure and anxiety. And some new studies actually indicate that children who grow up in households with pets are LESS likely to have asthma and allergies. Who knew?
Mange, mange! (Eat, eat!) -Overindulgence during the holidays may have you wanting to eat less, but “grazing” throughout the day really can make you happier. Eating six healthy meals/snacks spaced evenly throughout the day will keep your blood sugar, energy level, weight, and mood on an even keel.