24/03/2018

[Newspaper Column] Happy

Each week the Romford Recorder and Ilford Recorder have the Steve N Allen column. If you're around East London and West Essex you can buy the newspaper every Thursday/Friday, or follow @mrstevenallen to see the columns on Twitter. You can also read the archive of past ones, which can be found here.


You can click the image to zoom in on the paper, or read the column below.

Do you want to know the secret of happiness?

Don't ask me. I am well on my way to growing into the grumpy old man I always knew I'd be. To be fair, it's what I said I wanted to be when I grew up.

If you're still trying to head towards happiness there's a new trend in how to achieve it. Of course there is, there's a new trend in everything these days. See, I'm getting there.

Last year there was the Danish trend of hygge, which was all about wearing chunky socks. Then we had JOMO, the joy of missing out. The idea was staying at home and doing nothing was the key to being happy. A good plan unless you live with a grumpy old man like me.

Now it's the Finnish trend of Sisu, and Finland was recently named the happiest nation on the planet so there could be something in this.

What is Sisu? It involves things like going for a swim in freezing cold lakes.

When I heard that I thought, "I'm OK being grumpy, thanks."

Victor Meldrew wasn't chipper but didn't look like any of his bits were dropping off.

The theory is that such activities builds everyday courage and resilience, making it easier to cope with life.

No matter what problem befalls your day you can say, "Oh well, at least it wasn't as bad as that swim I had this morning."

But the same could be said of any bad thing. Why not start the day by trapping your hand in the car door, eat raw chillies or watch Piers Morgan? Everything seems better in comparison.

There's a chance it's nonsense. If being cold made you happier the weather so far this year would have made us all over the moon.

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