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Let’s not forget about happiness

Flora Doble, Wellbeing Online Editor, takes a moment to reflect on the small things in life that make her happy to be alive

Flora Doble, Wellbeing Online Editor, takes a moment to reflect on the small things in life that make her happy to be alive.

Recent weeks have been very sad. Epigram, especially Wellbeing, has been dominated by articles on suicide and the quality of the university’s mental health services.

The University, Student Services and Student Health have released countless statements, conducted various interviews and tried to reassure the understandably concerned student body that something will be done to stop such tragedy ever happening again. Of course, it is very important that this is being talked about.

But I don’t want to talk about this, not right now. I’ve had enough sadness for now. I want to write something happy. I want to stop writing about death and start writing about life. I want to talk about some of the small little things in life that make me happy to be here today.

I have made it no secret that I suffer from depression nor that I only recently emerged from a very dark time in my life. Lots of different things aided my recovery and got me to the generally positive place I am today. Big things and small things.

This is a list of the latter, some of the little trivial things that make me smile and laugh. These are some of the things that make me happy to be here today, living in this strange and wonderful world.

When you catch someone laughing at your joke even though they weren’t in your conversation.

I don’t pride myself on much but I know I can make people laugh. I love being funny and making people happy with humour.

Laughter is even better when you’re not expecting it, and there is not much better than hearing someone laugh at your joke at the next table or behind you in a queue.

I love this feeling, I don’t know how anyone can’t love this feeling. It makes me feel warm and I love that, even if it’s in the smallest way, I have brightened someone’s day.

The Muppets

I told you this list was trivial. I love the Muppets, but not perhaps for the obvious reason, that is, because I’m a big fan of their work. Rather, what makes me smile about them is the absolute human conviction that the Muppets are real celebrities who reside in Hollywood.

Miss Piggy and Kermit the Frog have presented awards at the Oscars and the Emmys, they have walked the red carpet at numerous premieres and appeared on talk shows such as Jimmy Kimmel Live! and The Tonight Show.

It’s odd but I love it. It makes me laugh how much power they have. Kermit the Frog could conduct an interview with the president or go to the UN and no one would even bat an eyelid. I love this stupid planet.

Thinking about the crazy evolutionary process through which I got here

Millions of years ago, man evolved. Millennia went by, people were born, people died. People moved around and met other people. Eventually, in an incredible chain of life that I cannot even fathom, I ended up here. With my family, with my friends, with this life, my life. That’s insane. The fact that I am here today is extraordinary.

The fact that I’ve met the people I have and that I have had the experiences I have had is just mad. It’s all just chance that I am here today. I don’t know about you but I find that pretty incredible.


Hear me out. I’ve been enjoying memes since, I endured ‘I Can Has Cheezburger?’ and Rage Comics. However, today, memes aren’t just for the weird corner of the internet, they’re everywhere.

And, weird as some may be, some memes never cease to amaze and amuse me with their ability to satirise and mock the odd world we live in. Really, here, it is the human race which never ceases to amaze me.

Our dedication to combating everything and anything with humour and parody is amazing. Our human capacity to bond across the world over something as seemingly trivial as memes, whether they social commentary or random funny videos, makes me smile every single day.

I can't believe I've put a picture of the 'Me Gusta' meme in an Epigram article. Dreams really do come true.

Noticing how beautiful people are

There’s so much beauty in the world. Yes, there are a lot of horrible things out there, but, more importantly, there are so many beautiful things.

People are really really beautiful. Like, really. We live in a world so obsessed with appearance, where a certain look has been deemed the only one apparently desirable and, no matter how many times we are told ‘everyone is beautiful in their own way’, it never really seems to stick. A lot of the time, I find it hard to believe, I think a lot of people do. It’s hard to with what we’re told.

But, sometimes, I have these moments where I just look around and really look at people. Really and actually look at people. Not sexually, not romantically, just objectively. And I get it. People radiate beauty and wonder.

Like my own existence, I can’t believe theirs either. They’re here! Of all the places in the universe, they’re here. That’s pretty beautiful to me.

Of course, a list like this will never be the same for everyone. It may not even be similar. But it is something to think about, those small things in life that make you smile or laugh or stop in amazement.

Life can be difficult, in fact, it can be downright terrible. Upsetting or distressing emotions may become attached to things you once loved or things which once made you happy.

But this doesn’t mean the happiness in the world vanishes, it is always somewhere, even if it's decided to go hide in a frog puppet.

Evidently, happiness can never truly disappear. It might just be a little harder to find.

What small things make you happy? Is Kermit the Frog on your list too? Let us know...