Tupper’s Tidbits: Top Five Ways to Get Happy

17 Feb

This piece originally appeared in the Bryant University student newspaper, The Archway, on February 10, 2012

Pssst...come closer! I'll tell you the secrets to happiness!

Ahhh…Love is in the air! Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and with it comes the debate. *Imitating boxing ring announcer* In this cornerrrrrrr, we have the pro-Valentine’s people – lovers of love and those in a committed relationship…In this cornerrrrr, we have those opposed to crass commercialism, being forced to be romantic for one day, and witnessing mushy PDA by everyone around them.

But here’s the thing. According to the National Institutes of Health (“The Power of Love,” 2007), our bodies respond to love and affection through a hormone called “oxytocin.” Oxytocin does more than make us feel good. It lowers stress and blood pressure and improves our mood and increases tolerance for pain. Just remember, it doesn’t have to be another HUMAN and it doesn’t have to be romantic love that gets your oxytocin stimulated!

That brings me to “Tupper’s Top Five Ways to Get Happy.”

5. Work out. Now, I know that SOME of you think that ol’ Tuppy here doesn’t work out. But, throw my ball, and I’ll run as far as I need to, to get it, and I’ll be as quick as I need to, to keep it away from you. I have witnesses. And, I spend HOURS on Fridays playing with my four- and two-legged pals at Alpha Dog Center Dog Daycare in Cumberland.

4. Get out and enjoy nature. When *I* go out, I like to chase the ball and roll around in various interesting-smelling things. You might not have all of the same interests I do, though. There’s tons of stuff to do within a five- to 10-mile radius of campus, though. If you’re stumped, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

3. Listen to music. Upbeat stuff, though, not that whiny, depressing stuff. More than likely, Adele is not going to cheer you up…she’s phenomenal, don’t get me wrong, but I get more work as a therapy pet from people who put “Someone Like You” on repeat. Don’t do it to yourself. Seriously, I’m exhausted!

2. Get out and socialize. There are 80 clubs and organizations on campus…there must be SOMETHING you have an interest in. If not, you can start your own! Or, the Bryant Community Service Office can find places where you can volunteer. Making a difference feels so good!

Socializing with my pals Sara Larrabee '13 and Lisa Detweiler '12

1. Scratch me. I’m not kidding. The therapeutic effects of a pet are well-documented. My Momma Claire has a nonprofit organization that certifies pet-assisted therapy teams. Many hospitals, group homes, and schools are looking for such programs because the benefits are so varied. This is one of those win-win situations.

So there you have it. Don’t complain. Change what you don’t like. YOLO. ’Til next time…WOOF!

The Power of Love. (2007). Retrieved February 8, 2012, from http://newsinhealth.nih.gov/2007/February/docs/01features_01.htm

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