How Do You Cheer Yourself Up?

Sometimes the world can be a depressing place. When despair threatens to overcome you, you might need to cheer yourself up.

Whether the problems are global (like climate change) or personal (like a breakup), life can be sad. We won’t be happy all the time, nor do we necessarily want to be.

Despite whatever hardships you may be going through, sometimes is necessary to be in social situations. You may need to put on a smile for the public no matter what you may feel in private.

Also, there are times when you need to be hopeful when you feel despondent. In order to keep motivated despite long odds or a difficult situation, hope can be crucial.

Other times, you may just feel it is necessary to move past whatever troubles you have. You may need to just get on with your life.

In that situation, how do you manage it? Simple denial of your feelings probably isn’t helpful. How can you accept defeat, or loss, or sadness, and learn to be happy once again? How do you cheer yourself up?

Related questions: How can we turn sadness into constructive action? What makes you the happiest? Why do we put up with unhappiness? Is happiness the most important purpose in life? Optimistic or pessimistic?

How Do You Deal With Loss?

No matter the color of your skin, your socioeconomic background, or the country of your birth, one of the things we all have in common is loss. At some point, we all will have to struggle with grief over the loss of a friend or loved one.

Typically, you might experience the death of an elderly family member, like a grandparent or a great-grandparent. As you age, and the people you know also age, death becomes more frequent. There may also be an unexpected death from someone who dies earlier than expected.

Eventually, if you get old enough, loss may seem like a nearly-everyday occurrence.

The way that loss is dealt with varies by the individual. There are the publicized five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. But there are other ways to feel grief, and the order and severity of symptoms of loss can vary drastically from person to person.

Loss is not something that typically has any sort of formal training or instruction. And yet it is something that each one of has to learn to deal with. We each will feel the sting of family members, friends, pets, neighbors, spouses, and sometimes even children.

Processing your feelings can lead to a healthier psyche, and a more fully-lived life.

How do you deal with loss?

Related questions: Is happiness the most important purpose of life? What do we have in common? Why are people afraid of death? How can we turn sadness into constructive action?

Are We Living In A Simulation?

The idea that our world is just a computer simulation was popularized by the movie The Matrix. But the idea itself is much older than that.

Over 2000 years ago, Plato suggested that we are just people chained in a cave, and what we think of as reality are just shadows on the wall. That’s fairly close to the idea of a reality that is generated by a giant computer.

While our experiences certainly seem real to us, it’s not too hard to imagine a different scenario. Computer graphics, like in common video games, are getting more and more realistic. Virtual Reality headsets are commonplace. And while the graphics they use are still somewhat rudimentary, users often comment about how they quickly come to accept the false world.

In addition, games like The Sims, which place a computer-generated person or family in the hands of a video-game player, have been around for decades. Artificial Intelligence is getting better and more capable every day. We carry them around with us wherever we go on our smart phones.

Putting all that information together, and in just a few years we can imagine a completely immersive experience where you plug in to the internet and lose yourself as another, computer-generated character in a completely modeled world.

What is real?

How can we be sure that’s hasn’t already happened? Perhaps we are laying on a slab somewhere, with what we think of as the world around us being beamed into our brains. Moreover, maybe we don’t even have a body in the “real” world. Everything we see, everything we experience, could all be algorithms in a complicated computer simulation. Each one of us might be a Sims character.

In some ways, that would explain the universe as we understand it. There are certain physical laws, like the speed of light being  the fastest speed possible. Laws like these could just be the parameters of our simulation.

That, however, just opens up more questions. If true, what about the world that houses the computer where our simulation exists? How did it come about? What are the physical laws there?

What difference does it make?

If we entertain this idea of living in a computer simulation, does it make any difference to our everyday life? If the emotions that I think I experience turn out to just be some lines of code in a complicated computer program, does that invalidate them in any way? Does it ultimately remove the meaning from my decisions and actions, or does it add meaning? If I feel pain, or experience joy, or have my heart broken, does it matter if it originates from neurons firing in my brain or the spinning of a hard drive?

It’s difficult to imagine any way of actually testing this hypothesis. We may never know if our universe started with a Big Bang or with a coder writing a program to test out some advanced scenario. The idea, though, is a fascinating one. Are we living in a simulation?

Related questions: What is unknowable? How much of our thoughts are our own? What is time? What beliefs do you have that might be wrong?