Today is the happiest day of the year!
The birds are chirping, the sun is shining ( a seemingly rare occurence in Vancouver these days), and summer is right around the corner; combine the three and you've got a surefire formula for happiness. In fact, it may just be the happiest day of the year.
Cliff Arnall, a psychologist at the University of Cardiff in Wales, has come up with a formula that considers a variety of emotional, physical, and stress factors to determine the most blissful day of the year.
Apparently it's the combination of brighter evenings, childhood memories, and the prospect of summer holidays that puts the best possible spin on today.
On paper, Arnall's equation looks like this: O + (N x S) + Cpm/T + He.
O is time spent outdoors.
N is time spent in nature.
S is more socialization in the summer.
Cpm relates to positive memories of childhood summers.
T factors in temperature.
He is vacation anticipation.
Arnall said his calculation isn't rocket science. Being outside produces energy, while increased socialization — such as barbecues with neighbors — stimulates pleasure zones in the brain.
Also arousing feelings of euphoria are pleasant memories of childhood summers and the fact that vacations are just around the corner.
And it's no coincidence that the happiest day of the year falls on the summer solstice, the day with the most sunshine.
But Arnall's formula does not take into account the gloomy forecasts for world economies, dragged down by dropping house prices.
It also doesn't consider record fuel prices, which will make travel more >expensive this summer.
Even so, try to enjoy yourself. In six months we'll be marking what Arnall figures to be the gloomiest day of the year, generally the third Monday in January.
That's when bad weather, Christmas debt, and failed New Year's resolutions will surely be getting you down.