"If this isn't nice, I don't know what is."

Normally, I'm not one to pass on any kind of self-help advice, it's an area that I can be a bit cynical about. But there's one piece of advice that I read a few years ago that I was reminded of again recently, and it comes from an equally cynical source, the often gloomy but always life-affirming author Kurt Vonnegut.

Here's what he said: "I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, 'If this isn't nice, I don't know what is.'"

It's essential advice for what are currently quite gloomy times. We need reminding that it's not all bad. And you know what? It really works. Try it. It doesn't have to be big stuff, just those little moments. But you'll find that you say it (or think it, if you prefer!) quite a lot, and those moments do stack up.

I've had a few this week. Once just sitting watching TV with my kids. "If this isn't nice, I don't know what is," said I. They ignored me, of course, and carried on watching "Horrid Henry". Another time I saw a tiny bird in the street whose skittish way of walking made me laugh. I thought the phrase this time, so no one would think I was mad.

So remember: Please notice when you are happy.

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