“The King Of Wholesome Memes”: 50 Of The Best Memes Posted By This Instagram Account
Over the past days, the media has produced possibly one of the most intense news cycles since the end of the Cold War. And for good reason. Russia's invasion of Ukraine, a sovereign European country, is an unprecedented act of war in the 21st century.
But if you feel like you need a distraction from the grim headlines and you're the type of person who can find comfort in the positive side of the internet, you're not alone. The Instagram account kALE SALAD is here for you.
The guy behind the account calls himself the "king of wholesome memes" and I know what you might be thinking: people who crown themselves are rarely worthy of the title. But 3.8 million people think this one is.
Browsing kALE SALAD's feed, it's hard to disagree with them. Continue scrolling and take a look for yourself.
More info: Instagram
While we may feel guilty for being joyful while others are grieving, happiness is actually very important in challenging times. Focusing on our own emotions can give us the resilience we need to change situations both in our personal lives and on a larger scale.
Dr. Laurie Santos, who is an expert on the science and psychology of wellbeing, and shares her findings with thousands through her wildly popular Yale University course, The Science of Wellbeing, said that while it may sound counterintuitive, happiness is exactly what we need to get us through uncertainty, fear and anxiety over the future.
Below you will find Dr. Santos's top insights from the field of positive psychology on happiness and how it can help us to overcome difficult situations like the ones we are facing today.
"We can harness the toughness to experience the power of post-traumatic growth," Dr. Santos said.
Difficult situations have the potential to make us stronger and even happier in the long run. By surviving a particularly tough scenario, we learn to appreciate what is truly meaningful and important in life and how to better prepare ourselves to face future adversity.
"If we want to be happier during times of stress, we need to use a special mechanism of protecting ourselves, and we can do that through social connection."
When used properly, technology has the power to keep people connected even when they are physically apart from each other. Loneliness and isolation can have a major negative impact on both our mental and physical health, so Dr. Santos suggests embracing those Zoom happy hours and exploring new ways to maintain relationships with family, friends, and coworkers.
However, Dr. Santos said studies on happiness also suggest that a big part of it comes from focusing on other people.
Even though we hear a lot about self-care these days and this text is kinda advocating it too, the reality is that truly happy people are what Dr. Santos refers to as "other-oriented."
Meaning, helping others, especially during times of crisis, makes us feel good and gives us a sense of purpose. Not only are we boosting our own mood by lending a hand, but we are also working towards solving real problems.
"If we want to be happier and if we want to protect our willpower and get more resilient and even improve our performance, we need to harness the power of gratitude," Dr. Santos added.
Gratitude might not be the first thing that comes to mind during a life-altering experience such as a global pandemic or war, but acknowledging even the little things that we appreciate in our everyday life can improve our overall wellbeing and boost our emotional resilience.
Mindfulness and meditation are powerful tools, especially when we're living under stress. "If we want to be happy, we need to find ways to be in the present moment, even if that present moment sucks."
We spend around 47% of our day with our minds wandering. By learning to truly focus on the present, we can be more productive and improve our sense of wellbeing by improving our stress response.
"If we want to protect ourselves during tough times, we need to make room for healthy practices.”
When stress levels are high, it's really easy to skip a workout or two, make less nutritious choices at mealtimes or deprioritize our sleep. It can feel overwhelming to have to put this extra effort into "being healthy," but the reality is that these are the times when we need it the most.
Beyond our physical wellbeing, exercise is a great way to relieve stress and improve our mental state, a balanced diet can have mood-boosting benefits, and getting the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep each night can keep us happier, more focused, and improve our immunity. By maintaining these healthy habits, even when we just don't feel like it, we become stronger in dealing with the current stressors and will be better equipped to handle difficult circumstances in the future.