Feeling cooped up? Feast your eyes on this.

Note: Over the next few weeks, The SuperOptimist will be providing a series of experiments one can conduct on themselves at home. They are designed for the curious, the seekers of experience, and those who wish to pass the time in novel and thought-provoking ways. 

While biding your time in your own personal quarantine, the walls can feel like they’re closing in.

But maybe it’s not the walls — it’s the color.

Color can play a big role in your mood. So when SuperOptimists get a bit squirrelly, we stare at the color blue. It’s a scientific fact that blue makes you feel safe and relaxed, and no wonder. It actually causes the body to create chemicals that are calming. When you marvel at the ocean, it’s not just the waves that mesmerize. Same with the sky.

Which color blue appeals to you? Here’s a few shades to consider:

Blue does such a good job in calming the mind, that after blue lights were installed at Japanese transit stations, there was an 84% decrease in the number of people jumping in front of trains. There was a similar decline in the number of violent crimes when streetlights were converted to blue in Scotland.

So if you’re getting a little edgy wondering whether you’ll be sequestered until 2021, a simple change of light bulbs in a room can transform your crib into a virtual sea of calm.

Then again, pink may be an even better choice. After all, as we are now in our self-imposed prisons, we might take our cue from actual prison wardens who paint holding cells pink. They were inspired by studies conducted by research scientist Alexander Schauss, who created “Baker-Miller Pink” and showed it to reduce criminals’ hostile behavior, although later tests proved inconclusive. The color is also referred to as “Drunk Tank Pink” and inspired an interesting book on how our environments shape our thinking.

In 2017, model Kendall Jenner painted her living room Baker-Miller Pink – and raved about how it made her feel calmer and act as a diet aid.

“Baker-Miller Pink is the only color scientifically proven to calm you AND suppress your appetite. I was like, “I NEED this color in my house!” I then found someone to paint the room and now I’m loving it!”. Want to walk a mile in Kendall’s puffy slippers? Here’s a bucket for you.

*It is important to note that one person’s blue might be another person’s chartreuse. Colors can be subjective, depending on the viewers’ past experiences or cultural differences. So we advise you to experiment with color to find the shade that puts you in the desired state of mind.

**It wasn’t that long ago when little girls were dressed in blue and boys in pink. But this reversed during the middle of last century. While the shift was apparently the result of clothing designers’ tastes, some attribute it to Nazi Germany forcing gay men to wear a pink badge when grouping them as undesirables, thereby tainting the color as “non-masculine” going forward. 

The news is better in French!

Note: Over the next few weeks, The SuperOptimist will be providing a series of experiments one can conduct on themselves at home. They are designed for the curious, the seekers of experience, and those who wish to pass the time in novel and thought-provoking ways. 

A great way to escape the constant onslaught of news and information, especially in times of crisis, is by turning away from media altogether. But as human beings, we like to be kept company by voices other than the ones inside our heads.

That’s why the SuperOptimist recommends listening to the latest programming in a foreign language that you can’t comprehend. * When you remove the brain’s desire to process and understand each word, you can relax and appreciate the sounds on their own. In another world, these sounds could be coming from aliens. In the spirit world, they could be shamans speaking in tongues. It’s akin to experimental music, or abstract painting.

Let your imagination conjure its own story about what these French folks are talking about.  Being stuck in an elevator? Champions League Football? Cooking pastry?

To pick up the signal, we recommend a nice shortwave radio; one that also doubles as an emergency transponder should the need arise. Hand-cranked and solar powered, it never needs batteries or electricity and can receive signals from as far away as Siberia.

As you begin your new listening experience, here’s a station to get you started. Should you prefer a different language, you’ll find plenty in Spanish, along with Russian, Arabic, Chinese, Polish — even Creole.

*It’s conceivable that after listening for a month or two, you may pick up enough meaning in the words to consider yourself bilingual.

Ignore the stock market. Get rich while enjoying nature!

It’s only human to want to amass a fortune, and the quicker the better. Anyone that says they’d prefer to scratch out a living and barely make ends meet is what Italians call “un bugiardo.”

Investing in the stock market is one way to attempt the speedy accumulation of wealth, although as with casinos, it seems the house always wins. We are repeatedly humbled by forces beyond our control, and timing the market only works for government officials, corporate insiders and that neighbor who smugly claims they got out “just before the crash,” even though they’re still driving a 2003 Impala.

Playing the lottery can also provide a windfall — though the odds of winning are smaller than a neutrino.*  Granted it does promote daydreaming as you imagine the possibility of a better life. But you have no control over those little numbered balls vacuumed from the basket; your two bucks are better spent at the racetrack, where at least you can tear up your ticket while seeing the beauty of horses in full gallop.

Which brings us to an activity that is affordable, offers you exercise and plenty of fresh air, and gives you the opportunity to add to your net worth.  And that’s the search for buried treasure. Finding old coins, jewelry and relics from past generations is a heck of lot healthier than sitting around staring at a stock ticker. Why, a 1936 Buffalo nickel is worth more than 100 times it’s value today, and is sure to keep going skyward.*

All you need is a sense of adventure and the visual acuity to spot the precious items in your path. Of course, you’ll have a lot more success if you deploy your own metal detector!We recommend a lightweight model that’s easy on the back, with enough features to make your search a fortunate one. Having done the research, we prefer the Garrett AT Pro. It’s an all-terrain detector that has 40 different settings to help you uncover various types of ferrous metals. And like the more expensive CTX 3030, the AT Pro is fully submersible up to 10 feet.

Venturing outdoors with your metal detector is a reward in itself, leading to aerobic fitness, healthier heart, improved circulation and flexibility, and increased vitamin D levels. Even if you find nothing, you’ve found nature — and she’s the greatest teacher of all.

So take a couple bucks from the clutches of Wall Street and invest in a metal detector. You’ll be glad you did.

*Neutrinos are the smallest massive particles currently measured and catalogued. The average characteristic size is r2 = n × 10−33 cm2 (n × 1 nanobarn), where n = 3.2 for electron neutrino, n = 1.7 for muon neutrino and n = 1.0 for tau neutrino.

**Remember to consult with a numismatic expert before polishing your treasures to a gleaming shine.  The value of the old coins you uncover can be destroyed with too much scrubbing and scratching. 

 

 

 

 

Restless? World-weary? Disenchanted? We envy you!

Feeling jaded? Stuck in a rut? Bemoaning a lack of interesting stimuli?  This could be just the break you’re looking for.

Studies have shown that people who are easily bored are constantly looking for new ways to fight the boredom, and that makes them more likely to turn to risky behaviors in an attempt to make their environments more interesting. So is this bad? It is if you decide to go skydiving without a parachute, or watch streaming video for 92 hours straight, or take more than your prescribed dosage of Parnazadanol.*

But by taking the “right risks,” boredom can be the fuel that sparks fresh ideas. None other than Fyodor Dostoevsky, the celebrated Russian author, believed that boredom was a precursor to great creativity. Despite his Slavic propensity for gloom, in this regard Fyodor definitely exhibited SuperOptimist tendencies.

All you need is the patience to not freak out when boredom arrives. Stay with the feeling, soak in it awhile, and then watch your imagination begin to look for an escape hatch. It’s in this mental search for escape that inspired thinking can be found.

The SuperOptimist realizes that the mind will always seek a way out from the cage of boredom eventually. Even if the route is up over the craggy Himalayas, and each step is hard, hard, work, the mind will seek it nonetheless.  Just think how good it will feel to climb up out of boredom and conquer that mountain.

Take that first step now and we’ll see you at the top!

*We made this up. But it sounds like a new pharmaceutical breakthrough, doesn’t it?

 

 

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