Books

Smile, it’s good for you

Have you ever been on the train home and you see someone who looks infuriated for no apparent reason? This seems to be an everyday encounter for many, accidentally bump into them or make life just that little bit harder for them and prepare yourself to receive the biggest scowl of a lifetime.

I get it, I don’t know exactly what’s going on in their lives. They could have just suffered the death of a loved one, they could have just been fired or have to go home to an empty plate because they can’t afford to eat that night. Of course there are some extremities that warrant being sad or in a bad mood, as I have been in many before. However I also believe that it is completely viable to be able to begin to smile and be happy once again, if you just allow yourself to.

I have been reading a lot of Jordan B. Peterson’s book, ‘12 Rules for Life’. This is by far the most insightful book that I have read, whether it be because I was already a fan of Peterson’s work prior to reading, or because the topics that he covers are all too true of today’s society.

A point that Peterson touches on whilst explaining his first rule of life — Stand up straight with your shoulders back, is that body language is arguably the most quintessential way to improving mental health without doing much. Peterson compares human society with that of lobsters and the way that they interact with one another in terms of confrontation. I won’t bore you with all the details but the point that is made throughout the chapter is that when people — or lobsters for that matter, are victorious in whatever it may be, their brain will produce more serotonin which will help you with everyday social interaction, appetite, sleep and memory. If your brain doesn’t produce enough serotonin, this will make you less happy, more anxious and sad, and therefore more likely to back down when you should stand up for yourself. From there you will be more likely to abuse substances such as Cocaine and Alcohol, which will release serotonin, giving the user a false sense of victory and confidence, up until the effects ware off and you are back at the same serotonin lacking state as before.

 
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As I mentioned before, alterations in body language can create positive feedback loops which are a sure way of producing more and more serotonin. One way to do this is to simply smile, that’s it. If you go around all day frowning and looking sad, then you will feel sad and defeated. However if you simply move your facial muscles into a position that looks happy to observers, this will not only improve their social interactions with you as they won’t be ‘avoiding the angry looking person’ but will also make you feel happier, ultimately producing more serotonin, boosting your ability to interact with people, and live a much healthier lifestyle, then producing more serotonin. There you have it, a positive feedback loop.

People, like lobsters, size each other up. If your posture looks defeated and beat, then you will be treated by others as such. If you simply straighten up with your shoulders back and your head up then you will be treated and looked at differently by almost everyone around you.

When children are sad, we try to cheer them up by making them laugh and smile. There is no reason why this same principle can’t work on you too. Smile, it’s good for you.

I am going to leave you with a quote from the amazing Barney Stinson. 

 ”When I get sad, I stop being sad and be awesome instead” 

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this. It really means a lot to me.

As always, peace out and love life. 

Pat

What's on my Coffee Table?

If I had a dollar for every time that someone asked me what books are on my coffee table I would have $0. I don't even have a coffee table. My shoe rack doubles as both my T.V stand and bookshelf. So the title of this blog should be 'What's on my Shoe Rack?'.

Whatever.

Let's get into it. I've collected quite a few books recently and I've just noticed now that it's been exactly one month since my last Coffee Books blog.

Now let's get into it.

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KOWLOON IN TRANSIT

BILLY ZAMMIT

Billy killed it with this one. His first photobook and he really went all out. Complete with an A4 print, 3 stickers of his images from the book and the coolest thing ever, a boarding pass with the release date and exhibition details of the photobook itself. First Class. 10/10 for presentation and quality.

Buy it here: KOWLOON IN TRANSIT


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GEEK ART: AN ANTHOLOGY

THOMAS OLIVRI

This book is a must for anyone who likes anything to do with pop culture. Games, TV shows or Movies. Featuring the works of so many talented artists, this book amazes me every time I open it.

Buy it here: GEEK ART: AN ANTHOLOGY


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B IS FOR BAUHAUS Y IS FOR YOUTUBE

DEYAN SUDJIC

Now, I haven't finished this book yet but from what I've read, it is amazing and everything that I would want in a book. Everything is about design and current trends. From what I know, it's basically an encyclopedia for the modern creative / designer.

Buy it here: B IS FOR BAUHAUS Y IS FOR YOUTUBE


Those are the three newest additions to my "Coffee Table". Definitely check it out and buy them if you got the cash floating around. See you next week or whenever I decide to write another blog. We keep it chill here.

As always, peace out and love life.

Pat

#5 Best Coffee Table Books for Creatives

Books. It's a love / hate relationship with me. I love having them and the textures and feel of a new book, but I hate reading them. I spend money on books that will probably never be read from cover to cover.

As a creative, I see the art in books but as a fidgety young male, I cannot force myself to sit still and read page after page of writing. I need images, and lots of them.

These five books are some of my favourite and will make an excellent addition to any coffee table. Or in my case, shoe rack.

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1. THE KINFOLK ENTREPRENEUR

KINFOLK MAGAZINE

Kinfolk has always been one of my favourite coffee table books, the way that it mixes the amazing images with the stories written about people / food or interior design. Open up this book to any page and be inspired by what lies in front of you.

Available here: THE KINFOLK ENTREPRENEUR

 
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2. ALWAYS ON THE MOVE

HENRY HWU

I picked this book up mainly because it was a limited edition that there were only 250 of. So for anyone who wants to buy one now. Sorry, they're all gone. *Cries*. But it's okay because Henry Hwu is an amazing Photographer and the fact that the book itself says '01' on the side hints that there will be more to come! Better than the first. And you just know that I am going to be getting my dirty hands all over every edition that Henry releases. With its all white cover and shiny logo.

Read more about it here! (Because it's sold out): ALWAYS ON THE MOVE

 
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3. MONOCLE TRAVEL GUIDE SERIES: TOKYO 

MONOCLE TRAVEL

I know, how dare I bring a different colour book into this list, we want all our coffee table books to be matching! Hear me out. I know, this may seem a little bias because I do love Japan and I also took the photo above. But they have a travel guide for almost every city you could possibly want to go to! And imagine this Mr I want all my books to match. All 27 of these travel guide books match and look AMAZING on any bookshelf or quite a large coffee table together. Thats right, 27. These books are the perfect little travel companion or just light read while sitting on the couch!

Buy them here: MONOCLE TRAVEL GUIDE SERIES: TOKYO

 
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4. OH SO PRETTY: PUNK IN PRINT

NO ONE PERSON MADE PUNK

Now, if you hate writing then this is the book for you. Because about 99% of this book is just posters and pictures. Punk posters and pictures. Now I didn't grow up in the 70's but if I had, this would be my aesthetic. I think. I don't know. I got this book because I saw it in Steve Aoki's house tour and I thought to myself 'Man if Steve Aoki likes this book then I should too' and I bought it. The End.

Buy it here: OH SO PRETTY: PUNK IN PRINT

 
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5. PRELUDE

JOEL BIRCH

Joel Birch is a singer in one of my favourite bands, The Amity Affliction and also doubles and one of my favourite Photographers. When he released his photobook 'Prelude: My life on 35mm Film' I had to buy it the second it came out. Featuring pages and pages of hand written notes and images of Joel's travels around the world with the band.

Buy it here: PRELUDE

 

Thanks for reading my first blog! I hope you enjoyed and got some useful information out of it.

Until next week, peace out and love life,

Pat.