NECESSITY being the mother of invention and all that, perhaps it’s time to re-think our attitudes to the impending cost-of-living apocalypse. Rather than seeing the steep energy, fuel and food price rises as a threat to our all-round contentment perhaps we should instead work harder to prise some optimism from them.

Dr Rangan Chatterjee, that doctor off the television who does podcasts, has discovered a ground-breaking way to be healthy. In these straitened times, I feel his solution has never been more crucial: just get happy.

In a recent Herald interview, Dr Chatterjee challenged those of us who still cling to out-dated concepts of time and motion: “Things are gonna happen whether we like them or not.” If the good doctor ever gets round to cause and effect his ruminations could be startling. “Not only do things happen but they sometimes cause other things to happen,” he might conclude.

Dr Chatterjee goes on to offer several handy hints about how to unlock your inner happiness when the world threatens to spin away from you. “It’s about what you can do that gives you a sense of control over your life,” he says. “And for me, that’s the key thing you know, whether it’s a little routine or journaling or saying hi to the barista at the coffee shop, which gives your brain a sense of control that your external world is safe.”

Obviously, we can’t all access a coffee shop and, even if there is a handy one nearby it might not yet have extended itself to employing a barista. I’m sure though, that a common-or-garden waiter or coffee assistant will do just fine.

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