Happy ninja spreads joy
A SUPERHERO took to the streets of Townsville on Thursday on a mission to brighten the day of North Queenslanders and rid the city of sadness.
The Happiness Ninja took her cause to Castle Hill where she handed out free hugs, bottles of water, gelato and coffee to strangers.
The ninja’s alter ego is Jamie Brown, 29, who was inspired to spread happiness by her own battle with depression.
She suffered from depression and suicidal thoughts since she was just 12 years old and it wasn’t until she overcame a marijuana addiction and discovered the “science of happiness” that her life turned around.
“I was addicted to weed until I was 24, and once I kicked that, life looked a little brighter,” she said. “Weed was my coping mechanism for the depression, my life was spiralling out of control and it took a lot to kick the habit.”
Ms Brown said she was diagnosed with clinical depression when she was 18 and began working through her demons with a therapist.
Then, in 2013, she was introduced to positive psychology, which looks at the science of happiness. Her life changed dramatically and the Happiness Ninja was born.
“I noticed a difference within a week, once I adopted the positive psychology techniques,” Ms Brown said.
“Within six months I had the confidence to get off antidepressants and I haven’t looked back since.”
Ms Brown said the basic tenets of positive psychology were expressing gratitude every day through random acts of kindness and paying attention to the small things.
“It totally changed my life,” she said. “I do the Happiness Ninja thing to spread awareness and help brighten others’ days through random acts of kindness.
Ms Brown is based in Brisbane, but spends three days of the week working at Townsville Correctional Centre.
She said the Happiness Ninja would continue to spread joy throughout Townsville and encouraged people to share their own random acts of kindness via Instagram (# thehappiness ninja ninjas), and Twitter (@ happinessninja).
GOOD SIGN: Jamie Brown is offering random acts of kindness in a bid to reduce depression and suicide.