Happiness 101


Being happy is a choice. Who you surround yourself with and your perspective on life will bring positive or negative impacts. Every day is not going to be the best day ever. Some days will be difficult, but there will be a moment in each day in which something goes well or makes you smile. If those small moments are appreciated and recognized, you will not fall into a negative spiral. 


Some activities that can help you create a positive mindset and attitude for yourself are prioritizing your sleep and nutrition. Poor or insufficient sleep increases negative emotional responses to stressors and decreases positive emotions. In the short term, poor nutrition can contribute to stress, tiredness, and the capacity to work. Over time, it can contribute to the risk of developing some illnesses. Getting more sleep and eating healthy food correlates with a better mood. Remember that it’s important to prioritize taking care of yourself. It will be hard to be happy when you feel stressed and sick. 


Another way to bring happiness into your life is by going outside on a walk or run. Exercise can benefit your body physically and psychologically because it helps balance your hormones. Exercise can also clear your mind and be a way to release stress. If exercise isn’t an option, try yoga, meditation, or just going outside. During May term, I took Miss. Diggins’ Pursuit of Happiness class and our entire class went on a Silent Walk. The silence helped me hear the wind and everything around me. It was calming and made my day a little better. Going on a Silent Walk is something I would encourage anyone to try at least once. 


Practicing gratitude is another great way to improve your mood and create better-thinking habits. I downloaded an app that helps me practice gratitude and organizes my entries. There are also daily motivational apps that you can download for a different positive quote every day. In addition to all these things, creating small goals every day and accepting small victories will help improve your outlook on life.