STUDENT VOICES: Learning to be content with life is a powerful tool

Exploring the concept of what it means to be happy

Happiness is more than a simple feeling; it’s a mindset.

For many teens, to enjoy themselves and get into that mentality requires freedom and personal space for development.

Surveys have indicated that more than 80 per cent of adolescents are not happy in their daily life due to high academic stress, low self-esteem and little enjoyment.

It becomes harder to welcome change and challenge, and letting go is difficult – you latch yourself onto the negative and concentrate solely on that.

Christopher Marlowe wrote that “misery loves company.” Generally, the happier the person, the more empathetic they tend to be of people’s imperfections. They understand that everyone makes mistakes, and that owning up to them demonstrates responsibility, reliability and trustworthiness.

Google defines happiness as “the state of being happy.” Synonyms include: joy, satisfaction, well-being and delight.

People wanting to become positive stride for these feelings with difficulty; however, it’s not impossible.

Mistakes can grow bigger with every passing day. For some it reaches a point where little mistakes grow so large they consume you.

But those who desperately want to be happy look past these feelings and instead find the things that went right.

Once you trust your mind to such thinking, you become open to suggestion and possibility by altering the way you view things daily. You’re allowing yourself to let go.

The Buddha is quoted as saying, “you will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger.”

In a modern context, someone might interpret the punishment of anger materializing as depression or an eating disorder due to lack of appetite.

One’s anger can become a powerful thing. Many people easily mistreat it and use it against others. The angry, saddened and depressed can react in all sorts of ways. Some become bullies to others, or keep to themselves, letting it eat at their humanity.

Most happy people, however, go out of their way to make another’s day with a smile or a kind gesture.

People who are more content with their lives can seek out solutions to overcome any obstacle, because their minds aren’t cluttered with bad thoughts and they believe in themselves.

I used to live at my dad’s house and he wouldn’t allow me to do much of anything: no hanging with friends, no shopping and little time for myself.

I lived with my father for so long that I believed it was how things were; that was a happy, jolly life. Eventually, I realized I was wrong and there was more to life.

I was tired of all the yelling, fighting and arguing. I wasn’t going anywhere. I needed to get out; I ran from my problems.

Now I’ve started a new life with different people in a smaller town. I don’t regret running; it upset me for a while as I settled into my life, but I’ve manage to turn it around.

A new page. A new chapter. I’ve found my happy place, so could you?

Brooke Kennedy is a student in Lauren Frodsham’s writing 11 class at Belmont secondary.

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