Tips For A Happier Life

Rachel Van Leeuwen, Opinion Editor

Life has its ups and downs. If you haven’t experienced the downs of life, please tell me your secret. Even with the ups and downs of life, there are things we can do to make our life happier.

In the classic fairy tale, Three Billy Goats Gruff, it says, “Once upon a time there were three billy goats Gruff, Gruff, Gruff, who said, ‘This grass isn’t good enough! We need to look for pastures new, where the grass is sweet and delicious to chew.’” Anyone who has read Three Billy Goats Gruff knows that the billy goats make it to the other side, where the grass is greener. However, we can’t spend our lives wishing we were on the other side of the bridge. Sometimes we have to figuratively dig up our wasteland of a life, lay down entirely new sod, and wait for our own green pastures to grow back. Ultimately, we’re in control of our lives and there are ways to make them better, little as they may be.

On her lifestyle blog, “Notes from Joana,” Joana wrote, “20 Small Ways To Be Happier This Year.” Joana lists twenty small, seemingly effortless ways to brighten up your life. Her list will make you say, “Why am I not already doing this?”

Joana starts her list off with something all teenagers can relate to: “Go to sleep when you’re tired. After a good night of sleep, you’ll wake up feeling refreshed and ready-ish to face a new day. Plus, you will appreciate going to bed earlier when your alarm goes off in the morning.” Now I know you’re thinking, if I went to bed when I was tired, I would never be awake. Maybe try going to bed a little earlier so getting up is not as tortuous. Joana also suggests we all stop hitting the snooze button in the mornings. If you’re as bad as me, you snooze for fifteen minutes on a good day. It’s not healthy.

Another good way to live a happier life is by going outside and enjoying the sunshine. All of us here at Bingham High School are looking like we could use a day in the sun after the bipolar winter we’ve had. So go outside and exercise! Try working on your homework outside in the warm sunshine rather than hiding away in your dark bedroom with your face creepily lit up by your computer screen.

My favorite way to live a happier life is by recognizing the little things. When your mom stumbles out of bed to say goodbye to you in the morning, soak that in. Realize that someone loves you and remember that throughout your day. No, she didn’t make you a five-course, Village Inn breakfast, but she did get out of bed to give you a hug. And we’ve already mentioned how hard getting out of bed is.

Live a happier life by laughing at yourself when you make a mistake. Marjorie Hinckley said, “You either have to laugh or cry. I prefer to laugh. Crying gives me a headache.” The next time you do something awkward, shake it off. No one is going to remember it in a day, so why should you stress about it for weeks? You’ve got more important things to worry about. Lighten your own load.

Little things you do can make every day happier and eventually make your life happier. But even if your grass is not so green, one of the best things you can do to brighten things up is not complaining about your grass. It only makes you feel bad about yourself, so what’s the point? Focus on the goods parts of life and don’t worry too much about the bad. You’ve got this! I’m rooting for you!