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Stress, Depression & Anxiety

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Added April 23, 2014

How To Be Happy

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We've all felt that awesome rush where you wake up in an amazing mood for no reason at all. It's a great feeling and it follows us throughout the day, and it may even give us a case of permagrin. When this happens, we don't ask why, we just enjoy the day and go about our business.


But we've also been there when the opposite happens. You wake up and feel down in the dumps. Your mood drags you down for the rest of the day, and you may take it out on friends and family. You can't seem to figure out how to be happy. Doctors and parents tell us it's completely normal and it's tied to hormones and mood swings, especially in your pre-teen and teenage years. But it all feels so real that you think there must be a reason for it and you try to find out how to be happy again, but there must be something in your life making you feel this awful. The thing is, once you look for it, you're sure to find something in your life to blame your bad mood on, while not making any progress in learning how to be happy.


And stew about it. All day. Ugh.


Picking a fight with different areas of your life is a road you definitely don't want to go down, especially when you're in a rotten mood, when trying to figure how to be happy. So, when you find yourself blue for no real reason, instead of looking for the source, just turn down into up. And all it takes is 3 minutes to remember how to be happy.


How to Be Happy

1. Get moving! Movement gives your body, mind and spirit a jolt. The more you feel like sitting still, the more important it is to shake yourself up a bit. Exercise can pull you out of your thoughts and into your body, reminding it how to be happy.


3-minute perk-up: Do jumping jacks, sit-ups, some stretches, or dance to whatever song's on the radio.


Keep it going: Run, ride your bike, skateboard, or head to the swings and pump as high as you can, no matter if the little kids point and stare. Even in bad weather, fill your lungs with at least some fresh air to boost your energy level.


2. Eat Happy Foods! Are there really foods that can make you rethink how to be happy? YES! Certain foods can actually rearrange your body's chemistry to lift your spirits!


3-minute perk-up: Eat a banana, strawberries, or a handful of blueberries for a quick energy and mood boost.


Keep it going: Choose healthy snacks that are as natural as possible. Fruits and veggies, whole grain breads, nuts, and lots of water keep your mood steady and strong throughout the day.


3. Smell the Flowers. Certain scents can actually make you feel better. It's known as aromatherapy, and some cultures have been practicing it for thousands of years!


3-minute perk-up: Walk into a flower shop, bakery, chocolatier, coffee house or candle store and take a whiff. Your brain connects happy smells with happy feelings for an instant reminder of how to be happy.


Keep it going: In the shower, use shampoo or body wash scented with lavender, chamomile or geranium. After you towel dry, apply a scented moisturizer, body spray or deodorant with your favorite fragrance. You'll carry the happy feeling with you wherever you go.


4. DO Something... Anything! The opposite of laziness is energy, so when you feel like doing nothing and don't like the feeling, the best thing to do is act!


3-minute perk-up: Take a shower, write a poem, call a friend, try a color rinse for your hair, sing a silly song...anything you can do in three minutes that makes you learn how to be happy.


Keep it going: Make a list of 3-minute perk-ups. Throughout the day, look for things that make you feel good and put'em on your list. Next time you feel blue, you'll have new things to try!


The Don't List

While you're seeking out positive things to do to pick you up, some things could leave you worse off than when you started, and will not help you figure out how to be happy. Steering clear of these behaviors will help ensure you get back to your happy self quickly. 

  • Don't overdo it on sugary snacks, junk food or caffeine. Although you may crave the major rush, it can send your mood crashing back down soon afterward. Keep your diet healthy and your body will thank you for it later.
  • Avoid the urge to vegetate. Sitting in front of the TV or computer is just what your body needs to keep the dark cloud hovering over your head.
  • Don't mope. Giving in to the bad mood will only feed it and turn your mood from a small bother into a big problem. Treat it like a little brother. Ignore it and it'll go away and in no time, you'll know how to be happy!
  • Don't do anything drastic. Getting a major haircut, tattoo or piercing or telling your friend off may seem like a good idea now, but don't trust your instincts when you're seriously bumming, and figuring out how to be happy again. Temporary hair color, a henna tattoo, or writing down your feelings in a journal you're sure no one will see can be just as satisfying with no lasting effects (or buyer's remorse the next day).
  • If you find yourself more down than up, more than a few days in a row, don't keep it to yourself. Tell a grownup how you feela teacher, parent, counselor, or doctor. Talking it out is a great way to work out your feelings, and a grownup will also be able to see if you need some help figuring out how to be happy.


A Balancing Act

The next time you wake up down in the dumps, remember all the days you feel great for no reason. You'll see you need to experience the down in order to enjoy the up! Hopefully, by taking the above advice, you'll remember how to be happy everyday. Think of your mood as a swing. What comes down can go up again!

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comments so far
Posted April 29, 2013
I'm always upset for no reason. I'm embarassed to be in front of people and I'm always ashamed of myself for no particular reason. I'm always thinking no one wants to be with me because I'm awful. Is it wrong to feel this way? Should I get help or not?
Posted September 10, 2012
Nella3346 me too like not depressed but really down in the dumps and all i will do is mope around and stay in my room eating junk or sleep in all day but not anymore
Posted June 21, 2012
helps me alot
Posted August 07, 2012
Hope this helps cause I really get depressed :(
Posted June 21, 2012
I HATE my depression. It's really annoying because I can't talk to anyone about it.
Posted August 24, 2012
always see positive people
Pretty In Pink666
Pretty In Pink666
Posted April 29, 2012
@redhead21-I feel the same way ALL the time. It's very annoying ;(
Posted December 09, 2011
to be appy just find what you like to do best like me i like music so i listen to music i try to be mature being mature makes me very happy for some reason getting along with my mom and dad doing good in school find what makes you happy :) hope i helped
Posted December 29, 2011
I don't like sharing my feelings because I think that no one will care and I just can't talk to people about my personal life. Any tips???
Loved $$
Loved $$
Posted June 02, 2012
Again to long
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