The Comet

Just Decide to be Happy

Gabby Douglas, Staff

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The world is filled with so much hate and negativity. At times it’s challenging to not be consumed by all of the disaster and heartless actions around us. 

Within just the past month of November, so many disastrous and tragic events have taken place. From natural disasters such as deadly earthquakes in Iraq and Iran, deadly floods in Greece, landslides in Colombia, and a Vietnam storm that killed 61 people. To deadly airstrikes in Syrian Market and Somalia, Mosque attacks in Nigeria and Egypt, deadly church shooting in Texas, and a deadly shooting in California. With so many deaths and disasters, it’s hard to find the happiness in the world.  

When terrible things happen we often forget the beautiful and happy aspects of the world.  

“Hearing about all of the bad things occurring in the world is very upsetting,” junior Julianna George stated. 

Sometimes people feel selfish being happy when there are so many people unhappy and in terrible conditions in the world. 

“I find it very hard to be happy because there is so much chaos and instability in the world,” junior Rediet Girma explained.  

Although we don’t have the ability to change certain aspects in the world and people around us, there are still ways that we can help. We can raise awareness and money for countries and people in need, and try to do what is in our power to prevent the bad from continuing.  

As Mahatma Gandhi once said, “be the change you wish to see in the world.” In order for us to see good, we must be good and promote good throughout the world. Although happiness is a challenging goal to reach for the entire world, it is something we can hope and continue to work towards always.  

When asked what one wants out of life, often the response is to be happy. But what does happiness truly mean? How can we obtain it? Well just like researchers’ study depression, they also study happiness.  

Researchers think of happiness as having satisfaction and meaning in one’s life. Its obtained by the ability to feel positive emotions, recover quickly from negative emotions, and to hold a sense of purpose in one’s life.  

Often people think that happiness comes from one’s privilege, wealth, and constant pleasure. But happiness mostly comes from our ability to connect with people, and having meaningful relationships. 

Through decades of research at Berkley University of California, people who say they’re happy have strong connections through relationships and their community.  

Being around people one loves is generally when that individual feels their happiest. 

“When my son Nolan first wakes up, being able to see his smile in the morning and just being able to spend time with him after I haven’t seen him all day makes me happy,” Math teacher Glen Savage explained.  

There is a saying that states, “money can’t buy happiness.” Research actually backs this up. Studies show that money only increases happiness when it takes people from a place where they aren’t in good situations, such as living in poverty, and is able to give them a better standard of living.  

Philosophers who study happiness say there are generally 7 habits of happy people. 

1) Good, healthy relationships 

2) Acts of kindness 

3) Exercise and one’s physical well being 

4) Having a “flow” in one’s life (various activities, having things that interest you) 

5) Having meaning in one’s life and a spiritual connection 

6) Strengths and virtues 

7) Positive mindset 

Happiness is determined by three categories. 50% of our happiness is based off of genes. 40% is based off of the things we can control. And only 10% is based off of circumstances in one’s life. Although it seems as though happiness is mostly out of our control, people actually have a large impact on their own happiness. 

Highschool is a time when teenager’s emotions and hormones are all over the place, and many teenagers struggle with obtaining a steady level of happiness.   

Although happiness can’t truly be felt at all times, there are times when people feel their happiest. 

“I feel my happiest when I’m playing baseball,” junior Cody Brick said. 

Many students struggle with their own happiness. 

“During the school year I find myself not as happy because I feel like I’m always under so much stress,” junior Emma Alverano stated.  

In Philosophy, a class taught here at CHS, a topic the students study is happiness.  

The course is taught by Mr. Powers and the topic of happiness is depicted as something that is obtainable for everyone regardless of their own personally situations.    

“In my class we don’t teach happiness as entire unit but I do think it is very beneficial for the students to see the various aspects that contribute to one’s individual happiness,” Mr. Powers stated. 

With chaos all around the world and most people dealing with their own personal challenges such as stress, sometimes they need something that distracts them. 

“I’m happy when I’m with someone that can make me forget the world exists,” senior David Owens explained. 

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