15 Tips for Teens to Lead Happier Lives [Teen Article]

Kelsey is a crazy 17-year-old from Franklin, TN.  She loves writing, acting, and hanging out with friends.  Her favorite subject is English and she hopes to teach it herself when she gets older.

tips to lead happier lives
In this crazy, mixed-up world of teenaged drama and angst, sometimes it seems like happiness is just a dream. Laughter may appear unattainable, and true joy may be viewed as some ridiculous goal that can never be reached. But, contrary to popular belief, teens can be happy if they work at it. Follow these steps, and you’ll find yourself headed in that very direction.

1. Smile. This is the number one rule for a reason. People who smile, even when upset or discouraged, inevitably find reasons to be happy. It takes far fewer muscles to smile than to frown; why waste your energy feeling pessimistic and down-trodden? Putting on a smile is like putting on rose-colored glasses. Give in to laughter, give in to smiling, give in to happiness.

2. Dress up. Once a week, wear something a little bit nicer than your usual get-up. For girls, it might be a pretty dress and heels. For guys, it might be a tie or even just a classy vest.

3. Pursue your interests. Some people feel they must forever stick with whatever label or classification they have been given. But that’s not true! If you’re a football player and you find you actually enjoy theatre, go for it. Audition for the school play, get your friends to come and support you. If it’s something that makes you happy, don’t let all those preconceived notions of high school stereotypes keep you from attaining that happiness.

4. Listen to music that lifts your soul. Sing along to it whether you have a great voice or are tone-deaf.

5. Strive to excel in everything. There is no better feeling than working as hard as you possibly can and seeing the fruits of your efforts. Don’t fool yourself into thinking you’re working really hard if you’re actually not. Think always to yourself, “How can I be better?” and then work to make that happen.

6. Be open and honest. If someone hurts you, either forget about it or tell them what they’ve done – and then forget about it. When you love someone, tell them. When someone makes you happy, tell them.
7. Give compliments, even to the people that aren’t your greatest friends.

8. Get up and do something. Stop sitting around and sulking if everyone seems to be busy; keep asking around or entertain yourself in some fashion. Get out of the house; go on a walk, go for a drive, go next door to visit a neighbor. Take action.

9. Don’t dwell on the could-haves, the should-haves, the wishes, and the wants. Dwell on what can be done now, in the present time and place. There’s no joy in what almost was.

10. Make a list of things that make you happy. Make a list of all your many blessings. Make a list of good things in life. Make a list of good people. Make a list of beautiful sights or sounds. Make a list of anything uplifting.
11. Splurge in some small way, every now and then. Don’t overdo it, don’t put yourself into debt and don’t clog your arteries until they explode. But pick one thing you feel you can afford and which will end up making you terribly, terribly happy because it’s just that great, and splurge!

12. Always be the best person you know how to be. Don’t lie, don’t cheat, don’t gossip, don’t do anything that could bring someone else down. That’s selfish and that’s mean and that’s totally not worth the pain that will come around later to you for it.

13. Look for the child inside yourself. Draw with sidewalk chalk, color in coloring books, do something that takes you back to simpler days. It will remind you to look for joy in the little things.
14. Know that there’s always Someone Else who’s worse off than you. You got a C on that Chemistry test? Well, Someone Else failed it. You broke your leg? Someone Else doesn’t have a leg. See? Remember that you have a LOT compared to Someone Else.

15. You can’t be happy if you don’t really want to be happy. Get over your pride. Get rid of that little gnawing devil inside you that refuses to be happy. Some people actually enjoy being miserable, whether they enjoy the attention it brings or else. Don’t be one of these people, because then you’ll stand in your own way to happiness.

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One Response to “15 Tips for Teens to Lead Happier Lives [Teen Article]”

  1. Melanie
    February 26, 2012 at 10:19 pm #

    I’m really impressed, Kelsey!  I’ve been searching for an article to feature on my new website – you hit the nail right on the head!  I’m a “self-development coach” for young women (primarily).  My website should be active in another week or so.  I’ll add a link to this page :)  Good luck with your writing.  You have a great message to share!

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