Emotions are a state of mind

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photo via pixabay.com under Creative Commons license

You can choose to be upset about something, or look at it in a positive way. It’s your decision; your feelings are yours and yours only.

Chelsea Santos, Staff Writer

As American citizens, we are entitled to the right of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

Trying to procure a definition for happiness only leads to a never-ending succession of “being” in a state of different feelings, such as pleasure and contentment. But how do we know when we are truly happy?

We do not.

What exactly is happiness, and why does everyone want to achieve that state of “being”?

It’s different for each individual — there is no definite meaning of the word.

Instead, we only coerce ourselves into different sentiments depending on the occasion. Are we going to Disneyland? Time to be happy. Did cashier turned overnight internet sensation #Alex from Target lose his job after getting “too famous”? Time to be pitiful. Did the dog die? Time to be sad. Do we have an insane workload? Time to be stressed.

The thing is, we, and only we ourselves can choose how we feel. We can choose to be “happy” despite the circumstances, and likewise with any other emotion. Only because of constant inveigling into feeling a certain way do we begin to experience different moods based on factors such as situation and disposition. We deceive ourselves into feeling “happy” or “sad” because that’s what we “should” do.

Adolescence is a tough time in life wherein you discover who you are and ultimately grow up. Sometimes those decisions can be a little too much. Things are changing fast, and sometimes it gets so overwhelming that it ends in a downward spiral.

According to a 2012 article in the New York Daily News, 1 in 6 high schoolers have legitimately considered suicide, and 1 in 12 have tried to go through with it.

1 in 6 high schoolers have legitimately considered suicide, and 1 in 12 have tried to go through with it.”

— New York Daily News

Rates have gone up from past years due to different factors, namely cyberbullying, which is the predominant form of abuse during adolescence. Don’t let it get to you. Tell an adult immediately, before things get out of hand. You may not want to at first, but you’ll be thankful you did in the end.

Additionally, “teens [are] feeling stressed, and many not managing it well,” according to a headline in USA Today. Stress levels also increase for many during the school year as opposed to summer vacation, which leads to feelings of sadness, depression, and overwhelmedness.

Just take it one day at a time. If you worry about everything at all times, you will never be at peace with yourself. You have to relax a little bit, and stay on the positive side. “Every day may not be good, but there’s something good in every day,” — cliché, but true.

Bottom line, you have a say in how you feel. You can choose to be happy, or you can choose to agonize over things that won’t matter tomorrow, or in a week, or a month, or a year. You decide.