Happiness, joy, cheerful, delighted, radiant, gleeful -- whatever you choose to call it, happiness is the one emotion we all strive for the most, yet not all are fortunate enough to attain this feeling on a daily basis. Being college students, we feel the stress of making good grades, upholding expectations placed upon us from peers or family, and maintaining close friendships at home and away easily, which often detracts from our overall ability to be truly happy.
So how do you live a genuinely happy life amid all the chaos college life brings? For me, I've found that it is essential to find time in the day for myself, whether it be exercising, reading a new book, or even getting in a little shut-eye. Devoting at least an hour to yourself at some point in the day helps you to evaluate your daily decisions, think about your upcoming events, and compartmentalize your goals.
Dr. Robert Puff, a meditation researcher, conducted scientific studies to understand the chemical effects of daily meditation. According to Dr. Puff, meditation could be used in treating physiological problems, such as high blood pressure, heart disease and migraine headaches, as well as autoimmune diseases such as diabetes and arthritis. As his subjects meditated, he noted that their heartbeats and breathing slowed, their blood lactate levels decreased, and their brains increased in alpha activity, which is a sign of relaxation. This is why yoga has recently gained a huge popularity as people quickly become addicted to the peace and positive vibes that come with the exercise.
Aside from these daily routines to keep your life in order, I found the best way to sustain a happy lifestyle is continually trying to have a positive outlook on things, even if the odds seem stacked against you. I know that keeping a positive attitude seems silly and too broad to consider seriously -- I used to say the exact same thing. However, have you ever noticed that the happiest people are also the most optimistic, giving and caring? Believing in yourself and your abilities leads to greater self-esteem and confidence. Instead of looking at the problems in your life, focus on the solutions. From what I have learned from college, stressing about your workload isn't going to solve anything. Keeping a good support system of family and friends, learning to make decisions that benefit you, and having a positive outlook are all helpful tips to staying sane despite you busy schedule.