I know what it's like to be unhappy. I know what it's like to feel so overcome with stress that I can't eat or sleep. I understand pressure, fear, and anxiety–especially anxiety. It chips away at your energy, your confidence, your self-esteem. You question life and your purpose. You question your placement in faith, and in yourself.
I know that it takes a chunk out of your time. Unhappiness is a lot to shake off. But we're not really talking about just unhappiness, are we? We're talking about something that goes a little deeper. We're talking about sadness. Being sad is more than just feeling blue. It's more than disappointment. It's painful to be sad, but I also know it's easier to be sad than to be happy. Once you're used to being sad, you get comfortable there. You become scared to let yourself be happy because you don't like the feeling of being made to feel sad, so you decide you might as well just stay there. Stay sad. And that's a very dangerous hole to dig, but it's also very easy. Happiness is our first emotion. One of the first things we learn to do as babies is smile. So why, when we lose it, is it so hard to get it back? Especially now–we're in college, and we're basically being handed the shovel to dig this hole–how do we get back to being happy?
The art of being happy isn't hard to master. It only seems like it is, when in reality, it's like going on a diet. Just like with processed foods, soda, and candy, sadness is better in moderation. Happiness is the greens and the vegetables. Happiness is the key to being healthy, and the key to being happy is moderating your sadness. Yes, it's much easier said than done, but like going on a diet–it begins with a choice. The first step towards becoming happy again is a hard one to make, but it's the most important one. It's a staircase leading to a healthy life, and it's definitely a slippery one. It's very easy to fall back into the hole you dug, and you will, but choosing to get back up and climb again will get easier and easier every time. Take it from someone who dug that hole, and climbed those stairs. It gets better. Whatever funk you're in, whether it's as serious as depression, or just the college blues, remember that it's not forever. Whatever you're feeling is temporary. Sometimes you just gotta pull yourself up by your bootstraps and keep trucking along. Life's a journey, and it's better to spend it smiling. Choose to be healthy and choose to be happy. Most importantly: remember that you are not alone.