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The student news site of Downers Grove South High School


The student news site of Downers Grove South High School


Don’t let the little things slip by

Sumit Shah
A duck found along the naperville riverwalk, following the photographer

It’s a cold and bitter day, yet for some reason, you’re still grinning ear to ear. You saw a duck, it saw you, and it quacked at you. It made you happy, and that’s okay. It should be encouraged to be happy about the small things in life.

In the current state of the world, being happy can seem like such a small thing. So many other things can feel like they take priority, like the hours of homework assigned, a quiz coming up tomorrow, or a tournament coming up. Truth is, life is not going to slow down.

First, let’s make this clear. Happiness isn’t a goal, it’s an emotion just like hunger or excitement.
You won’t get into a relationship or retire and just be happy permanently. That’s why you have to start small.

Look at your overall routine: what do you have control over that can make you happier? For some, it’s confidence!

Take the steps to figuring out what makes you feel confident! For some, it’s fashion. Others, it’s having a skill they’ve mastered.

Some find happiness in taking care of their personal health, like a skincare routine or building up muscles with a frequent workout. Doing some form of physical activity like biking or running is known to release endorphins that physically destress your body. Whatever it might be, it’s up to you to find it.

I also want to make a clear distinction between being “negative” and depression. Depression takes work to get rid of, by looking for professional help whether it’s a therapist or psychiatrist to find the right solution for you. Finding something that makes you feel a positive emotion like confidence and happiness can work in synergy with medications to help you feel better.

Improving your overall mental state is known to improve your physical health and energy in a noticeable way. A better mental state results in less cortisol constantly running through the body, reducing the physical stress on the heart and blood vessels.

Being happier makes it easier to be kinder, which in turn uplifts your community and motivates at least some of those around you to be kinder. The more people who act nicer, the more that positivity spreads. When a community is connected by positivity, we can make changes that ripple out like getting our local governments to make strides towards tackling climate change.

Taking the small steps to be happier is way easier said than done, but it’s possible. Letting yourself laugh at the ridiculous things in life like a duck that won’t stop following you or that science experiment that ended with you covered in mentos and coca-cola is just one way. Life is always going to happen, but even a second of happiness in a horrendous year can do so much.

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