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Bayjo98241's avatar

Advice about how to be happy?

Asked by Bayjo98241 (310points) January 2nd, 2015

I need advice on what to do to get myself to be in a happier state. I’m done relying on others to do so, so at age 14 what can I do to make myself happy without buying anything. I am at my target weight and walk and play sports just like a normal teen and I am a straight A student. (That was just extra information)

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15 Answers

dappled_leaves's avatar

Hmm. What are your interests? Are you into science, books, the outdoors? Do you like kids? Do you cook? What’s your thing?

Mariah's avatar

Do you have hobbies? I started getting really into drawing at that age and it was a huge uplifter for me.

talljasperman's avatar

You might benefit from having a creative outlet. Like music. You can also volunteer for community service .

Bayjo98241's avatar

Further information: I don’t really have any talents or hobbies, that’s what I’m looking for

Mariah's avatar

Does the thought of any kind of creative hobby appeal to you? Drawing and painting are boatloads of fun. If you’re interested in learning to play an instrument, you might be able to rent one from your school. You could try out theater at school, or if you have even a camera on your phone, try photography. Beads are pretty cheap, you could try making jewelry, or woven jewelry out of hemp which is also cheap.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

We don’t know whether we’re good at things until we try them. @Mariah suggested a range of things you could try to help you develop a more fulfilling life. Give some of them a go. You might find you have hidden talents. Also, @talljasperman suggeseted volunteering. It’s hard to feel bad about our own lives when we’re helping those who are worse off. If you like pets, check out the local animal refuge. Or if there’s a children’s or aged home close by, see if you can volunteer there to help out. If you care about the environment, check into clean-up projects you can join in with. Can you get a part-time job?

Really the key is to live your life. That means trying new things. You’re bound to find things that are both fun and that you’re good at.

CWOTUS's avatar

I don’t know where I first read it, but I saw a definition of happiness once that defined it as “the overcoming of not-unknown obstacles in pursuit of a known goal”. I like that definition. (While I was looking for the source of the quote, I saw some others that might be of interest, right here.)

It makes sense to me that without goals or ambitions it might be difficult to be happy: how would you know whether your aims are being fulfilled or your time wasted?

So, I would recommend that you determine some achievable – and even some ‘likely un-achievable’ – goals for yourself and map out a plan to achieve them. That will help you to determine what talents to develop, and even skills to learn.

ucme's avatar

Don’t strive to be happy, never make it your goal, it’ll find you if you let it.

thorninmud's avatar

Here are a few pointers:

Happiness isn’t about getting all the circumstances of your life “just so”.
Of course, there are many different ways of understanding happiness. But if you expect to get to happiness by tweaking your life to get rid of the things you don’t like and fill it with things you do like, you’ll never be happy. There’s a happiness that doesn’t depend on how well things are going around you, or even on emotions. Sadness isn’t the opposite of this kind of happiness. It doesn’t really have an opposite. It doesn’t depend on anything. You don’t have to make it or go out and get it. It’s already there. You just have to recognize it.

Get out of your head.
If you pay careful attention to what makes you feel unhappy, you nearly always discover that there’s some form of thought at the bottom of it. Often, it’s a thought about how much better things would be if only…(fill in the blank). Or about how how reality isn’t living up to some expectation. Or about how your dreams keep getting squashed. Or about how you dread doing this or that. Wallowing in thoughts like these can make you feel pretty miserable. You can’t do much about keeping stuff like this from bubbling up, but you can definitely decline to do the wallowing thing. Instead of playing this game of comparing reality to some imagined alternative, open up to what’s there. Engage with this world and find its beauty.

Reach out to others.
Make connections. This doesn’t have to be dramatic or complicated; it can just mean opening your shell enough to in some small way make someone else feel less alone.

Perhaps you can see that all of these are related. They’re all just ways of saying “get out of yourself and embrace life just as it is”.

chyna's avatar

@all Great answers

ZEPHYRA's avatar

Just take a look in the mirror at that bright, young fresh face. See the potential you have, work on gaining more confidence and get involved in creative, productive and fun activities. Your happiness should come from your intelligence, family, opportunities, good health and that gorgeous face you have been blessed with.

francheska's avatar

be content for what you have.. and think how greatfull yiou are compared to others.. learn to forgive and and thank god that your still alive :)

pittfan20's avatar

At that age I was in A very depressing stage in my life.I had just disclosed about the abuse(my biological mother raped me) and I was just put into A RTF(Residential Treatment Facility).I found that the only way I was gonna be happy was to be around others my age doing the type of things that teenager’s do.Of course I went about it the wrong way.Maybe thats what you need is to hang out with others your age.Maybe go to the movies or something like that.Do your parents allow you to go out?

dappled_leaves's avatar

@Bayjo98241 “Further information: I don’t really have any talents or hobbies, that’s what I’m looking for”

In that case, start out assuming that everything is your thing. Try as many new experiences as you can cram into your schedule, as long as they sound fun to you. Whatever doesn’t work out becomes a story you can tell later – but what does work out could be something you enjoy for the rest of your life. I would suggest starting with something outdoors-related (because I enjoy that, so I’m biased) and/or with something artsy (which could be anything from drawing, knitting, or going to galleries to watching films with people – there are ways to do any and all of these solo or in groups).

And lastly, @thorninmud gives very good advice here, as always.

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