Moments of Gratitude

Moments of Gratitude

Photo and article by Erin B. (age: 16)

Sometimes I think it’s awful how often the words “I hate my life” come out of the average teenager’s mouth in a week. It’s understandable to be frustrated due to the amount of homework you have each night or the fact that your mother said you had to be home by 10 p.m. Still, something that we very frequently overlook is that others have it so much worse.

A study done by Canvass (The Seven Hills Student Newspaper) shows that 29% of students have high levels of stress and 42% of students have moderate levels of stress and a poll of 804 teachers revealed that 73% of them consider school far more stressful now than in the previous decade. So yes, teenagers have it tough. We are easily stressed out with the amount of homework we have, the occasional argument with our parents or siblings, and on top of that, trying to have a social life. If you have a moment, try to take time to evaluate your those things that increase your stress. Do these issues have merit? Is there anything that you can do to help reduce your stress? Honestly, I believe many people (but, not by any means all) have these types of negative thoughts because they aren’t necessarily appreciative of what they have. They don’t realize all of the good things that we do have and we desire to obtain even more than that. We all can fall into this mental trap.

According to Mental Health America’s estimate, one in five teens qualify as clinically depressed. With depression comes negative thinking. We’ve all had negative thoughts about the world and, I agree, it’s hard to be 100 percent optimistic, but open your eyes! You are living, healthy, fed every night and have a roof over your head. Life isn’t always as bad as it seems. It may be helpful to try to look at life with a different perspective. To help you have a more positive attitude, the next time a negative thought pops into your head, make an attempt to realize what you are thinking and change it. By attempting to have a positive attitude, you not only benefit yourself but also those around you. If you’re having a tough time, you could talk to your parents or go to your guidance counselor. There will always be someone to help you get over whatever negative feelings you have.

There’s a Hannah Montana song that says “Life is hard or it’s a party/The choice is up to you.” I believe that this song is saying that if you do nothing but complain about how “terrible” your life is, you probably won’t progress into a better one. It’s possible that you could be making things harder on yourself by giving nothing but negative feedback towards everything.

Children with cancer and kids living in poverty can have incredibly positive attitudes. It’s possible to make the best of what we have -- there are people out there that do it every day. Open your mind and try to relax. In many cases, It’s just a bad day, not a bad life.