Life is filled with hardship. Talking about how school and work stress us dominate the conversations we have with our loved ones and friends every day. Yet, singly pointing out problems does not solve problems. Thinking about how big the stress we have is doesn’t decrease the amount of stress we have that is caused by the problems we have academically, financially, or emotion­ally. I believe taking a look at the beau­tiful sides of our life does help us main­tain our mental health.

Having a sense of gratitude helps us combats the sense of stress we have. According to Harvard Health Publica­tions, which is the official website of Harvard Medical School, “In positive psychology research, gratitude is strong­ly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, rel­ish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.” Without positive feelings, negative feelings dictate our days.

I know there is pressure that makes us less upbeat and there are things we have failed to get over and over again and we have the right to be mad and be tired. But as Harvard Health Publica­tions says, “Gratitude helps people refocus on what they have instead of what they lack.” Having negative feelings only makes life increasingly negative by decreasing the quality of our mental health.

According to one ancient Chinese saying, “Happiness Lies in Content­ment.” Happiness is not just built on what we find in our life but also about how we feel about life.

We often let failure upstage success, problems upstage progress, and stress upstage joy. We give stress too many chances to thrive.

“With gratitude, people acknowl­edge the goodness in their lives. In the process, people usually recognize that the source of that goodness lies at least partially outside themselves,” the Har­vard Health Publications say. Positive signs in life should be what we focus on. I am not promoting arrogance or rash­ness, but I believe there is always some­thing we should be thankful for and there is always a light we should look at.

If we don’t do well in our classes, don’t panic because we still have the chance to get a good education that helps us pursue our dreams. If we don’t do well at work, don’t panic because the ability to accomplish is still in our hands. If there is no happiness we feel in our life, we should try to open our eyes and seek a display of happiness because be­ing able to have a life is the very first step towards reaching the good days we hope to have.

There are tough moments in life, but they aren’t the only moments we have.

There is stress in life, but we should be thankful that there is another day when we can start over what we have failed to do and continue on our roads to moving forward. There is trouble in life, but we should be thankful for the fact that the ability to solve problems is what makes life reasonable.

I believe we should appreciate the life we have as long as we know we will achieve newness and combat roadblocks on the next day, as long as we don’t go through fire, as long as we feel the love that keeps us on the planet, and as long as there is sky we see and air we breathe.

We don’t see the sunshine without opening the window to welcome the light into the room.

ILLUSTRATION
BY ANNA K. FERN
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