Don’t Worry, Be Happy

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“Here’s a little song I wrote, you might want to sing it note by note: Don’t worry, be happy.” Do you remember when everyone had that hanging fish decoration that could sing? You could usually find them in the lobby of a tacky restaurant or hanging up in your weird uncle’s living room. It’s a really catchy tune and you might find yourself singing it in the shower later, but you never really think about how important the message is.

Don’t worry, be happy. It’s really that easy! Worrying about things can add so much negativity to your life and once you learn to kick the habit, it makes everything easier to deal with.

In high school, there is a lot to worry about. Grades, homework, college, your reputation…whether anyone’s noticed you’ve worn the same pair of jeans four days in a row. It’s very hard to stop worrying, but here are some things I’ve learned throughout my life that might help you stop:

1. The only people who make fun of you are unhappy with themselves and probably jealous of your confidence. By bringing you down, they’re just trying to get you back to their level.

2. It’s not the end of the world if you get a bad grade or do something embarrassing in front of your crush, so try not to beat yourself up about it. Sure, it sucks, but you have your whole life ahead of you and stressing out about something that’s already happened is just a waste of time and energy. Learn from these mistakes, so you are prepared for when they happen later in life, and then move on from them.

3. Even if a tragedy happens, you will be able to handle it. You may not believe this but trust me, you will. Life isn’t always perfect, but we survive no matter what. You are a very resilient person! I myself have had many misfortunes… my parents splitting up, my brother running away, but I’ve adapted to survive these moments and you will be able to as well.

Author of “The Worry Cure” Robert L. Leahy said people get stressed out because they think something bad could happen, so they activate a strategy of worry and think, “If I worry I can prevent this bad thing from happening.”

This way of thinking is the reason why people believe worrying can be a good thing, but that is never the case. You can prepare for unwanted events without worrying. If something truly concerns you, like if you’re going to get accepted into your dream college, push your doubts away and spend time researching your options instead.

There are many downsides to worrying. On WebMd it says worriers are more likely to experience nausea and fatigue than someone who doesn’t worry.  People fill their heads up with “what ifs” and end up missing out on great opportunities just because they are uncertain about the outcome. When you accept uncertainty, you don’t have to worry anymore.

Next time you find yourself fretting over certain aspects of your life, I want you to make a list. Write down everything that’s bothering you and when you’re done, look at the list. Pick out the worries that you can actually do something about, and take action. You can eliminate those concerns by researching what you can do to fix them. If the worries on your list are something that you can’t do anything about, realize that you have no control over the situation and that things will end up falling into place.

Every moment in your life, positive or not, makes you who you are and builds you up as a stronger, more experienced human being. Find beauty in the unexpected, and as an odd singing fish once told us… “Don’t worry, be happy.”

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