How to Stop Being Sad as a Teenager
A good friend once said to me, 'Being a teenager is a lot about being sad until you realise you don't have to be.' Recently, I've finished some exams and now have a lot of free time. With all of the responsibility and freedom I've been given, I don't really know what to do with it!
So, I've decided—now it's time for me to stop being sad. I've been making a lot of progress, and I really hope that I can give some advice that'll help you make your way along your own pathway to happiness.
Drop the beef!
We've all got beef. Petty arguments that happened a couple of months ago, that ex-boyfriend who mugged you off in some way, the grudge you still hold close against that girl who sits opposite you sometimes.
Just let it go.
I'm lucky enough to have a very solid group of friends. Within this friendship group, there has been a lot of conflict—but everyone is mature enough that, even if there's been a massive argument going on or rumours going around, we can all just be calm and friendly together, and hang out no matter what. There's no point in holding any of these grudges.
I have an ex-boyfriend with whom things did end quite badly, but recently we've begun to talk again, mainly because I just finally said hi to him again, and we talked easily. You don't realise how much the unnecessary drama in your life can drag you down. I can promise you a more relaxed, at-ease mind if you can just let it go.
That one Big Traumatic Thing that you can't get over
One thing I've realised is that everyone seems to have one big 'thing' that drags them down. For me, it's that I had cancer. For a friend, it's his mum dying, or for others, its an abusive relationship or a diagnosis of some kind, or even just losing a group of friends.
It doesn't matter how big or small the things bringing you down are—they're all valid and important. For me, I've been actively making sure I don't use having a complicated medical history as an excuse for anything. We've all been through pain and suffering, and one of the hardest things to do is move on... but you just have to.
Accepting change as a part of life
Change is something that I think we all tend to struggle to cope with. Whether it be moving schools, losing friends, leaving a relationship or something simple like a change in your personal relationships. Do you ever think back on someone you haven't seen in years but used to be extremely close to?
I look back at pictures of myself from 2-3 years ago, and I barely recognise the face staring back at me. I've changed a lot since then—my hair went from long to short, and my personality has change and developed so much, I honestly feel like a completely different person now. It's hard to accept this. It's hard to accept that my old self, and everything that came with being that person, is gone.
But this will probably happen again. In years to come, a lot will change in my life. I think as a teenager, you begin to realise how much can change in a short space or time, and how much you will grow and develop and change yourself. This is the first time you become aware of it, so it's hard to know how to deal with and accept it.
For me, I've found that living in every moment and taking each new day as it comes, is the best way to deal with it. Allow the world to move, and follow it. Start to notice how things change every day, without questioning it, without fighting against it—just go with the flow of life and see where it takes you.
The standard stereotypical 'you'll be okay!' speech!
You've heard it before: "Oh, you'll be okay, everything gets better." And you've probably ignored it before, but let me tell you the truth here.
I've been there. I've been in the place where it feels like that little ball of emptiness will never leave, that your life will never improve, that something's wrong with you, or that it's your personality that's the problem. I've spent hours wondering where I've gone wrong, and why things have happened the way they have. I know how this feeling seems unending.
But I'm starting to see the light. Life isn't perfect, but it has so much potential—I can finally see the way up. No matter how far you've fallen, you can always start again and get back up. Take each day as a new opportunity. You'll find your fulfillment, you'll find a group of friends who just 'get' you. Take it from one of the greatest outsiders on the planet.
We all get knocked down sometimes. All we can do is try get back up and move forward, no matter how many times it happens. But you'd be surprised at how much of your sadness comes from your brain internally, self-sabotaging, and how many small changes you could make that would help a surprising amount.
Sometimes it's hard to let go of the sadness. Its tempting to hold on to it, and maybe not even want to feel better, because it's easier and it's what you know. That's okay. However long you do hold onto the sadness for, you can always put it behind you when you're ready. Keep your body safe for your future self. Take care or yourself. I promise you, things are looking up.