All the Children’s Commissioner’s work is driven by what children told us is important to them
I live in London, apparently the least friendly place in the UK, and it’s very rare to see a day where people are smiling and happy. It’s almost always grey and the weather seems to reflect our mood – pathetic fallacy.
For those of you who don’t know, I have depression and keeping happy is pretty difficult.
I prefer having people around me, getting stuck in and doing something that will make a change and share that happiness with others. In my experience, you make more of an impact when there are more people involved.
One of the places I like being when I want to lift my mood is Drive Forward. It’s almost like being in a safe bubble of happiness, everyone smiles, greets you and makes you feel welcome. As for the projects, I got involved in. Last fall, for example, I was part of a group of young people that put together a proper theatre production. All of us worked together, coming up with ideas, writing the script, and rehearsing as a group. We had some guidance and help, of course, but only because we all pulled together the play was a big success in a sold-out theatre!
In short, happiness is awesome! It’s so powerful, that it can even help us overcome times of sadness and distress. When losing a loved one, for example, we often think of the good times we shared with them, where something made us smile or laugh uncontrollably. It’s these moments of happiness that will stay with us, engraved in our memories.
Putting on a ‘happy face’ can work wonders. I went to my local corner shop a while ago and this lady had the most serious face I’ve seen in a long time. Her mouth was basically a straight line, her eyebrows pulled together and her eyes kept staring at me. It felt like she was expecting me to steal something and she wanted to catch me red-handed. I put my gum on the counter and said in a calm voice ‘Hi, how are you today?’ Judging from her reaction I don’t think anyone asked her how she was for ages. Her frown literally turned upside-down! Seeing her face light up and all that anger disappear seemed to brighten up both our days.
I love making people smile and making them happy; it helps with my depression too. I suppose many people would agree with me when I say that making someone else feel better lifts your own mood as well.
A lot of us strive to achieve happiness in life through achieving specific goals like graduating from college, getting a well-paid job, being in a relationship or getting married. Honestly, I think that doing all of those things is great, but is it really those things that make you truly happy? I’m not talking about feeling satisfied or content, but actually HAPPY.
What makes you happy? Let us know in the comments below!
About the author
This article was originally published by the Drive Forward Foundation.
You can read it here.