I try to take on a positive attitude towards life because if I didn’t, I would break down from the everyday challenges and stress. If I didn’t focus on the silver lining, I wouldn’t even have the energy to get out of bed.
But when I have to constantly deal with never-ending negativity from others, it makes me wonder why I should even bother going through my day.
When we were 12 we could sing the quadratic formula to the tune of a Christmas carol, but we didn’t know what to do when a boy we didn’t like asked us out.
When we were 13 could name exactly how and why blood gets oxygen and how it gets to our heart, but we could not explain why our hearts and breathing both stopped when we saw each other.
When we were 14 we could describe the overarching theme of social inequalities within “To Kill a Mockingbird”, but we did not care that our cafeteria was separated into cool and not cool by a pillar.
When we were 15 we could write pages and pages about the way trade off the coast of India evolved and was affected by monsoon seasons, but when a storm knocked the power out for two weeks, we found ourselves with nothing to do, no way to connect.
When we were 16 we knew every rule in calculus: exponential, power, logarithm, the product rule, the chain rule. We can list those in our head, rapid fire, but we do not have any rules for how to fall in love, how much to drink, how to pick our pieces up.
When we were 17 we could tell you exactly how a bill becomes a law and how often Venus is visible to the naked eye, and which surveys to trust, but we could not tell you how to balance a checkbook or talk to a depressed friend or fall out of love with someone and in love with someone else.
While true happiness may have a different definition to each of us, science can give us a glimpse at the underlying biological factors behind happiness. From the food we eat to room temperature, there are thousands of factors that play a role in how our brains work and the moods that we are in. Understanding these factors can be helpful in achieving lasting happiness.