A Simple Way to Feel Happier

Juniper tree in my front yard

Have you ever had one of those days when nothing went right? Your sister, brother or friend acted upset or even a little mean. Your mom or dad didn’t have time to listen to you tell them something important. For a reason you couldn’t grasp, you felt sad or out of sorts.

We’ve all had days like that. You want to feel better, but you’re not sure how to lift yourself out of the sad, angry, or just plain blah mood you’re in.

Here is something you can try. If it’s not too cold, windy or wet outside, put on whatever you need to stay warm and comfortable and go outside. If you have any trees in your yard, stand near one of the trees. Take a deep breath. Then look up into the tree. In your mind, think about how you’re feeling.

Imagine that the tree is very wise. Ask what you can do to help yourself feel better. Doing that will give you a chance to focus on the wisdom that’s inside of you. Sometimes we have a hard time listening to the really cool ideas that we have because we’re too busy feeling sad, angry, or upset about something else. The tree will help you focus on solutions.

I did that today when I couldn’t think what to write about for this blog. In my front yard there is a tall, beautiful juniper tree. I was feeling a little worried that no ideas were coming to me. As I looked at the tree, I imagined asking it what I should write about.

Almost immediately, I started to feel better. I sensed happy laughter welled up from inside of me. I had forgotten how good it feels to go outside and enjoy the trees and other plants in my yard. That sense of happiness washed away the worry. I began to think about how we can change our mood by going outside. Just changing our surroundings can help our brain to recharge. Then we become aware of the really good ideas that have been inside of us all along.

Now when I think about that tall, beautiful juniper tree in my front yard, I smile. Looking at that juniper helped me figure out what I was going to write about for this column. If you have to think of an idea for a school project or a club activity or something else, go outside and enjoy the plants and trees, or even the weeds, in your yard. It will help you feel calmer so you can focus on the great ideas that are already in your mind just waiting for you to discover them.

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