Students discuss staying happy around midterms

Emilie Bowman, Reporter

Despite midterms quickly approaching, students around campus are finding ways to make themselves and those around them happy.

Students are juggling intense classes, work and athletics while also trying to find some much-needed alone time and time to spend with friends.

While psychology does not characterize happiness as a constant state of being, people have different ways of not only making themselves happy but spreading the happiness to others as well.

Criminal justice sophomore Carisa Belcher uses music as a source of happiness when times get rough.

“I like to listen to music that relates to the situation I’m going through, to know that people are going through the same thing,” said Belcher.

Listening to music releases the chemical dopamine, which causes people to be overall happier.

Along with increasing a person’s happiness, music can also reduce pain, relieve stress, strengthen memory and repair the brain after injury.

Freshman biology major Mareanna White said she believes that sleep is the quickest way to happiness.

“I go to sleep,” White said. “That way I don’t have to think about what’s making me upset.”

An article by Science Daily explains that sleep regularity is important for the happiness and well-being of college students because it promotes higher morning and evening happiness, healthiness and calmness during the week.

Tiana Luna, a freshman elementary education major, talked about the importance of friends when in need of happiness.

“I’m a very extroverted person so people give me my happiness,” Luna said. “Just talking about the situation that put me in a bad mood or stressed, talking about it really helps. Just having a good community really helps.”

Going outdoors helps improve happiness as well.

A study published in the International Journal of Environmental Health Research shows that spending just 20 minutes outside can improve a person’s well-being and lower stress as well as blood pressure and heart rate.

Junior early childhood education major Alicia Buerster said she believes going outdoors helps with her happiness.

“Some things I like to do when in a bad mood are talk to some friends because it always makes me feel better, talk to my mom and dad, and then, especially since it’s getting nicer outside, I like to go outside and go for a walk to take my mind off of it,” Buerster said.

Not only does fresh air have a positive effect on people but exercise does as well.

When people exercise, the brain releases a protein called brain-derived neurotrophic factor as well as endorphins, both of which release stress and help repair memory neurons.

Sophomore elementary education major Olivia Craig is an avid believer that exercise is the best way to increase your happiness.

“I like to go to the gym, specifically I like to go to yoga; they offer classes on campus that are free, so I like to go to those,” Craig said. “I feel like just going outside and going on a nice walk boosts my happiness too.”

Yoga can increase a person’s focus and concentration while also teaching better emotion and impulse control.

Yoga also makes you more in tune with your senses, heightens your self-awareness, and strengthens your decision-making skills.

According to a study done by psychologist Michael Steger at the University of Louisville making other people happy can increase your happiness levels as well.

Besides doing yoga, Craig makes sure to focus on another people’s happiness as well.

“I always make sure to make an effort to make people’s day a little bit better by picking up something that they dropped or holding the door for them or even just smiling at them,” Craig said. “I just like to make sure people are reassured that there’s good people in the world.”

Emilie Bowman can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]