• Amba Brown

6 skills of happiness help teens live a more positive life

Updated: May 20, 2019


How would you describe happiness? You may have trouble putting it into words, but you know you want it for yourself and your loved ones. One thing that's harder than describing it for many people is knowing how to achieve it.


Researchers studying social emotional well-being define happiness as a balance: the combination of how frequent and robust your positive emotional experiences are, how gracefully you recover from difficult experiences, and how meaningful and worthwhile you feel your life is overall.

"Happiness is the ability to consistently recognize that life is good, even if it's difficult," says Dr. Emiliana Simon-Thomas, Ph.D., science director of the Greater Good Science Center at the University of California Berkeley. "It's being able to identify and enjoy the positive times but also have resiliency to bounce back from the hard times."

This is particularly important for youth. Research shows two out of three American teens are stressed and many don't know how to cope. When school is in session, teens are the most stressed group in the country. The inability to reduce and cope with stress and anxiety can negatively impact different facets of a teen's life including their health, friendships, relationships with parents and academic performance.

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