Happiness Set Point

happiness

There is an idea in psychology that we all have something called a happiness set point. A happiness set point is a term used to describe our general level of happiness, and it is unique to each of us. We all have different set points, and it is possible that some people, who seem to be happier than others, have naturally higher happiness set points.

Where does our happiness set point come from? 

Your happiness set point partly comes from your genes. It also comes from our upbringing and personality traits that we develop when we are young and stay with us throughout our lives. Continue reading Happiness Set Point

Get the Most Out of Fall

The SOVA Project is happy to feature this blog post written by one in our team of fantastic SOVA Ambassadors—these are young people who help create meaningful blog posts from adolescents’ perspectives.


Fall is a great time of year. I love being outside and not sweating profusely like I was this past summer. It is also a couple of months (depending on Mother Nature) of beautiful time where you do not have to worry about scraping ice off your windshield. Whether your favorite part of fall is the fancy pumpkin-themed drinks or the walks full of leaf crunching, we can agree it is a season worth celebrating.

Continue reading Get the Most Out of Fall

The Ukulele

The SOVA Project is happy to feature this blog post written by one in our team of fantastic SOVA Ambassadors—these are young people who help create meaningful blog posts from adolescents’ perspectives.

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In my previous blog, I mentioned how playing a musical instrument can put me in my happy place. I wrote about my first love, the violin when writing my post. While the violin is a beautiful instrument, it is difficult to learn, expensive to buy or rent an instrument, and one cannot sing along while playing. I became interested in the ukulele when my uncle gave me one as a gift, and ever since I started playing, I have found a lot of enjoyment in the ukulele. Continue reading The Ukulele

“Staycationing” and Taking a Break

While the term itself may be new, staycations are the opportunity to take a break from reality while still living in it. How one specifically defines what a staycation is to them can vary, but so long as it’s somewhere familiar, involves a significantly relaxed pace, and does not involve the everyday routine, it’s a staycation. Continue reading “Staycationing” and Taking a Break

The Bigger Picture

 

The SOVA Project is happy to feature this blog post written by one in our team of fantastic SOVA Ambassadors—these are young people who help create meaningful blog posts from adolescents’ perspectives.


 

I recently stumbled upon this quote, and I’ve been thinking about what it’s saying and wanted to share what I thought of it. B79B010F-B3B1-4425-B448-517D2C195285 I feel that many times during a struggle or a time when we are transforming from a hard situation, others can judge.

Continue reading The Bigger Picture

Learning A Balance Of Attitude

The SOVA Project is happy to feature this blog post written by one in our team of fantastic SOVA Ambassadors—these are young people who help create meaningful blog posts from adolescents’ perspectives.


This semester, I joined a new student organization at the University of Pittsburgh called Creative Minds Driven to Overcome (CMDO). I had the idea that service should be a fun, enjoyable experience for people to have and knew that a lot of students saw it as a chore instead. This philanthropy-based club has a carefree nature and emphasis on education and fun. Essentially, we hold events that the members are interested in and raise money to donate to a cause that the members choose.

But as much as I am excited and passionate about building this new project, I am just as nervous and pessimistic about it. …

Continue reading Learning A Balance Of Attitude

Starting The School Year On A Positive Note

The SOVA Project is happy to feature this blog post written by one in our team of fantastic SOVA Ambassadors—these are young people who help create meaningful blog posts from adolescents’ perspectives.


schoolyearThis is my final year at college and I have been a little bit stressed knowing I have a bit less than two weeks until the school year begins. I feel unprepared and anxious for the year ahead. To help calm my nerves, I have been giving myself reminders and hopefully it can be helpful to share them with you!

Continue reading Starting The School Year On A Positive Note

The Musical Cure

The SOVA Project is happy to feature this blog post written by one in our team of fantastic SOVA Ambassadors—these are young people who help create meaningful blog posts from adolescents’ perspectives.


classic-classical-music-close-up-697672The violin is a beautiful wooden instrument with a rich tone and a wide range of pitch. It can have different musical voices depending on the techniques used. It is the first-ever instrument that I learned (the annoyingly squeaky plastic recorder doesn’t count!). I started violin lessons through my elementary school when I was in third grade. To be honest, I only started lessons to get out of being in class! When I first started playing, I was not very good. In fact, I was quite awful! When my bow hit the strings it sounded scratchy and out of tune. But once I started taking additional lessons outside of school I could see myself starting to improve.

Soon, I started to really love practicing. I thought it was awesome how I could play my favorite Christmas and Hanukkah music, Irish fiddle music, and Hot Cross Buns. Day by day my tone and pitch improved. Before I knew it I was rising to the front of the school orchestra, auditioning for other groups, and playing solos at recitals. But with this came stress: I wanted to be the best and thus violin practicing become frustrating. Though I was fueled by the competition it also made my stomach hurt. I just wanted to sound absolutely perfect.

Continue reading The Musical Cure

Helping Your Child Back to School

The SOVA Project is happy to feature this blog post written by one in our team of fantastic SOVA Ambassadors—these are young people who help create meaningful blog posts for us to share.

Sometimes it can be hard for students to go back to school after the holidays, especially for students with anxiety like myself. The rapid transition from the relaxation with friends and family to the hustle and bustle of MANY assignments can be overwhelming. However, there are a few things that can help with the anxiousness of starting a new semester.

For example:

  1. Get a planner. Getting a planner is the first step to becoming organized in college. Writing out when your assignments are due gives you a picture of when stuff needs to be done. This gives you a strong idea of what is happening around you academically versus feeling as though you don’t know what is going on, which would produce more anxiousness.
  2. Make to do lists. It is so frustrating forgetting to do something that you really needed to do. Making to do lists could assist you in not forgetting those important things. Also, being able to cross items off your to do list after you completed them makes you feel accomplished and productive!
  3. Give yourself breaks. Academics are extremely important; however, if you do not take time for yourself then you will burn out. Giving yourself a break can be doing whatever relieves your stress and brings you joy including hanging with friends, exercising, or simply taking a nap. After giving yourself a break, you will feel less anxious, more relaxed, and will be ready to get back to the books.

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These three tips are what I use when I begin a new semester and I continue to do these things as the semester progresses. These three items help me stay on top of my academics and help ease my anxiousness.

What are some things that help your child go back to school after a break?

Mental Health America put out this simple checklist to help parents make sure they are ready when their child returns to school.

Having a Bad Mental Health Day

The SOVA Project is happy to feature this blog post written by one in our team of fantastic SOVA Ambassadors—these are young people who help create meaningful blog posts from adolescents’ perspectives.


Living with depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues can sometimes be taxing. I know I have come across this a lot—I feel down, anti-social, or just plain exhausted! While it’s true that we are starting to talk more about mental health conditions, lots of people still find it difficult to talk about what they are experiencing. It’s especially hard when you feel like you were doing so great the past few days and today you just feel like … ugh.

I often don’t know what to say on my ugh days when someone asks me, “How are you doing today?” or, “Do you want to hang out later?” Most of the time I end up just saying something like, “I feel a little tired today—must not have slept well,” or, “I think I’m just staying in tonight, I have a lot of work to do!” Usually, what I really want to say is:

My depression/anxiety symptoms are acting up, and I’m just having a bad mental-health day.

I just feel like people can relate to tiredness and stress a bit more than a real confession of mental-health difficulties. And I don’t want to feel like I’m being a downer or burdening people with my current symptoms.

However, some friends of mine have recently started being completely open about their bad mental health days!

Continue reading Having a Bad Mental Health Day