If you have children, you don’t have to look very far for a very quick lesson in how to be happy. My son is almost always in a good mood (expect for the 30 minutes before school everyday). He smiles and plays and laughs like most good natured seven year olds. When he does get upset or sad those moments tend to go away as quickly as they came on – because that’s how kids are. Life has not yet thrown its “serious” side at them and they don’t yet know the realities of the daily world. Good for them! And, it can be good for you too. You can learn a lot from their daily joy.
Three Lessons On Happiness That You Can Learn From Children:
Sometimes being happy is pretty easy – if you let it be. Just remind yourself that the world has many simple pleasures and that it’s ok every once in a while to view the world like a kid. Here are three easy, child approved and tested, ways to turn that frown upside down!
FIRST – LET GO OF THE PAST
When my son is playing he is not thinking about the homework from yesterday or the argument over who got the biggest piece of pizza at the last play date. As adults we constantly worry about past events that have no positive impact on today. We live with anger or regret or frustration about things that have happened in our lives. Negative moments will always be there for all of us, and they are a part of our lives, but not all of them need to be re-lived over and over. Kids don’t carry their negative emotions with them for long. They get mad or cry over an event and then “boom” – they are off and running again like it never happened! Try letting go of just the trivial moments from the last week and see how much weight is lifted off of your shoulders.
SECOND – LIVE IN THE MOMENT, ENJOY THE PRESENT
Letting go of the past lets you focus on today. To a child, a sunny day is a sunny day. Nothing more, nothing less. They just enjoy it and don’t think about it. Their positive feelings come and go with the moment. That sunshine is not tainted by negative thoughts about bad news, or concerns about work, or worries about the bills. And they are certainly are not worried about emails, phone calls, and updating their status on social media! Put down the smart phone, turn off the computer, get off the couch, and just be a kid – either by yourself or with your kids. Laugh and smile and embrace a happy hour in your day. Don’t worry, the Facebook world can live without your latest funny pic for at least an hour!
THIRD – EMBRACE THE FUTURE
Kids are always using their imagination, whether they are playing a game or drawing a picture. They love to day dream and pretend and anything seems possible. Most adults have forgotten about using their imagination. For children the sky is the limit and they have their whole lives ahead of them. Well, why can’t you feel the same way? Just because you are older who says that you can’t still dream – and dream big! It is never too late to make something happen. If you have been waiting to do a project or take a trip or try a new hobby then go for it! The last thing any of us wants are regrets. They would just fodder for holding on to the past… wouldn’t they? (see tip number 1) We all need hope and goals. Day dreaming and imagining the possibilities can do wonders for your mood.
So the next time you are having a bad day it may not take a lot of work to be happy… just follow in the footsteps of your child!