Going back to school stinks. It usually means waking up early, possibly wearing uniforms, and certainly sitting through classes when you’d rather be playing outside. So how do you intelligently help your children beat these back to school blues? It’s a really good question especially if you are feeling a little hum-drum yourself … so to help both of you, I am listing some key ways to up-level your happiness set point.
Happiness is caused
Let’s not forget that happier people have just learned how to cause their happiness. They weren’t born with happiness spoons in their mouths – it’s just that they’ve figured out what to do and do it consistently to feel (and become) happier. Some of the key pieces that jump-start feelings of well-being include:
* Moving the Body – Getting regular (every other day) physical exercise is one of the most essential ways that young children release pent up energy, become tired (thus sleeping better) and also develop a sense of resilience in the world. As bodies feel physically stronger children become emotionally stronger too. It doesn’t matter if it’s kicking a soccer ball, jumping on a trampoline in the backyard or taking a nature walk - what does matter is that they are moving their bodies, and releasing endorphins thus triggering a positive mood.
* Getting Connected – Children who have at least one good friend are better positioned to overcome obstacles, and succeed in this world. They won’t feel like they are constantly alone, and misunderstood. In other words, the more children feel positively connected to others whether they are siblings, friends at school, or other community members they get the support they need and their happiness quotient rises.
* Doing What You Love – Sometimes children are so busy with test-prep classes, learning a new language, taking Yoga to relax, soccer to build confidence, and doing homework that they miss the simple things they love to do. I recommend that kids get days where they can do whatever they love just for the joy of it. It may be playing a mine-craft video game, immersing into a Harry Potter-type book, or practicing on their new drum set. The point is they get to play and experience the joy of self-expression because that produces a whole lotta happiness.
Setting up your schedule to produce happiness every day is skillful. Getting better and better about guiding your children to gain the habits of happiness is consciously raising happier kids. It is what every child longs for – the feeling of being seen, getting the opportunity to express their unique talents and being surrounded by people who lift them up. I guess that’s what we all really want but making the mindful decision to help our kids cause happiness is really a great endeavor and one that will only add to our happiness too.
By Maureen Dawn Healy
Maureen is a counselor, energy healer and popular author focused on helping highly sensitive children thrive. Her books include: Growing Happy Kids (2012), and The Energetic Keys to Indigo Kids (Sept. 2013). She is based in Los Angeles but works with adults and children globally. To learn more: www.growinghappykids.com or @mdhealy
(c) 2013 Maureen Healy