I am always saying happiness is a choice but I also think we can learn happiness! If you are a parent..and even if you are not; there is a universal source of happiness; children! Kids teach happiness by their very existence. They show the rest of us how to be naturally happy and we would do well to learn from them.
Here are 5 Ways Kids Teach Happiness
Do you really need to be a millionaire to be happy? NO, NO, NO!!! Watch a child watching an insect. See the look of absolute concentration on their face and the delight when the insect flies, moves, does something, however small. Recapture that sense of wonderment for yourself by taking your gaze away from the big, the momentous, look more closely at the world around you. Take the time to really look at a flower and enjoy its beauty and allow the peace of nature to wash over you.
OK, so maybe you are not much of a singer, who cares? I bet you vacuum with the radio on, sing in the shower when you assume nobody is listening, and if you don’t why not? Have you ever watched a happy child banging a drum, humming as they play, singing the “Wheels on the bus” endlessly, over and over again? Singing is a great happiness boost. Singing teachers often feel as if they teach happiness as they see the smiles on their students’ faces! When you sing you breathe deeply, a great way to relieve stress. When we hear music it often makes us smile…remember the song “Happy”, now you tell me you don’t sing along when you hear that. So, if you want to bring in that happy feeling- SING!!
We have become an obsessively tidy culture, always cleaning, always worrying about germs! Kids teach happiness through mud, water, messing about! Instead of getting so worried about a bit of dirt, enjoy the freedom of fooling around…go have a water fight, mess about by a river, roll down a grass hill. Put on your rain boots and take the kids to the park and just remember- it all comes out in the wash!
Why does curiosity teach happiness? The world is an awesome place but some people choose to live in a very tiny part of it. If your world is bordered by four walls, your own views and beliefs in a narrow order you are missing out. Children’s natural curiosity leads them to explore. Exploration leads to discovery and keeps the brain active.
Childhood is the world of miracle and wonder… as if creation rose, bathed in the light, out of the darkness, utterly new and fresh and astonishing. The end of childhood is when things cease to astonish us.
Children are natural present moment awareness practitioners. They only start worrying about tomorrow under instruction by adults! They only stress over past mistakes when reminded of them by adults. We certainly could do with following their example.
We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today.
The prime purpose of being four is to enjoy being four — of secondary importance is to prepare for being five.
~Jim Trelease, The Read-Aloud Handbook, 1985
If you want to know how happy kids make happy parents, read my main blog post, Happy Kids, Happy Parents, Happy Family