The Pursuit of Happiness..........
Happiness...........what does it really mean? Can you think of a time when you were truly happy? Many of us spend our lives thinking that we would be happier if we were richer, thinner, younger etc. We spend our lives comparing ourselves to others and trying to live up to unobtainable goals. We fill our social media posts with perfect pictures of our lives in an attempt to show other people how "happy" we are. Does any of that make us happy? No - probably just the opposite.
So I ask you think about a time when you felt truly "happy" - for me my happiest days were the births of my children, my wedding day, family dinners, country walks, sunny days on the beach or laughing on nights out with my friends. What have those things all got in common? Well - its easy - on all of those occasions I was living purely in the moment. I wasn't worrying about anything that had happened in the past, or anything that may happen in the future, I was simply enjoying the moment itself without comparing to anything or anyone else's moments.
Most of us worry about things that have already happened that we cannot change, or things that may happen that we probably have no control over. If we stop thinking about the past and what may happen in the future and concentrate on what is happening to us RIGHT NOW we would all feel so much happier!
So - how can you and your children and teens learn to be present and live in the moment? Here is a little trick you can try:
Look around you and find the following:
5 things you can see.
4 things you can touch
3 things you can hear
2 things you can smell
1 thing you can taste
This is also a great trick to teach children and teens if they start to feel worried or anxious and help distract from a panic attack too.
You could also try collecting a memory diary - so instead of posting your pics on Facebook to show other people how happy you are, print them out and stick them in a scrapbook along with other mementos of your happiest times. Then when you or your kids are having a down day you can relive those happy moments and re-release those happy chemicals in your brain!
That's it for me for now - I am off to look at my wedding album!