Creative Child

A Better Year May Be Ahead. But the Best Time to Pursue Happiness is Now.

by Deborah Song

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4. Accept other emotions. Nobody feels happy all the time. It’s perfectly normal, even healthy, to feel angry, scared or sad. Accepting other emotions means having realistic expectations. When we have realistic expectations about feelings, we won’t feel disappointed when we feel some of these more challenging emotions. We will understand them as part of life. One way to teach your child to accept other emotions is by not sweeping his emotions under the rug. Don’t be quick to wipe his tears before validating how he feels. In showing your child that you accept his sadness or his anger, your child will learn to accept those emotions as well. What matters more is how we respond to these emotions.

5. Practice mindfulness. It’s not enough to tell our kids to be patient or remain calm. We need to equip him with the skills to learn how to be patient. One of the simplest ways to practice calm in the face of anger is to focus on breathing. Breathing is one of many mindfulness techniques. As the air flows through the nose, watch the chest rise, and as you exhale the air through your mouth, watch the chest fall. Think about how that makes you feel. Allow your thoughts and pass without engaging them.

If your child talks back to you after you’ve asked him to do something very logical, take a deep breath and focus on your inhalations and exhalations. Then respond. There is a way to leave the situations with a poised demeanor, one your child will learn to emulate with repetition. 

6. Begin your day by envisioning the ideal day. Picture a whole day, from sunup to sundown. Where are you? Who are you with? What are you doing? Include all of your senses, including what you see, smell, hear and feel. Happiness is more likely to happen when you consciously pursue it. And envisioning your ideal day will help you make conscious choices that bring you closer to happiness. It might be tempting to start playing video games from the moment you wake up, but by being aware of your plans for the day, it will be easier to identify when you start straying from your goals.

7. End the day with gratitude. Focusing on gratitude is one of the best way to formulate a positive narrative for our life story. Furthermore, being thankful paves the way for optimism. Practicing gratitude, one could argue, can actually change the course of our lives. Silver linings can point us to wide open roads we might have missed if we buried our heads in the sand.

Deborah Song is the founder of travelbyword.com, a cruelty-free company committed to creating travel accessories that help travelers journey with ease, efficiency and elegance. She loves to travel the globe in pursuit of good food, wider life perspectives and great adventure stories with her kids. Deborah is a Canadian-born, mompreneur and Los Angeles-based writer, who obtained her master’s in journalism from New York University. You can find her travel stories at www.blog/travelbyword.com.

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