Happiness -Teachable Skill or Passive State of Mind?

I've asked high school students for years what they hope for in the future and I've heard more times than I can remember the same answer -

"I just want to be happy."

It's what most people want. When asked how to be happy, or what happiness was all about, I would get answers like, make it to the NFL, get rich, be famous, have a family, change someone's life, have all the things that I want, reach my goals.  "Happy" was what they hoped they would eventually be if certain things happened. Do these things bring about happiness?  Maybe for some, temporarily,  yet at all ages, many people struggle to consistently live feeling happy, content, positive or joyful. Why is that?
     
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Well, shoot, it doesn't seem hard to notice that life, more than ever, is HARD.  The world is out of control and uncertain in so many ways. People can be mean, rude, negative and harsh in person and especially on social media.  The endless opinions, divisions, problems and confusions can make the atmosphere tense and ominous. Work, stress, money, relationships, etc...life is hard and there is much to be sad about; but it's also beautiful, wonderful, miraculous and lovely, right? 

People are kind, loving, surprising and amazing. Babies and puppies, smiles from strangers, answered prayers, an unexpected card in the mail, a genuine compliment, hugs, sunshine, the leaves changing...I could go on!  But the negative is always easier to notice and much more readily available. We are wired to notice the negative, the danger, the threat. But maybe happiness is easier than we think.
If we look at happiness as a SKILL that we can learn (and teach) and not a state that we are in, how would we be different?

Can we change it? Can we choose to learn the skills to happiness?

The answer is yes! But how?

•Teach your teen/tween who is responsible for their happiness. It's not who they probably think!
•Remind yourself that YOU are only responsible for your happiness. It is not your job to make your child happy.
•Seek meaning and activities outside of yourself together.
•Do things that release the happy neurotransmitters in your body!

Try a lesson on Happiness Together

To learn more about these ideas, I created a free interactive lesson on Happiness for parents to take with their teen/tween.  I'm not encouraging the Pollyanna, rose colored glasses, nothing is wrong in the world kind of happy, but I am presenting lifestyle choices and tips to be happy and positive that will help you feel better, and be a great influence on those around you. There is much joy, positivity and happiness to be found and practiced if we make a just a few changes.

Working alongside your teen, you will...

• Increase communication and meaningful dialogue
•Learn about happiness from a research and science perspective
•Spark the happiness neurotransmitters in your body
•Help you learn more about each other
•Get tips on how to be happy
     
Life is difficult and all people face different circumstances and challenges, but I think happiness is a minute by minute, day by day choice and skill that requires learning new things, then training yourself to take action to bring it about.  If you or your teen are struggling right now, this lesson will be an experience to lift your spirits and bring you together. Feeling great? This backed by science and research lesson will give you some new tips to be happy and positive so you can help others on their journey. That's something that brings me great happiness and joy...serving, helping and adding value to others along the journey.

Click the image below and try out my FREE HAPPINESS LESSON and spend some quality time intentionally connecting with your teen. 

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