It’s easy to get bogged down by the daily stresses of life, but what if we focused on creating a happier environment for our families? Making your home a happier place to live can have a profound impact on everyone’s well-being, from reducing anxiety to boosting overall happiness.
“It’s the scientific study of what makes life worth living,” explains Chris Peterson, a psychologist at the University of Michigan. “Psychologists understand that life is more than just not having problems. You want to be happy and fulfilled, and you want to contribute to society.”
Looking for some quick starts that any parent can handle? Tal Ben-Shahar offers a lot in Happier: Learn the Secrets to Daily Joy and Lasting Fulfillment. He based the book on a course he had previously taught. He cautions, as do all “positive psychology” experts, that every approach must be tailored to the individual – and that “becoming happier is a life-long pursuit.” Here are his top six suggestions.
- Allow yourself to be human. Accepting that emotions like fear, sadness, and anxiety are normal is the first step toward conquering them.
- “Happiness exists at the crossroads of pleasure and meaning.” Do you engage in activities that are meaningful to you and that you enjoy? That is the intention. If you can’t, plan “happiness boosters,” or small fun moments throughout the week.
- Happiness is a “state of mind.” It’s the proverbial glass half-full or half-empty situation. Which are you concentrating on?
- Keep it simple and scaled down. Parents, in particular, feel compelled to cram activities into already overflowing calendars. However, “quantity influences quality.”
- “Keep in mind the mind-body connection.” Yes, this includes regular exercise, healthy eating, and adequate rest, all of which have a significant impact on happiness.
- Be vocal about your gratitude. It’s easy to take the good things in life for granted, but it’s worth training yourself to savor everything from the people in your life to the food you eat to the beauty of a sunset.
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