Can Happiness Be Learned?
Here at Kidlutions, our answer is a resounding YES!
We've known that in our bones for a long, long time, but don't believe it just because we think it's true. Know it's true because it is fleshed out in research. Our thoughts are strongly connected to our feeling states, so it goes to follow that if we can change our thoughts, we can change how we feel.
5 Things to Know about "Finding Happiness":
1. It's Magical
It's magical, really, when you think about it. Yet, I see it happen before my very eyes in my office. When children and adolescents (or adults) can learn a few ways to tweak their thinking, prune out negative thoughts and replace those thoughts with a much more balanced perspective, sunnier days are in store. We can teach these skills to very young children, to adolescents and to adults. It's never too late to learn to change our thinking.
Recently, Dr. Christine Carter, author or The Sweet Spot: How to Find Your Groove at Home and Work, shared that happiness is really a skill-set, and one that can be learned, much like a new language. That's good news for our kids and good news for all of us.
2. Temperament Matters
We are all born with different temperaments, and Dr. Carter points out that just as some people pick up a new language quicker, some people can pick up the happiness factor more easily. Everyone can learn it, though, it just takes more time for some than for others.
3. Keep at It
Keep at it and happiness can be yours (or your child's). It takes weeks (about 21 days) to learn a new habit, but once learned, it continues to be refined and reinforced over time. The more you do it, the better you get at it. Practice positive thinking, looking for clues that things are looking up and focus on the upside of things and it will soon become second nature!
4. It's Not Always a Piece of Cake
Life isn't always easy and we don't always feel up, up, up! However, when we do follow the basic guidelines set forth in step 3 (above), upsetting times become much easier to handle and we can return to baseline much quicker. Not bad, is it?
5. We Can Teach it to Our Kids
Once we master this ourselves, we can teach it to our kids. It might not be as easy as it sounds, especially if we struggle with negative thoughts, anxiety, depression and life issues that stand in our own way of happiness. Life happens...then we have to get fast at work "thinking" ourselves to a better place. I can vouch for that. It works not only in my own life, but in the lives of countless people with whom I've worked in therapy. Here's our collection of articles that help you calm your entire family down, so you can get back to happiness.
Need More Help?
If you need a little assistance in getting started to help your kids on the path to positive thinking, we've created therapeutic-strength resources that have been used successfully across the globe!