Making Happy a Habit with your Kids

Make-Happy-a-Habit-for-KidsAre you getting your family involved in the MAKE HAPPY A HABIT campaign?  Start now and enjoy facing the challenge together, supporting each other, and sharing the good feelings that are guaranteed.

If you’ve been hesitating to start your 30 days, let me remind you that as a parent, you are a role model.  Whenever you are with your kids, they are watching and often copying everything you do.

So… set an example, and start practicing every day to Make Happy A Habit. You’ll really enjoy it when you find yourself surrounded by people who are more positive, more optimistic and a lot more resilient.


Here are the five simple tasks to do every day and how to include your kids in the process:

SAY (OUT LOUD) THREE THINGS FOR WHICH YOU ARE GRATEFUL

Do this in the morning when everyone wakes up, over breakfast, or when you take the kids to school.  It puts all involved in a good mindset to face the day.

WRITE DOWN ONE GOOD THING THAT HAS HAPPENED IN THE LAST 24 HOURS

This is especially good to do before going to sleep. It helps to have them think positive thoughts as they say good night.

It is important to WRITE down the thoughts. Have the younger kids tell you about it so you can help them write simple words and even draw a picture. For the older ones, they can write just one sentence or and entire paragraph.

Make-Happy-a-Habit-CollageEXERCISE 20 MINUTES A DAY

You can best plan how this fits into your family’s day. Many kids will have a time on the playground or during PE at school. If at home, whoever is in charge should make exercise happen.  If it’s raining, dance or do cheers in the family room.

For you parents who are ‘too busy’ at work, you can divide it up into two 10-minute sessions. Walk up and down the stairs or jog around the parking lot at lunchtime. Be sure to tell the kids when you get home.

MEDITATE AT LEAST 5 MINUTES A DAY

Here is your ticket to relaxation and focus.  Turn off your electronics, and turn on some wordless music. Focus on your breathing or the music.  Or simply do a body scan.

For very young kids you can merely sit in silence. Many experts recommend one minute of silence per year of age (up to 8) for kids.  Just make time for quiet time.

(You’re welcome…)

PERFORM A RANDOM ACT OF KINDNESS

Simply be kind. Encourage the kids to help a neighbor, hold a door for someone, or even share their cookies. This kindness is especially satisfying because being considerate towards others inspires them to be kind to someone else.

See – not too hard!  Get your family involved, be a role model, and Make Happy a Habit!

Loretta

Photo credits: Celebelle© Can Stock Photo Inc. / Nelosa; 4774344sean; secheltgirlNCVO London

Make Happy a Habit-Join the 30 Day Challenge!

 Make Happy a Habit with Loretta Saff

Are You Ready to MAKE HAPPY A HABIT?  

Get ready…, Get set…, Go!  It’s almost March 20th, the United Nations-sanctioned International Day of Happiness. This is the day we make sure to not only do what makes us happy but also to spread happiness by encouraging all around us to do the same. But what if you just don’t feel happy? What if you call yourself more of a ‘glass half-empty’ kind of person?

Assuming that you really don’t enjoy being that way, I challenge you to take the next 30 days to MAKE HAPPY A HABIT! I’ll give you the steps so you become empowered to look at the world differently and feel the joy and contentment you deserve. The #makehappyahabit campaign begins March 20th. You’ll see daily support on Instagram, Facebook, TwitterPinterest and anywhere else you can help me  ‘share’ it.

Strong and Healthy

© Can Stock Photo Inc. / 4774344sean

There is real science behind the emotions of happiness and love. Dr. Barbara Frederickson, Psychologist and Neuroscience Professor at UNC, Chapel Hill said, The ways that we feel happiness and well-being are actually showing up in the cells of our immune system and supporting our health.”  What a great testimonial!  Why wouldn’t we want to Make Happy a Habit?

My challenge to you is based on the work of psychologist and happiness researcher, Shawn Achor. Surprising as it sounds, he says that it is possible to re-wire your brain to be happier.

Rewire Your Brain Make Happy a Habit

You don’t have to wear a smiley-face hat or tell funny jokes. Simply doing the following five activities daily can rewire your brain towards happiness. (I include my order to just give you some idea of fitting it into your day. You organize it however it is convenient for you.)

 1 – Think of three things you’re grateful for.

I like to do this – out loud – in the morning when I get up. I encourage those around me to join in.  It’s a good family tradition.

2 – Write about a positive experience from the past 24 hours.

I do this in the evening. I keep a notebook on my nightstand. This simple activity has the amazing power of changing your entire mindset. You will comb through the day, tossing aside the negative and focusing on the positive.  Guaranteed to make you smile.

 3 – Exercise (at least 20 min)

I am a morning person, so I make time before breakfast to get in my exercise. Whether it is a brisk walk, time at the gym, or climbing stairs, give yourself 20 minutes and increase your activity.  I’m including  four short videos of easy five-minute exercises on my website. Do all four in a day and you’ll have your 20 minutes!

 4 – Meditate (5-7 min)

I find that meditating mid-afternoon works for me.  No need to think mantras or posing cross-legged on the carpet. The simplest meditation can be sitting quietly listening to soothing music  (no words) – and focusing on either the music, your breathing, or a body scan from head toe. If you want some guidance, I like the free app HEADSPACE, which you can use with your earphones while sitting at your desk.  Meditation calms and centers, helping you focus and better handle whatever comes your way.

 5 – Perform one random act of kindness.

All day every day is a good time for a random act of kindness. Performing a selfless act that helps, compliments, or encourages someone has an amazing effect on all involved.  You’ll enjoy every minute.  To help get you started, I’ll post of list of suggestions on my website,

YOU CAN DO THIS!  In fact, YOU CAN GET YOUR KIDS TO DO THIS!!! Encourage everyone around you to get involved.

Parenting_Make-Happy-a-Habit

© Can Stock Photo Inc. / dolgachov

I will post the MAKE HAPPY A HABIT! Challenge on social media starting March 20th, and it will continue for 30 days.  Don’t worry if you come upon it in the middle; just get on board and get started. You keep count of your 30 days.

Please leave a note on one of the platforms below or comment on this blog post to let me know how you are doing. Post some pictures of what you are grateful for and what makes you happy. I want to know how your random acts of kindness and writing about your positive experiences made you feel. Tell me about your time in meditation. And be sure to tell me when you start feeling like HAPPY is becoming a habit.

Good luck! And get your camera ready – you’ll be finding yourself smiling a lot more.

Loretta

#makehappyahabit


Share Your Progress by:

  1. Instagram – FOLLOW @MAKEHAPPYAHABIT for inspiration and share your own pictures of what makes you happy
  2. Facebook – LIKE /MAKEHAPPYAHABIT and post an update about how the challenge is changing your outlook
  3. Twitter – FOLLOW @ACCOMPLISHCOACH and tweet your own progress
  4. Pinterest – FOLLOW /ACCOMPLISHCOACH and start a Happiness board

Don’t forget to include #makehappyahabit in your posts

Photo Credits: brain-circuit-2939906 / Celebelle

Be “Positively” Fabulous this Holiday Season!

Happy Holidays

The Holidays are Coming! Ho-Ho-Ho!

While to some this may mean hugs and giggles, to others it can shout “Stress Alert! Stress Alert!”  Whatever the message coming your way, a little mental preparation will help you be ready to enjoy and greet it all with enthusiasm.

Whether your season is filled with anxiety or full of laughter is really up to you!  Here are three simple and helpful hints to make the season “Positively” fabulous! and one of happy memories with family or friends.

Remember that YOU are in charge of your thoughtsIn Charge of Your Thoughts

Yep, that’s you, with a choice.  Listen to yourself and analyze your thoughts.  If you’ve just come back from a trip, what is the first thing you talk about – The bad weather or the wonderful food? The annoying airports or the beautiful scenery?  Just the order in which you mention things tells you something about yourself.  Try to reorganize what you talk about. Spend more time on the good times you had; talk about something that made you laugh. In fact, try not mentioning the ‘annoying’ things at all. Not only will you feel better, you might even forget about them!  

SURROUND YOURSELF WITH POSITIVE PEOPLE

Surround Yourself with Positive People

Now, if you find yourself stuck out on the porch with Aunt Sally who is telling you how her arthritis stops her from having fun, try getting her to tell you something positive. Ask her about her dog. Explore what books she likes to read. Get her to talk about wonderful holidays she remembers over the years. If Aunt Sally is too negative, go get her a mimosa, drop it off, and excuse yourself to the bathroom!

BE NICE TO YOURSELF

Be Nice to Yourself

Do the things you like to do. Enjoy a massage? Want time to read? Love playing with the kids?  Make time to do it. Make a holiday schedule that includes things that YOU like to do. When you are happy and relaxed, it will make you much more fun to be around and tolerant of others.

I’ve stopped at three so you can get started.  It’s your choice – stress? or giggles?

(Hint: We say, “Tis the Season to be Jolly!” for a reason. Make it happen.)

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!

~ Loretta

Photo credits: © Can Stock Photo Inc. / nruboc© Can Stock Photo Inc. / nastia1983© Can Stock Photo Inc. / GeleolVisit Finger Lakes (cropped)