EXPERT ADVICE:

6 Tips Toward a Happier New Year

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(This is Part 1 of a 2-part series on Finding Happiness in the New Year)

All our articles are geared toward the social-emotional health of our little ones with the goal of raising great people. But what about us?  As we give and give and give to our broods, it’s easy for our own happiness to play second fiddle. In our busy lives, how can we nurture our own happiness and thereby, of course, pass it along to our children?  The first installment of our 2-part series on Finding Happiness offers six quick tips to help energize our day-to-day routines with more happiness and peace. Here’s to a very happy, healthy and meaningful New Year for you and yours — Laurel Moglen, Managing Web Editor, TMC

An essay by Dr. Aymee Coget

What is happiness?

This question is not as “woo-woo” as it seems! Most people have no idea there are three kinds of happiness. They are:

Hedonic Happiness: This is the positive emotion that happens in our brain when something good happens, like flowers from a secret admirer, or a new pair of shoes! This type of happiness is fleeting. Moments after the consumption of that piece of chocolate, we’re in a traffic jam or a fight with a friend, and that happiness we were feeling is gone.  This kind of happiness is out of our control. It occurs because of a person, place, thing, or circumstance. People can get trapped in the pursuit of hedonic happiness, because it feels great. Unfortunately, it doesn’t last long.

Eudaemonic Happiness: This is deep inner contentment, a sense of fulfillment in our heart center developed over time, through coming to understand our meaning and purpose in life, being true to our authentic selves, and using our strengths. When those four things are in place, we will feel this eudaemonic happiness. Unlike hedonic happiness, it is sustainable.

Chaironic Happiness: This is a spiritual happiness. This is the type of happiness that the Dalai Lama has. It’s the type of happiness one can have when on their death bed, the type of happiness we get when we have a connection to something greater than ourselves, albeit god, or the universe, or what have you. Like eudaemonic happiness, chaironic happiness can be developed and sustained — if you know how to do it.

I want to encourage you to take your happiness and peace into your own hands this new year.

If you find it challenging to create a happiness practice simply by your own will, consider doing it for your loved ones.  A recent longitudinal study out of Harvard University says your happiness influences up to three degrees of separation in your social network. find the best hybrid bikes under 500 dollars, we also find many interesting information about those bike

Where are your children going to learn about happiness anyway?

That’s right! From you!

The following six tips will help you get started on your way to creating a more peaceful and happier 2012!

Driving – Gratitude Practice

A game to play in the car is a gratitude practice. Focus on “I am grateful for ____ because it adds ____ to my life.” Get the whole family involved.  The trick is to never repeat.

Cooking – Singing

Hum or sing any song that makes you feel good.  Now is a time for you to get in the flow of food preparation. How about adding a tune to boost your mood while doing it? If you’re uncomfortable singing, playing music can also lift your spirits.

Shopping – Acts of Kindness

Focus your attention on others while shopping or running any kind of errand.  I know you want and need to keep your attention on your little ones, yet you can teach them to give acts of kindness while shopping too — ie: pick up litter and throw it away, hold the door open for someone, help mom carry something, or sing to their sibling to soothe them. There’s also a website, http://www.randomactsofkindness.org/, that gives lots of examples of kind gestures.

Resting – Connecting with the Higher Purpose

Rejuvenation is key to a lot of mothers — even it is sitting down for 5 minutes without interruption. When you have this time, connect with the higher purpose of your motherhood of being able to raise amazing children and how special an opportunity it is to have them in your life.

Talking – Positive Language Counts

It is important to omit words like “no, not, don’t, can’t, should, but and try.” A note about the word try: trying is an admittance of failure. People that “try” rarely ever “do.” Affirm the positive instead of negate the negative.  So focus on what you DO want.  For example, “Stay on the grass,” instead of “Don’t go on the sidewalk.”  Regarding the word “but”:  people naturally cringe at the sound of it. They know a negative is coming. Words like, “yet”, or “therefore” are preferable, or eliminate its use altogether. For example, “I know you want another dessert. Tomorrow night, you get another!”

Sleeping – Breathing

Sleep comes finally at the end of a busy day.  This is a time for you to slip into peaceful sleep. So take a moment to clear your mind of the happenings of the day and simply focus on expanding your inhale and exhale until you gently fall into restful sleep.

Aymee Coget, Ph.D. has over 15 years of experience in positive psychology. She works with people teaching them how to be happy and how to handle life’s toughest challenges through her program, The Happiness Makeover

 

The Mother Company aims to support parents and their children, providing thought-provoking web content and products based in social and emotional learning for children ages 3-6. Check out episodes of our Emmy Award winning “Ruby’s Studio,” along with our beautiful children’s books, best hybrid bikes under 500music and more.

 

 

This article was originally published December 28, 2011

Posted in: Expert Advice, Holidays, Learn

Comments (1)

  1. Kerry Pooler-Payton

    Dear Aymee,

    Thank you for sharing such a wonderful insight into our we can look after ourselves, but also teach the children how to better improve themselves. Without buying things to make them happy which is fleeting but helping themselves and others feel great by doing an unselfish deed.

    Keep up the good work
    Many Thanks
    Kerry