Module 1: Happiness and Gratitude in Challenging Times
Are you a person who sees a glass half full? How are you helping your children to become optimistic, positive people?
First a few thoughts …. Optimism is not actually about the glass being half full as is commonly believed. Optimism refers to your belief system about how successful you think your actions are, and how effectively you can impact the world. It involves learning to think positively about the future, even when things go wrong. It’s about looking objectively at a situation and making a conscious decision to focus on the good.
This first module will encourage your children to illustrate their understanding of optimism, by reflecting on case studies and personal examples. It is important to build their resilience as optimistic people are happier and more engaged, succeed more often, and are better problem solvers. Optimists do better academically and socially and have better health than pessimists, so it makes sense to promote the skills of optimistic thinking to children. Optimists look at the flip side of negative events for some good, some hope and some reason to be positive. Recent research indicates that children learn optimism or pessimism from their experiences of success and through their interactions with parents, teachers and other significant adults.
21 Day Happiness Habit Family Challenge
Happiness is a choice. 40% of our happiness comes from intentional daily habits. Only 10% of our happiness is to our external circumstances.
Pick one of the following five researched habits and try it out for 21 days in a row to create a positive habit. Doing so actually rewires — or trains — your brain to be more positive
- Three Gratitudes: Pause to take note of three new things each day that you are grateful for. Doing so will help your brain start to retrain its pattern of scanning the world, looking not just for the negative inputs but for the positive ones.
- Journaling: Similar to the gratitude practice, but in this case, detail — in writing — one positive experience each day. This will help you find meaning in the activities of the day, rather than just noticing the task itself.
- Fun Fifteen: Exercising for 15 minutes a day not only brings physical benefits, but it also teaches your brain to believe your behavior matters, which then carries (positively) into other activities throughout the day.
- Meditation: Take just two minutes per day to simply breathe and focus on your breath going in and out. Doing so will train your mind to focus, reduce stress, and help you be more present in this moment.
- Conscious Acts of Kindness: This can be something simple. Shawn suggests writing one positive email to praise or thank someone each day. Not only does it benefit the recipient, but it also increases your feeling of social support.
- Four Ways to Silence Your Inner Critic and Boost Your Self-Confidence (English)
- Four Ways to Silence Your Inner Critic and Boost Your Self-Confidence (Spanish)
- How Gratitude Can Help You Through Hard Times (English)
- How Gratitude Can Help You Through Hard Times (Spanish)
- How Meditation Increases Happiness (English)
- How Meditation Increases Happiness (Spanish)
- How to Raise Optimistic Kids in Pessimistic Times (English)
- How to Raise Optimistic Kids in Pessimistic Times (Spanish)
- A Song of Gratitude (captions available in Spanish)