You do not have to look very far to learn how to be happy. In fact, there are no expensive workshops or courses to take, or books that you need to read. You do not even need to sit in meditation to gain great insights. Well, if you are seeking for happiness, then notice who around you seems to be happy all day? That’s right – kids!
Laughter is a natural thing with kids. If you spend some time playing with them, it is easy to get infected with their happy smiles. While there are moments that kids get upset, you find that you can learn a thing or two from them about forgetting their anger just as quickly. It is also possible that you start to remember a time when you used to be a kid and how life seemed so easy and without worries.
If anything, here are 7 ways that you can learn from kids on how to happy:
- Living in the present
Kids have a wonderful way of living one moment at a time. Their feelings are often based on events as they happen. They are mostly joyful. At times, they may feel negative and this usually happens in a fight over toys or games. However, as soon as they get distracted with something new, they no longer hold on to their negative emotions. Instead, they are happy once again.As adults, we tend to remain angry or upset even way after the event. We are experts in accumulating anger in an internal storehouse. Our minds get stuck a lot in the past. We do not live in the present moment as it is now. It is hard to be happy when we have no present moment awareness.
- Single Focus While Doing Things
When a child is playing a tag, he is playing tag. He is not playing tag and thinking about the picture he will draw later and the block castle he will build tomorrow morning. He is single focused.
As adults, we get stressed because we pile on many things into a single moment. We overwhelm ourselves with our “to do” list. Unfortunately, in trying to multi-task, our mind gets detracted from being present in each task. We end up rushing through time. There is no space for slowing down, let alone breathe. At the very worst, with so many things to do, we end up not accomplishing much.
So, if you find it hard to cope, slow down a little. Be single focused in the things that needs to be done first. After you finish, then move on to the next down your list. You find life more of a breeze, when you can reduce the number of things you need to do at any one point in time.
- Use of Imagination
Kids are always using their imagination, whether they are playing a game or drawing a picture. They love pretend play and are intrigued by stories about magic, dreams and what seems humanly impossible. If you think about it, imagination is the seed of the feeling of joy. When you indulge in your dreams, endorphins are released, giving you a nice warm sensation.
It is funny that how as adults we have forgotten about using our imagination. School has trained us to be more left-brained and analytical. We also become more rigid in the way we do things and our expectations. Then, when events do not happen according to plan, we become very unhappy. We are less open to new possibilities, because we have lost our sense of imagination.
- The future is limitless
To many kids, everything in life is possible. The sky is the limit and they have their whole lives ahead of them. There is no reason for them to feel as if time is working against them.
Well, you can adopt the very same attitude and not be held hostage by time considerations. It is never too late. If there is something you have been waiting to do with your life, then go for it. The last you want would be a life of regret. Joy escapes you when you allow life to become stale.
- Always Joyful
Children are always happy because they find joy in little things. They get excited when they see a butterfly, jump over a puddle or get to go to McDonalds. They do not over analyze situations and do not assume the worst in people or situations. They keep things simple.
To remind yourself about being joyful, keep a gratitude journal. List down the many blessings that you currently enjoy in your life. Additionally, on a regular basis, do something small that makes you happy like reading one chapter of a book you like or taking a walk in the park.
- Inherent Goodness and Trust in Others
Children have an inherent goodness about them. They do not intend to hurt anyone and they do not naturally think that anyone would want to hurt them. With no such ill intent or worries, it is easy to be just happy all day!
Imagine what the world would be like if everyone could play and work nicely together. Adults should learn from kids to put aside their differences and care for each other. Love creates happiness.
- Absolute Faith In Getting Their Wishes Fulfilled
It is amazing how kids can have so much faith that their wishes will be granted. Ever get badgered by your kids until you “cave” in to give them what they want? Believe me; it is not easy to stay firm when you are up against their cheeky smiles.
Another example I can think of is about the wishes of my kids to see the world. They talk about their travel plans all the time. There was never a shred of doubt that their wishes will be granted one day.
Do we hold as much faith in our own dreams? Probably not. We are too encumbered by unnecessary worries. We limit ourselves by our beliefs. If things are not working in our favor, we may even choose to give up half way and ditch our dreams.
In conclusion, to be happy, reconnect with the inner child in you. Be around kids if it helps. If you do not have any, check out your local playground. Better yet, volunteer some time at a Children’s Orphanage. Bring out the imaginative, joyful, and trusting qualities in you. By becoming more child-like, you are well on your way to becoming less of a stress bag.