I caught a question on a chat show this morning where they were asking “Should we teach children happiness?”. It really stopped me in my tracks! I feel like I have a right to comment on this having a) been a child and b) had and raised 3 (amazing) children.
We all repeatedly hear or say “there’s no manual” for bringing up children, but this got me thinking, if there was, what would the chapter on “How To Teach Children To Be Happy” actually say? and who would write it?
I saw this amazing clip of a child laughing today that I absolutely love, check this out! I challenge you to watch this little chap without laughing out loud, and yet when you look at what is making him laugh, it is the simple act of tearing a piece of paper. He is literally hysterical (and so is the parent, and pretty much anyone who watches it!) and yet if we put this technique in “the manual”, it wouldn’t work for every child every time. We are all so unique and from day one we start to build our own “map” of the world”. Some things we learn cognitively and some things we learn instinctively. I think it was the Dalai Lama who said “Happiness is not something that is ready made – it comes from your own actions”, so if tearing a piece of paper works for you – then that’s what you should do! What this amazing clip shows is that we don’t need technology, or expensive toys to be happy, we just need a stimulus that we can access anytime, to learn to feel good for no reason whatsoever!
It might sound harsh but the reality is we are all responsible for our own happiness, if you are not happy (notwithstanding tragic life circumstances and illness) in your everyday life, then it’s probably your fault. To quote Pharrell Williams “Clap along if you know what happiness is to you”. You must regularly do something not food or drink related that makes you feel happy; maybe it’s to hug a tree, listen to a piece of music or dance like no ones looking, whatever it is you really should do it more often. When Abraham Lincoln said “Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be” he was absolutely right. Morris Goodman “Miracle Man” summed it up when he said “Man becomes what he thinks about”.
Does that mean being happy is easy? not necessarily if you are used to feeling bad, but rest assured, it is a natural feeling and when you find your stimulus, and use it often, then your brain literally changes. Your internal wiring adapts through a process called neuroplasticity and you literally reprogramme how you think and feel. You feel happier.
When I am working with clients (whether for weight loss or anxiety or depression) I of course want them to leave the session feeling great having made changes; but I also to teach them how to make themselves feel better. To show them simple techniques that can automatically make them feel good. Therapy is at it’s best when the client goes away with the ability to feel good (without relying on anyone else to do it for them) – for no reason whatsoever. So the thought for the day is, think about what you have to do to make you feel happy “like a room without a roof” and then when you find out – just do it.
If you would like to learn some practical techniques about how to change the way you think and feel about yourself, including how you eat, and how to use your mind to change your body, then come along to CHAMPNEYS where I am starting my brand new 2 night and 4 night Mind Body Weight Loss retreats, and I will personally guide you through the process of using your mind to change your body. Alternatively you can read Think More Eat Less and follow the process using the techniques in the book and the FREE audio hypnotic downloads