Science of Happiness

by Tracee Sioux

I love the Science of Happiness. You’ve heard of that neuroscientist, Richard J. Davidson, who studies what our brains do when they are happy and tells us how we can get more of it?

I was thinking. I’m 34 years old and I’m thrilled to apply new ways to be happy – meditating, yoga, hot baths, time to myself, time with my family and friends, acts of service, inspiring art on the wall, and a passion for writing.

But, what if my daughter (and son) doesn’t have to wander around for 30 years not knowing how to be happy?

What if I taught her the tried and true scientific methods to be happy straight from the go just like I taught her how to read and add. Surely, how to be happy is as valuable and fundamental a life-skill as that?

There was an article in O Magazine about 5 things we can do for ourselves to learn to be happy. I’ve taken the liberty of adapting the list for my daughter. Feel free to adapt it for your own family.

1. Do what you love. I can help her learn what her natural talents are and give her an opportunity to explore and develop those skills.

2. Learn new things. Right now she’s taking Taekwondo and loving it.

3. Teach her the significance of NOW and how to avoid “if only” thinking. If I can teach her that happiness is a choice and now is the only time she can grasp it I’ll consider my job as a parent well done.

4. Encourage social interaction with best friends and create and environment where her friendships flourish. Obviously this implies teaching her how to be a good friend.

5. Allow her to be happy. Don’t burden her with unnecessary guilt and issues.

Don’t we all just want to raise happy girls? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could teach them happiness as a skill?


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