You can tell I was feeling rubbish last week I read the Daily Express! There was an article about the secrets of happiness and how it can halve your risk of a heart attack so I trawled through it seeing if there was anything they could do for a sore throat. (See it here).
There wasn’t. But the article in the paper outlined ten things you could do to raise your feelings of happiness and I thought what a nice lesson that would be to pass onto your kids.
Being happy is important. Happy kids learn well. And it’s unlikely to be the happy fulfilled people who trash the planet, disrespect their fellows or who cannot see the importance of taking responsibility. That’s why it’s so stupid to think that keeping kids in school when they’re unhappy is going to be of benefit. Kids need to know what makes them happy. Need to experience real life to find that out. Not just experience the narrow confines of a school – a sometimes an unhappy environment where people don’t seem to care much about individuality and test results are god.
I’m not saying we have to pander to our kids’ every whim just to keep them sweet. Everyone’s happiness is important – not just theirs – they need to know how to fit into that. It’s a mutual thing. In fact, happiness is a whole climate; a bit like the weather – it’s changeable and determined by highs and lows. Something we have to learn to cope with. But, unlike the weather, it is something we do have a certain amount of control over.
Here are the ten ideas they recommended in the paper although not shown on the web page:
1) Let your family and friends know how much they mean to you.
2) Find ways to make exercise fun and sociable.
3) Do extra acts of kindness to help others.
4) Get outside and enjoy the natural world.
5) Spend more time getting to know your neighbours.
6) Take time each day to be ‘mindful’ and notice how you’re feeling.
7) Change something that’s been making you or others unhappy.
8) Support a good cause you feel passionate about.
9) Try something that puts you outside your comfort zone.
10) Write down three good things that happen each day.
What a curriculum these would make!
I reckon you could cover a whole load of academic subjects (spelling and number among them!) just working through this happiness list if you’re imaginative.
Have a happy day!