Happiness is a Choice

Happiness is a Choice

Friday 10 May

Did you know that it was World Laughter Day on 5 May?

Psychologists tell us that even if we don’t feel happy, we can trick our mind into thinking we are happy, by forcing a smile. I tested the theory. I chose a slump moment in my day and forced a smile. It made me laugh (and feel rather silly) but it worked a treat in shifting my mood. It was equally successful at our Bayview Assembly last week when the girls and staff tried it. The experiment reminded us all that we own our right to happiness and that it is a skill we can develop in ourselves. It also reminded us of how much fun it is to laugh and the power that it can have in producing positive emotions.

Sharing stories about happiness during the assembly was a great reminded to us all that while happiness from others or from personal success may provide us with some happiness, it is the happiness we feel that makes us long term happy. It’s the happiness that comes from within that is the most powerful. Finding moments of happiness in the everyday things we do and experience, is a great place to start looking.

Anyone who spends time with children and adolescents will know that life can be full of mood swings. As parents we are part of the journey. It’s an exhilarating roller-coaster ride; never dull, always eventful, and frustrating at times, but we wouldn’t have it any other way. It does however motivate us as parents to provide strategies and lead by example, to ensure that there are more moments of highs than lows, to prevent the journey from becoming unbalanced.

We can all make a commitment to ourselves to be happy and we can strengthen our ability at any time we decide. It’s up to us. Whatever we decide to do each day, and how we decide to behave and act, check first that the thought of it makes you smile before you begin.

I would like to share some tips to spark moments of happiness in the lives of our girls:

  • Encourage them to give just a smidgen of their time to something bigger than themselves;

  • Ensure they schedule plenty of quality time to spend with friends and family;

  • Encourage them to explore their passion and get lost in time doing something they love; and

  • Encourage them to do one thing a day that makes them proud.

The more they practice these, the happier they will get.