8 HAPPINESS HABITS TO COPY FROM A TODDLER
Did you ever happen to observe a toddler? And I mean not watching exactly what they are doing, but really notice the joy, the lighthearted being and the genuine look in their eyes?
If you'd ask toddlers, they would tell you how happy they are and how beautiful life is!
But why is that?
Of course some of you would say that they are that happy because the don`t have all the responsibilities, they don`t need to earn money or find their way in today`s society.
But if you look a little closer you will see that toddlers have a LOT to deal with.
In the first few years of their life as a human being they have to learn EVERYTHING from scratch.
It`s like being abandoned in a foreign country, not being able to talk or to express yourself other than by crying, without being able to go anywhere by yourself, being at the mercy of "some people" you barely know, hoping they will give you as much food and water and LOVE as you need.
Still sounds easy? :) Yeah, didn't think so...
So how do they end up being so happy and (mostly ;)) balanced?
Well there`s a few strategies we have been blessed with from the day we were born but we have forgotten along the way. Let`s say that education and society´s expectations got in our way...
So here are the things I found could be the way to go:
1. SEE THE WORLD AS IF YOU HAD NEVER SEEN IT BEFORE!
If I had to choose one thing I want to have back from my childhood - just one thing - it would be the innocence. Kids do everything for the first time.
Remember the first time you rode a rollercoaster? Or let's say the first time you were allowed to stay up late? Those moments were soooo exciting!! And kids do LOTS of first things in the first couple of years...imagine how exciting life must have been those days!!!
Unfortunately there's the other side of the coin. The hurtful firsts. Like the first time you failed a test. Or the first time your heart got broken. Those moments tend to rip the rose-coloured glasses right off our noses. And the more times we experience those things, the more likely it gets that we build up a guard and become very cautious. Or even worse: we become detached!
We almost expect to be disappointed and therefore we don't even get excited about things anymore.What kind of life is that?! In my opinion - not worth it!
And that's why I think everyone should try to copy a kid's innocence. Love as if you have never been hurt before. Try as if you have never failed and live as if you have never lived before!
The excitement you will feel is totally worth the risk of being hurt or disappointed. Because chances are you won't be.
2. STAY CURIOUS!
If you go for a walk with a child, it will take a lot more time than if you go alone. And why is that?
Because a child doesn't just go for a WALK, they go for an EXPERIENCE. They look everywhere and discover new things every other step of the way.
No matter if it's a butterfly, a beautiful flower or a simple stone! Even if you would walk through the desert - believe me, a child finds something to look at ANYWHERE.
They have this genuine curiosity for every little particle on this planet. And that's what makes their lives so exciting. Because they always find something exciting along the way.
When I walk from point A to point B, I usually don't even look up. I am always in kind of a hurry. Sometimes I don't even realise what kind of weather we have outside. It's just that, a transfer from A to B. What a pity!
Imagine how much fun you would have if you just looked up and became aware of all those things...the people, the sunlight, the flowers and butterflies...So next time: look up!! Stay curious. Notice things. Don't just go by! Maybe someone will smile at you. You will definitely feel better when you get to your destination.
3. COPYING OTHERS IS TOTALLY FINE - AT FIRST!!
In my opinion, we have been designed to copy others. That's how we learn to do things in the first place. We are born with only a few natural reflexes such as breathing or the grasping reflex. All of the rest is up to us and how good we are at observing and copying.
So you want to learn to write? Or want to learn photography? Or you want to be more happy? Start looking for someone to learn from, someone you can copy from in the beginning.
The more role models you find the better. Why? Because by reproducing, cloning and imitating, you will automatically find your own style. You will start noticing what inspires you most. Hopefully you will start combining different styles and eventually you will find YOURSELF. Your style, handwriting, your own touch.
4. HAVE FAITH!
Have you ever witnessed the moment when a little child is thrown up in the air or spun around by their Mom or Dad? Those are moments of total and unconditional faith! Faith that your parents would NEVER drop you - because they're superheroes, right?
Faith in life - because it will be this exciting forever, right?
And faith in themselves - because if you are thrown up in the air, or spun around like that, you feel invincible, right?
That faith - in life, in the people we love, in ourselves - is so precious, we should try to feel it as often as we can! I know we are too old to be spun around in the air! :)
Some people try to get that feeling back by doing extreme sports like paragliding or bungee jumping. That is not really my thing. So I usually make up my mind to think that way.
How? Whenever I need to feel faith - like when there is an important decision to make - I just tell myself how much bigger the chances are to succeed than to fail.
And even when I am wrong some very few times, I know that I would rather be positive beforehand, than being worried all the time!
5. NEVER GIVE UP!
Being persistent is something that many people admire in others. Like when they see successful managers or top athletes. Well I have news for you: every single person on this planet has that potential inside.
We were born to be persistent. It's our survival technique number one!
Can you imagine a baby that gives up on learning how to walk? Or that doesn't seem interested in bringing their communicating skills to perfection? Not really...
So the next time you want to achieve something and are afraid of being able to make it through the whole process, remember this: you have that perseverance inside you! It's a part of you. You just have to uncover it!
6. PURSUE WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY AND STAY AWAY FROM WHAT DOESN'T!
Kids are very straightforward and simple. They just look after themselves and fortunately they don't know the word egoism. They decide in an instant what they want to do right now or what not. And they act on that decision.
For us parents it may be hard sometimes when our child decides for example that they don't want to give Mommy a hug. But I totally support them in their decisions and I don't act offended so they don't feel bad about it.
And what my family had to swallow is that I don't insist if my kids don't want to give them hello- or goodbye-kisses. It's their own decision.
No, I am not anti-authoritarian. I just think we should support the children's natural ability to pursue what they want and to stay away from what they don't want. It's in the little things. I also don't force my kids to eat up. If they feel they are satiated, that's ok for me (of course they also don't get to eat the icecream they ask for 10 minutes later! :D).Needless to say I don't support my kids' decision to jump off the roof with a cape! ;)
The bottom line is this. Every human being should be more self-centered in a way. Of course I mean that in a good way. Listen to that little voice inside that tells you pretty clear what you want (and what you don't). Don't do what you THINK you should be doing, or what others tell you to do.
Do what you really and truly WANT!
7. LAUGH AS OFTEN AS YOU CAN!
Did you know children laugh up to 400 times a day? When we grow up that goes down to only 20 laughs a day - at most! Isn't that sad?
Science has no explanation as to why we actually laugh. What science DOES know, is what exactly goes on inside our bodies when we laugh.
Respiration is stimulated, which makes sure the exchange of consumed and oxygen-enriched air is being accelerated. (...) The heartbeat is accelerated at first, just to be slowed down shortly after that, which lowers blood pressure. The skeletal muscles are relaxed. Stress hormones are reduced (...). The socalled "body police" is activated. The substances in our blood are increased, which ensures a higher immune defence. And finally there is a disbursement of pain-relieving hormones, called endorphines, which usually are rarely detected in our blood.
Well, so much for the scientific facts. Now let´s talk feelings!
Laughing is just fun! We feel better when we laugh. And when we feel better, our life gets better.
So do whatever it takes to laugh as much as you can.
Watch funny movies or series (I totally recommend "Home Improvement" and "Friends"), play fun games with friends. Or read comics ("Calvin & Hobbes" and "Garfield" have always managed to make me laugh out loud! :D).
You may not feel like looking a funny movie or inviting friends to play games, but those are actually the moments when you most need a laugh or two. So call someone and go to the movies, or go buy yourself a comic book. You are not going to regret it. I promise!
8. DON'T WORRY ABOUT MAKING A FOOL OF YOURSELF!
Fortunately children don´t have the ability to see themselves through others´ eyes. I say fortunately because that makes them insusceptible to that sense of shame which makes some of us so careful.
Did you jump into a puddle lately? Of course not, what would people say when the see you?!
See what I mean?
A child wouldn't hesitate for a second! Children also don't care how they look when they step out of the house. If they want to wear their princess or superhero outfit, they don't wait until halloween!
And these are only two examples. My oldest daughter for example uses her clown-self (that's how I call it when she starts making a fool of herself) to break the ice when she meets someone new. She tries to make the other kid laugh by falling down or banging her head on purpose. It's hilarious.
Think about this: what would really happen if you would actually jump into that puddle next time? You think people would stare? Alright...so WHAT?!
I personally think that they would be either delighted (which would be great) or jealous (because they have thought about jumping into the puddle themselves but were just too afraid people would stare! :D).
Even if the worst case scenario would occur and someone would really think you are crazy to jump in that puddle...chances are you will never see that person again, so what do you care?
You see, there is no legit reason NOT to jump in the puddle. Just DO it, you will feel better.
And just in case you didn't notice: jumping in a puddle is only an example. ;)
Well, I hope we could give you some good examples on what to do to make your life more conscious, exciting and fascinating!
My personal conclusion is this: be more like a child and you will be more happy - that's a promise!
And remember...share the happiness!
Have an incredibly good day!