The 9 happy habits come from research in developmental science, positive psychology and ancient philosophy. Many are well known to us in terms like visualization, mindfulness and mantras. But what do these really mean?
We created the happy habits to be flexible for you to teach and easy for kids to learn.
Each habit can be shared in many different ways and is expressed in language kids can understand, relate to and apply:
(care, give, connect + share)
Being kind means caring for oneself, others and the earth, giving, sharing, connecting and being a good friend.
(notice the little things)
Being thankful means noticing and being grateful for the many simple and spectacular things all around us everyday.
(use imagination, have dreams + be hopeful)
Making wishes helps us to be hopeful, use our imaginations, have wants and dreams, and set goals for ourselves. It means practicing being positive and optimistic and believing that most anything is possible.
EAT REAL FOOD
(nourish with fruits + veggies everyday)
Eat real food means making sure that we feed our bodies fresh fruits, vegetables and mostly non-packaged foods each day, so we can be our healthiest. It is hard to be happy if our bodies aren't healthy.
CARE FOR FEELINGS
(accept ALL feelings as important + okay)
We care for feelings when we let ourselves actually feel them, get to know them, seek help when we need it and help others when they need it too.
(spend time in nature)
Outside is where our bodies gets sunlight and fresh air and where we can explore endless wonders. Spending time in nature is one of the easiest and most effective ways to be happier and healthier.
(be silly, laugh, create, sing, dance + move)
Having fun is about being playful and expressive, moving our bodies and being free!
(rest, breathe deeply, focus, flow + savour)
Slowing down gives us a chance to rest, take deep breaths, quiet our brains, calm our bodies and experience the gifts of the present moment.
TRY NEW THINGS
(learn, grow + have a sense of wonder)
Growth comes from trying new things, getting a bit out of our comfort zones, taking small risks, making mistakes, being curious and having a sense of wonder.
Because the habits can overlap with each other (GO OUTSIDE + HAVE FUN + TRY NEW THINGS), it is easy to focus on just one and influence many others at the same time!
We form all of our habits through learning, connecting to and then repeating something over and over and over again. To help kids develop happy habits we can teach the simple behaviours outlined above (that are all known from research to promote happiness), make them enjoyable and practice them consistently.
Practicing happy habits will lead kids (of ALL ages) to have more thoughts, feelings and experiences of contentment and joy in their daily lives