It’s August, and many of us feel the end of summer approaching. Many places have started back to school already, and we can feel the end of the fun sinking in. It’s easy to feel a little down with the end of summer time. So it’s kind of fitting that August is officially “Happiness Happens Month.” Happiness Happens Month is about celebrating things that make us happy. It’s a great way to focus on the good and to squeeze in a little more fun, and maybe even stretch it past the summer into the fall season. So what can we do to make some happiness happen this month?
Happiness helps us
It’s no secret that happiness has benefits for us. This is even more true in our families, as happiness really can multiply. Happiness helps us live longer and it pushes out feelings of stress. While happiness builds relationships, stress and unhappiness cause walls to be built in our relationships. And when we as parents choose happiness, that spreads to our family, and it lifts their spirits.
In short, happiness helps us personally, and it helps the people around us. Happiness is contagious, and your happiness can bring happiness to someone else. This is the basis of this holiday and the very reason it got started. It actually started as a day, August 8, designated as Happiness Happens Day. There was a group of friends who decided to see the positive side of things, and they helped each other to stick with it. When they saw the resulting differences in their own lives, they pushed for a special day to encourage others to adopt this mindset. The day has expanded to the entire month.
So how can we bring more happiness into our lives? It is certainly ironic that the motto is “Happiness Happens” when we know that happiness doesn’t usually just happen, at least not regularly. The other motto for the month is more fitting: “Don’t Even Think of Raining on My Parade!” You see, happiness really is up to us. And that’s the key. What can we do to make some happiness happen this month?
Notice what makes you happy and share it
It sounds like some big thing, but really it doesn’t have to be a big thing. We can choose to notice little things that make us smile, and choose to share those things with the people around us. We can make a big deal out of the beautiful sky, or the joy of the first sip of coffee, or the funny kitten video. Instead of letting these moments pass us by, let’s choose to notice them, to take a moment to relish them, and to share them with the people around us.
Let’s just choose to notice what brings us a smile. This noticing is what makes it bigger for us and provides us with increased happiness.
Do things to increase your happiness
There are also things we can do to increase our happiness. Again, they aren’t big things really. They’re just little things that can help us out as we make some happiness happen.
Thankfulness and perspective-changers
We can start a habit of thankfulness and gratitude. Keep a notebook or download a gratitude app that will remind you every day to note something to be thankful for.
Serving other people is another way to give us a different perspective and bring us happiness. Maybe even choose one person in your family to do something extra nice for each week. Or you could decide together as a family to do something nice for someone else.
Deep breathing and mindfulness exercises can also help us handle difficult situations and remember to choose thankfulness and happiness. Remember don’t even think about raining on my parade!
Healthy choices can increase our dopamine levels and help us to physically feel more happy. Just one more serving of fruit or veggies, or starting a good daily multivitamin, or getting more active can help you feel a little bit happier.
For help in getting your kids more active, and to gain a few minutes for yourself, check out our fitness shows at My Signing Time. You can find them in your My Signing Time subscription. And if you don’t have a subscription, you can try one out for free right here!
Addressing our feelings
Another way we can do something to feel happier is to address our own feelings and accept them. Feeling happy doesn’t mean that we discount any other feelings. Happiness actually can help us to address other feelings that we have and to have the resilience to accept them and handle them in a healthy way.
This is also a really helpful thing to teach our kids. Their feelings are valid and should be noted. We can help them learn to express their feelings in a healthy way. One way we can do this is through signing. We have a section on feelings in our free Signing Time Dictionary, and knowing these signs can be so helpful for kids. There can be many situations in life where they might not feel comfortable stating their feelings, but they can give you a quick sign to let you know how they’re feeling. We’ve received several accounts of parents relating this exact scenario, telling us how signing gave their children a way to express themselves in a difficult situation.
So, what will you do to make some happiness happen this month? Don’t let anyone rain on your parade!