The following was written by the SoHaPP team:
Pandemics sow depression, anxiety, insomnia and psychological distress, and it’s happening to our children. Our community has been unlucky in that two dozen senior citizens have passed, and children legitimately worry about their grandparents. To ward off this mental illness, children should strive every day to be more grateful. Can the adults in our community assist our younger citizens do this? Will you?
Habits for Happiness is suggesting this year our focus be on helping children build up their mental wellness. Adults modeling this behavior reinforces directions to children, benefiting the teacher and the pupil. So what is the lesson? Remember changing behavior and character within takes repeated actions. Becoming a grateful person doesn’t happen with a switch being turned on, but will occur when a little more light is introduced every day. This will take effort and guidance from the adults in children’s lives.
Children not always yearning for more, but happy with what they have can do the trick. Schedule a certain time in the day where children can express what they are grateful for. As examples, around the dinner table or before going to bed, everyone should share what happened during the day that made them happier. What were people glad for?
When something nice happens to your child, are they apt to express gratitude? It is important to be grateful to others and say ‘thank you’ when kind acts are done. Building a relationship is a two way street, and friendships will be more plentiful and meaningful if one can be more grateful. In these harried times, find ways for children to have virtual expressions of gratitude. Praise children when they are thankful to others.
For the month of May, be sure the children in your world are becoming a more grateful person a little bit more every day. It takes about thirty days to strengthen a particular characteristic, so every day this month be sure children are adding to their attitude of gratitude as a state of mind, more than what they would normally be doing.
SoHaPP – Science of Happiness and Positive Psychology – is a community group promoting beneficial impacts to mental wellness. Our Habits for Happiness initiative is built on focusing for one month at a time on each habit, suggesting ways to be more Positive, Kind, Mindful, Active and Grateful. For more, go to www.sohapp.org.
This is our fifth year of promoting wellness on the Plateau, and we wish to express our gratitude to the Courier-Herald for being so helpful in spreading our message each year. We are so fortunate to have a local media source providing details of what is happening in our community, and Habits for Happiness has benefited greatly from this resource. These are tough times, but we’re confident with the community’s backing we’ll still have our local ‘paper’, no matter what form it arrives in, for many years to come. Be well, and be safe.