The following was written by the SoHaPP team:
Kids run. They hop, they skip and even jump. Chasing after a ball, trying to capture a butterfly, or zooming around like a jet plane, kids are just naturally “Active”. Perhaps the easiest SoHaPP habit to instill in a child, being more Active could in a way be the most difficult for the long term. Why do children seem to lose this habit so often when reaching adulthood? Is there something we can do to maintain this habit in our children’s lives for their lifetimes?
Habits for Happiness – SoHaPP is all about building mental wellness, and being physically active helps immensely. Both aerobic and weight-bearing activity improves the brain’s functionalities, which is a starting point for mental wellness. Of course physical activity leads to good over-all body health, but it’s one of the keys for mental wellness. Just having your brain work well is only part of the equation. How about having fun while you do it, generating some positive vibrations!
While acknowledging even though it’s fun, we should instill in our children that it’s critical to their future well-being to always be physically active. We should be promoting the well-known benefits of being active. We should be praising them when they are active. Instead of being negative about being inactive for too much of the day, be proactive with positive reinforcement when they are doing the right thing. This month is perfect to promote good nutrition to fuel all this activity. Remind children that healthy fats are important for a healthy brain. Check out our web site for more on this tie in.
SoHaPP’s initiative this year is to focus on children, and this happens to be an incredibly important time in our world. Children hearing about or experiencing the negative events currently overwhelming our society can lead to anxiety, depression and even post-traumatic stress disorder. Our purpose is for folks to get ahead of the curve; not to be having to treat mental illness (which if occurring must be done), but to build mental wellness. Strengthening good habits is the key, and we are hoping everyone will enable children to be active every day, building the potential for lifelong mental wellness.
Every day for the month of April, really make a point of talking to your children about being just a little bit more active that day. Ask them about the games they played, and did any involve movement. Ensure they do, in fact, build on this habit. It takes about 30 days to strengthen a habit. Remind them for the entire month of April that every day is a good day to have movement, to be physically active, and to eat well.
SoHaPP – Science of Happiness and Positive Psychology – is a community group promoting beneficial impacts to mental wellness, one month at a time. Our Habits for Happiness initiative suggests being more Positive, Kind, Mindful, Active and Grateful. For more, go to www.SoHapp.org. Just a hop, skip and jump away. (Fun for adults too – try it!)