Materials needed: pens and paper, inspiring photo or magazine images
Martin Seligman, a leading researcher in the field, gives us the formula in his book Authentic Happiness. He writes that around 50 percent of our potential for happiness lies within our genes, while 10 percent links to cirumstances such as winning the lottery or experiencing a death in the family. A considerable 40 percent of our potential for happiness rests within our control.
People who are happier overall believe that we can choose to be happy, and they make it a priority. Creating a happiness plan with our kids can help them to become more aware of the joy around them.
Step 1: Start by talking to kids about the factors that influence their happiness quotient, emphasizing the whopping 40 percent that’s within their control.
Step 2: Help kids to compile a list of things that make them happy. This could include people they enjoy spending time with, music they like listening to and activities they find fun. Anything goes, and there is no limit to the number of items of the list.
Step 3: Post the list in a prominent place so it’s easy for children to refer to any time they need a pick-me-up.
Step 4: Help kids to choose three things from the list they want to do in the coming week to invite happiness in. Support them in planning how and when they think they will be able to do each thing.