A guide to finding your bliss from the author of Find Your Happy
Published on: 06 June 2022 Author: Emily Coxhead
Author of the enchanting Find Your Happy, Emily Coxhead, shares her top tips for helping your little ones find their happiness
Finding your happy isn’t always as straight-forward as it sounds, especially for little ones. Our brains are incredibly complex and not something we can ever really, fully understand (even as adults!) so imagine how difficult it must be at times for children to understand how and why they’re feeling the way they are.
There are so many different moving parts as to why we feel a certain way and it’s not always something we can even explain. There are huge life events such as moving house, parents splitting up or a pet dying that can shake a little person’s world in unfathomable ways and each of these events will affect children in different ways, along with much smaller day-to-day changes, situations or experiences which can also cause a whole variety of different feelings and emotions.
It is down to us as parents, carers, guardians, grandparents, aunties, uncles and so on to help children navigate through these messy times. I personally feel like there should always be an opportunity for children to explore and understand their emotions rather than be told how they should or shouldn’t be feeling, which is where the premise for Find Your Happy comes from. Sloth shows that you can (and must!) feel all the emotions but that there’s always a way for you to Find Your Happy.
Close your eyes, count to ten and take BIG deep breaths, until you feel calm again. Breathing is such an important tool (obviously!), but something I think we as adults often take for granted. There is so much power in our breath and it’s not something we often think about or focus on. But even a few minutes of deep breaths each day can make a huge difference to our brain, digestive system, calming our nerves and reducing stress to name a few!
It’s often important to let some of that anger out so we don’t boil over and therefore allow ourselves to release some of that tension or frustration. There are different ways to do this - tell your child that you can see they are angry and that it’s okay to be angry. You don’t want your child to feel like they should hide their emotions so encourage them to use words to explain how they might be feeling and explain that you want to help them and understand how they are feeling.
They may prefer to use play or drawing to explain their thoughts a little better as it can often be very overwhelming when trying to explain something you don’t really understand yourself. When your child is feeling calmer, try and focus on gratitude, encourage them to think about some of the things they love and how it makes them feel.
The biggest thing is that your child knows they can trust you and that you are there for them and that you feel all the emotions too sometimes!
As we focus on all of the other feelings and emotions, we must remember that feeling happy is also important to recognise and process too. Sometimes, moments of joy can be so small and almost feel insignificant in our lives that we don’t necessarily appreciate them so much.
One way of overcoming this with your children is to ask them at the dinner table or at bedtime one thing that made them happy today. You could even start a little journal or a jar where you write down each happy thing that day or week and at a significant time for you, maybe at the end of the year, you could all look back through and remember some of the wonderful things that brought a little bit of happy to your world - it’s incredible how much you forget.