As a mum, you want for your children what you want for yourself: to lead a happy, fulfilling life. In this piece, I share what experts in the field of Positive Psychology have learned about how to create long-term happiness. Not surprisingly, their findings are contrary to today’s fast-paced, “instant gratification lifestyles.” Instead, the building blocks that create sustained well-being require time, patience and commitment.
There are always things (and distractions) that can bring you or your children a quick jolt of pleasure: a new handbag, gifts from Santa, watching TV, scrolling Instagram, etc. There is no shortage of items to purchase or ways to divert your attention. Perhaps you can think of consumption and social media, as the “sprint” of happiness, the short-term burst of fun. But for the long run, it is crucial to understand how best to equip yourself and your family, for the marathon of life.
According to Positive Psychology experts, the fundamentals of happier living include:
- good relationships to connect, share and do things for others,
- exercise to take care of your body,
- slowing down and living mindfully,
- learning new things and setting goals you look forward to achieving,
- focusing on what is good in life and gratitude to cultivate emotional stability and a positive mindset,
- finding meaning and purpose in life.
These keys to happiness provide an opportunity to pause and reflect. They offer a chance to lift your head from the everyday routine and look at the horizon. Are the steps you are taking on a daily basis, in synch with the fundamentals of happier living? What’s working to move you in that direction? What might be pulling you away?
Here’s an easy exercise: rate the six fundamentals listed above on a scale of 1 to 10. If the score is low in an area, what is one thing you can do to improve it? Even a commitment such as 20 minutes a day to go for a walk, savor a cup of tea, or learn something new can boost your wellbeing.
In a world inundated by information and images, it is powerful to know what has been proven to create sustainable happiness and fulfillment. By paying attention, each day, to what will create long-term happiness, you’ll make those moments of fulfillment add up to a happy life for you and your family.
Lisa Harter, ACC, CPCC, is a life coach and writer who specialises in working with moms, because mothers deserve more. Lisa believes mums are VIPs whose well-being is crucial to the health of the family unit. Since 2011, she’s been coaching women to achieve personal and professional fulfilment while they successfully meet the demands of family life. Lisa has lived and worked in the US., U.K., and Middle East. She knows first-hand what it’s like to juggle personal and career pursuits while raising children and maintaining those all-important relationships with family “back home.” To find out how you can work with Lisa, contact her.