10 Keys to Family Happiness

Happy baby
Happiness is who we be. How we be affects the level of happiness that we be. Parents who actively take responsibility for their own happiness, demonstrate for their children and invite them to be responsible for their own happiness. For starters, here are 10 keys that increase the capacity to BE happier. 
  1. Awareness – being present with the moment, with your kids, with every aspect of your life frees you from being a prisoner to the past or anxious about the future. When we are aware, we notice the things in this world that distract us. We can then choose to redirect our attention to those things that truly matter and make life more meaningful. Where you spend your time, is where your focus is. What does your child see from your example, what truly matters most in your life?
  2. Giving – this can certainly add to our happiness, but what I find with parents is that they already give so much of themselves to their children that they often feel drained. Let’s shift this a bit. First, I wonder how things would be different if you consciously chose to do something that truly enhanced your life, just for you- maybe it’s going on a retreat, taking a walk, dancing to music, doing a hobby- not something that distracts you- your phone, YouTube, Netflix, etc, but consciously being aware that what you are going to choose that you are aware will expand your life. Let go of any guilt you have about making such a choice for you.  Next, doing things for others can be a source of happiness if we approach it from the space of contribution- gifting and receiving, not from a place of superiority. Be willing to receive as much as you give and do this as a family. Teach your kids that there is something to be received in giving- it’s called reciprocity without expectation of what that is. Example- Little did I know how much I would receive when my family chose to help stock and organize a food bank. It was a sense of community and coming together to work for a common purpose and we had fun doing it. What is one thing you can do to give to yourself, and to others? As a family?
  3. Connection with others – This includes being aware of how you are relating to your family- including your extended family. What are your connections like with your children? Extended family connections often trigger us into our insecurities, fears and guilt. We can lose our sense of self. Be willing to limit these connections as you work on how to be empowered in their presence. As parents we can sometimes get so caught up with family that we forget to make social connections. I hear this from new moms and moms with small children; they need stimulating adult conversation. Seek out groups and friendships that will bring you into connection with people who are supportive and seeking to be better too. Avoid people who don’t inspire you, or who are in judgment of you and others. Who can you connect with today that adds to your happiness?  
  4. Gratitude- having appreciation for everything- This is a biggie when it comes to living a happier life. And it’s not just about being grateful for the good things that happen, it’s most beneficial when we can be grateful for the challenges, upsets, struggles and issues that we face. I especially like being grateful because it takes me out of judgment. I can’t be grateful and be in judgment at the same time. Try it- it can’t be. Gratitude is an element of love and judgment is not.  What is one thing you are grateful that you didn’t think you could be? 
  5. Allowance- Accepting who you are – It doesn’t increase our happiness to judge who or what we are being. There is a freedom in being in allowance of whatever is showing up for us. We can be in allowance of our best moments and our worst moments. We can truly be more empowered to be different when we are willing to be in allowance for how we feel and how we act.  Allowance increases our capacity to care for ourselves. Have you ever changed anything by judging yourself? So what would be possible for you if you didn’t judge you? What if you didn’t judge yourself for the rest of today? What if you did not judge judging yourself? 
  6. Movement that honors your body – We came into this physical experience to feel alive. When we care for our body as much as we do other things, we will be rewarded with vitality, energy and health. Making your body, movement (whatever that is for you) a priority will add to an improved mood and outlook on life. Consider how your body usually feels when you wake up in the morning? Is it ready to get moving? Is it achy, unrested? You have the power to do something different to care more for your body. Be in the question, “Body what do you require today?” Check in when you go to bed at night, how does your body feel? What works best for you? Do you focus on your breath? On how you fuel your body? Does your body sit at a computer day in and day out or in front of the TV and is that giving it the boost it needs? What is one thing you can do today to care for your body? 
  7. Trying New Things- Keep learning new things- Life is about change. If changes aren’t happening, we aren’t truly living and we get bored. Having new experiences, new adventures ups our level of excitement and curiosity. Learning new things keeps our brains active, our imaginations ignited into what else is possible as well as our own resilience. Learning new things as a family allows you to learn together and you can even bring your children into the role of teachers as they teach you something new that they have learned. What is one thing that you have always wanted to learn but haven’t taken the time for? 
  8. Having Direction; Not being lost- Who is happy when they are lost or stuck? I hear all the time from clients, I just want more clarity about my life. Setting a course of direction can increase your happiness. It can be as simple as choosing to be more joy, or patient or kind. Or it can be planning a trip, setting a target for increasing your income, or finishing a degree. When you set the direction you want to go and what you would like to have, Universal Intelligence can then support you. Life is more fun when we know we have things to look forward to. Be careful that you don’t get discouraged because you don’t know how it will happen, trust that it will. What is one thing that you would like to accomplish or improve in the next month?
  9. Life Meaning- Knowing that you matter- Do you live your life wondering if anyone cares, wondering if you are making any difference in the world? How happy does that make you feel? This is where acknowledging all that you be and all that you have done is so vital. This is your proof that you matter. It doesn’t need to be something HUGE like saving the whales or feeding the starving children. It can be as simple as smiling at a stranger or spending one on one time with your child, being fully present. When I get in this doubtful space, and yes, I do, I remember parents I have helped, support I have given to my spouse, love and encouragement that I offer my kids. I remember that when I am living in gratitude, joy and love, I am making a difference just by the energy that I be. I also know that when I get in this place, something is amiss in my energy field that I need to be aware of and work on. I am grateful when that happens, as it means I have more growth that is waiting to happen. Yay! Happy Dance! What is one thing you have done that you can acknowledge about the value of being you? 
  10. Laughter- Lighten up- stop being so serious- Have you ever been in the presence of a baby laughing? How did it make you feel? Did it increase your happiness? Laughter does that. It releases the tension, stress and upsets in our physical, mental and emotional being, even our spiritual. Recall the last time you had a good laugh. Now check in with how your body is responding to that memory. Better right? Here’s the thing, you don’t need jokes, comedians, babies, or funny shows to laugh. You can laugh on purpose, by yourself or with others. I know it will feel a bit different but try it. It’s okay to be uncomfortable. Have laughter time with your family. When things get serious, interject laughter and see what happens. The energy will shift, like magic. Take a moment now and laugh for 10-20 seconds. What do you notice?


And there you have it. 10 Keys to increasing your happiness. And when you are happy, your family will also get that they have these same keys to be able to be happy too. It isn’t our mission in life to make others happy. It is our mission to care for our own level of happiness and let it be an inspiration to others, including your children. 

Which key do you feel drawn to that you would like to add and see how it increases your happiness? Feel free to expand into more than these 10. And if you would like more ideas listen to this podcast episode of BE You Parenting.

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