kindness and happiness

 

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There have been some in my household – let’s be honest, it includes me – who have been dragging their feet a little as the school term comes to an end. I have been telling my children as they leave for school each day “be kind, don’t worry what is happening around you, just be kind!”

Came across this quote, which I think adds another dimension to being kind and one that I know is a great reminder for me! May you enjoy it too!
Rebekah x

One of the best ways to make yourself happy is to make other people happy. One of the best ways to make other people happy is to be happy yourself. –Gretchen Rubin

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Gracious words

I wonder if your household is ever like mine? Even with my best intentions it was just so hard to not say the unkind things! The two younger boys have just had a huge week of performing in a school musical and the fall out has been two tired boys. Last night instead of just getting on with the showering routine there were words between the two of them, which resulted in words between the three of us!! When will we learn that harsh words don’t actually help?

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Photo Credit: harshwordz.bandcamp.com

I came across these beautiful words today that gave me the gentle reminder I needed along this exciting, amazing, crazy world of parenting and teaching:
“Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” (Proverbs 16:24)

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Photo Credit: jrbrighton.com

Together, may we be encouraged to use gracious words, and be brave enough to teach out children to use them too.

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This is a screen shot from a website ‘naptime diaries’ that my daughter took ages ago, because she loved it!

Positive emotions broaden our behaviours

It is week 2 of my 6 week Positive Psychology course that I am doing on-line.

This week’s learning has left me thinking a lot about those kids in my class and even my own kids at home who find it hard to experience the positive emotions.  The positive emotions are often fleeting, but they are nutrients for growth.  When people are taught positive emotions a domino effect happens.

Photo Credit: stockfresh.com

Photo Credit: stockfresh.com

A subtle increase in positive emotion leads to an increase in positive resources in a person’s life. For example, the ability to be more mindful or feelings of greater connectedness, which then leads to an increase in positive psychological resources: fewer aches and pains, increased satisfaction in life and reduced depressive symptoms.

Photo Credit: coachingforclergy.com

Photo Credit: coachingforclergy.com

As part of the course there was a reading that asked the question “How can we increase positivity?”

For me, this is where the rubber hits the road, these are the things I want to be helping kids to learn, as positive emotions are closely connected with resilience. Resilience is a resource that can grow. Resilient people are less worried about the ‘perhaps’ negativity in life. Resilience is a fantastic life skill to have.

Photo Credit: theschooloflife.com

Photo Credit: theschooloflife.com

We can help increase positivity by:
*Being aware of the present moment.  Most moments are positive. When we miss the moment, we miss opportunities to experience positive emotions by thinking too much about the past or worrying about the future, rather than being open to what is.

*Pay attention to human kindness. Gratitude is unlocked when we see things done for us by others. But also, we can make someone’s day!

*Go outside in good weather. Research shows that just 30 minutes outside increases positive emotions.

*Rearrange life around your strengths. This is an involved step, but includes looking at your strengths and using them in daily life.

Photo Credit: generationext.com.au

Photo Credit: generationext.com.au

 

I am thinking that as parents we can help our kids do this in so many little ways as we practice it.
Yesterday we needed to visit the Doctor to get an asthma plan for one of my tribe going on camp. The Boy and I reflected afterwards how thankful we were to not have to wait long, how nice it is to have a GP who has a personal relationship with us as a family and what a blessing Bulk Billing can be. At the time I did not realise it, but together we were building positive emotions!

 

A kind thought for the weekend.

It seems that often with our negative bias we find it easier to say critical unkind words than kind words. Sometimes we find it easier to look after ourselves than do kind things.
Children seem to often fall into this habit as well.

I came across this quote (it is at the beginning of a very interesting blog titled Hands Free Mama)  and it has stayed with me for awhile, may you enjoy it too!

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”
-Plato

Photo Credit: kimlenon.wordpress.com

Photo Credit: kimlenon.wordpress.com

 

the practice of being positive

Sometimes people ask me if my readings and blogging make a difference to how I think and do things. Without hesitation my answer is ‘yes’.

I have found that spending time reading challenges me with the practical aspects of what it takes to lead a flourishing life. The blogging and putting the research into words then helps to remind me again. I do hope that for you, the reader, it also provides encouragement to do the same. As I have implemented different things it has really made a difference.

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Photo Credit: depositphotos.com

Over the next 8 days we are off on a camping trip – for those of you familiar with my part of the world, we are off to Mambray Creek, Roxby Downs, William Creek, Coober Pedy.  Probably not top on my list of things to do considering it is winter and my husband is sure I am cold blooded like a reptile. I get cold so easily and it makes me feel grumpy!

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Photo Credit: mashable.com

Thus, whilst having a break from blogging I am sure my family and I will not be having a break from implementing many of the practical things we have been learning and digesting! Things like:

*Thinking of 3 things we are grateful for each day
*Doing at least 1 act of kindness each day
*Taking time to be in the moment and having time to love and care for each other.
*Having a growth mindset when in situations that are challenging.
*Exercising together and having fun.
*Showing grit when we want to curl up.
*Remembering PERMA – Positive emotions, Engagement in a task, Relationships are important, having belief in something bigger than myself (Meaning) and a sense of Accomplishment..these aspects of living contribute to a flourishing life.

Bring it on!
Enjoy your next week and may you too have time to implement and try some of these things.  I’ll let you know how it goes. R x

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Failure and kindness

I am having problems with my edit page – I have not been able to get any pictures into my blogs! Ironically I had written a blog about failure and that we should be taking risks and not afraid to failure. There was this great quote in Todd Henry’s Newsletter.

“Failure isn’t a necessary evil. In fact, it isn’t evil at all. It is a necessary consequence of doing something new.”

– Ed Catmull, President of Pixar/Disney

 

The blog was all written but it did not look right without any images!

Then I saw this Youtube clip that I have posted once before, but it has been updated, so I thought I would post that instead, but it can only appear with a written link!

So, with the risk of failure as the blog looks very ‘wordy’, may you be encouraged to not be afraid of failure and encouraged that there is kindness in the world around us – become a part of that ‘paying forward’. Enjoy the weekend friends. R x

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mJhZ64BvvFU

 

A thought for the week ahead.

Sorry,  I did not get to ‘a thought for the weekend’ but instead I am giving ‘a thought for the week ahead.’

If you can, find some time to watch this clip and be inspired to do some kind acts this week.

 

Show your own kids, try using it in class, show some friends – my kids loved it and we showed it at a church service we were running. Enjoy!