This time last year, I came across a brilliant little idea. But, as it has a tendency to do, time flew by... Now the dawn of the new year is fast approaching, and with it the perfect occasion to finally put this idea into action.
What is a Happiness Jar? The idea behind it is simple. Every day or whenever the mood strikes you, write down a little note describing a beautiful moment, something that you are grateful for, or even just a sentence that stuck with you. What made you laugh? What inspired you? A goal you achieved, a memory worth saving... All the beautiful little things that happen in a day but are often overlooked… Look at them, cherish them, and record them for future you. The idea is as your jar fills with happy moments and thoughts, so your life will be filled with a multitude of small reminders to stay positive and feel grateful.
Each family member can have their own jar or you can share a communal jar, and it can become a nightly ritual to write a happy little something down. Then, whenever you or your loved one is having a bad day, you can open up your jar and be reminded of how amazing life is in truth.
This year, I’ve told my husband and son that we will start a Happiness Jar of our own. My plan is to prepare different coloured papers for different types of notes; for example, a blue slip of paper could indicate something funny. That way, when someone is feeling down, they can easily open up the jar and find just the right message to cheer them up. At the end of 2018, it will be a wonderful experience to spend some time going through all the special little moments that made up the year.
Image courtesy of Imgur
Gratitude is a gift given to one’s own self. When we feel grateful, we feel more alive. There are so many benefits to mindfully incorporating a little thankfulness into your day to day existence. In fact, it is scientifically proven to improve multiple facets of a person’s life, and has become a cornerstone of positive psychology research. Your relationships, your health, even your sleep… All these things can be improved, simply by cultivating a mindset of gratitude.
By encouraging your child to practice gratitude from a young age, you are setting them up not only for happiness today, but also for future success. In Barbara Lewis’ book, What do you Stand For? For Kids, she explains that children who are grateful are able to look beyond their immediate personal sphere and recognize that other people are making efforts for them, like cooking meals and cleaning the house. “On the flip side, kids who aren’t taught to be grateful end up feeling entitled and perpetually disappointed,” she explains. A Happiness Jar can serve as an easy and enjoyable way to encourage an attitude of appreciation in your child.
What you Will Need to Make your Happiness Jar
- A jar – Preferably a transparent one so you can see all those little happy papers adding up throughout the year.
- Papers and a pen
- One minute a day – To settle down, think about what made you happy that day and write a sentence or two about it.
Will you start a Happiness Jar? Share your pictures with us in the comments below or by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wishing you all happiness and gratitude in 2018!