By Nadine Briggs and Donna Shea
Most of the children and teens that we work with have anxiety. Many crave a high degree of control over all things, play, conversation, peers, adults, school work, recess games, homework, video game play and on and on. Since they are unable to control these areas of their lives, they are even more stressed and frustrated. They tend to be rigid in their thinking so being open to new ideas can be hard and suggestions are sometimes met with resistance. They are stressed and frustrated and often times not very happy. So what is the one tip that can make them feel happier today?
Do something nice for someone without expecting anything in return.
It sounds super simple and easy, right? It can be except if someone has a hard time considering another’s point of view. It can take some time to explain our tip to them and it can be even harder to actually do it. Hard as it can be, once they are able to do something nice for someone, they will feel happier for having done so. The “something” can be seemingly really small like start homework before being told or shut off the video game without a reminder. Bigger things could be like washing someone’s car or cleaning the house. Gestures that are unselfish and purely to make the other person’s day better in some way are a great way to get a quick boost of happiness. Imagine if people everywhere adopted this tip on a routine basis? Happiness would begin to spread everywhere. Now wouldn’t that make us all a little happier?