Welcome to this week’s Mindful Mondays challenge! Each week, we explore ways to bring greater mindfulness and presence to our parenting and ourselves. This week’s challenge may be harder than it sounds…
I don’t know about you, but happiness is hard for me. I don’t trust good things when they happen; I always fear that something bad is right around the corner. After all, why do I get to be happy when someone who devotes their life to feeding the poor or cancer research suffers through hardship? I tend to keep happiness at a distance, where it’s less likely to hurt in the end.
Yet this is a stressful way to live. Happiness and joy are restorative to the soul. They ease stress and anxiety and motivate us to accomplish more and treat others with greater kindness. Therefore, today’s challenge is simple: be happy. For one day, when something good happens — whether it’s your daughter getting a good grade, a second interview for a job, or even a new meal you cooked turning out great — allow the happy feelings to sink in. Observe how happiness feels, physically and emotionally. Let go of any guilt or negativity telling you that you don’t deserve it — instead, “pretend” you’ve earned every bit of happiness and revel in it. You can go back to being cynical and scared when you’re done… if you want to!
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