Have you ever noticed that children have happiness down pat? They spend a majority of their days laughing, smiling and just enjoying life. Wouldn’t it be great if you can be that happy about life again? The good news is that you can.
It may be hard to imagine because, after all, we as adults have responsibilities that children don’t have. We have to go to work to earn a living so that our families are taken care of. We know things about the darker side of the world that they don’t so it’s understandable that we’d have a little more concern, worry or fear than them, right?
While all of that is certainly true that doesn’t mean that you have to live a life of dread and despair. In fact, if you adopt a few childlike behaviors, you’ll have the same level of happiness as them.
- Fully engage life: When you do something—do it completely. Don’t give it just a piece of your attention; give it all of it. If you watch a child do most anything you’ll see that they are very adept at this. Put down your phone, turn off the TV and radio and just do that one thing. It may be kind of refreshing to cut out some of the background noise and give your mind a break from going in several directions at the same time.
- Leave the past, in the past: It’s hard to be happy when past events or situations haunt your present. Maybe you said or did something that you regret or you failed to take action when you should have. So, you beat yourself up day after day, not letting go because you feel like you need to punish yourself and remind yourself that you failed. Children don’t do this to themselves. In fact, not only do they seem to have the ability to forget about yesterday, they often forget about what happened five minutes ago.
- Don’t worry about the future: Just as the past seems to lack significant importance to children, so too does the future. Sure, they may look forward to some fun event that is planned, but they don’t worry about things like adults often do. Yes, as an adult you have to have a certain amount of focus on the future. You want to make sure that you and your family are set financially, that you have a roof over your head and food in your tummy at all times. But, you can do that without worrying about it.
- Just be yourself: Children have a great knack for being who they are regardless of who is watching. That’s evidenced by the number of times you see them walking with a weird step just because it’s fun or jumping around like a crazy animal because they’re excited. Can you imagine yourself responding to things the way you want to instead of the way you feel you should? What’s stopping you? So what others may think you’re a touch of crazy if you scream out of excitement when something positive happens or do a happy dance when you’re feeling giddy?
- Say what’s on your mind: Yes, this one should probably come with a little disclaimer. Children are well-known for saying some things that are probably better left unsaid. It’s not that they mean to be hurtful; it’s just that they don’t always realize the consequences of words. It may be as simple as paying others compliments when they come to mind. It may feel a little uncomfortable at first because you risk embarrassing yourself, but once you see the smile come across your face, it will become addictive and you’ll likely want to do it again and again.
- Use your imagination: One of the great things about children is that it usually doesn’t take much to entertain them. In fact, most of us know at least one child that had more fun playing with a box that contained a gift you got them more than the gift itself. That can be hard to take if you’re the gift giver, but what enjoyment they got letting their imagination run wild and turning that box into a boat or car or train. As adults, we’re often stuck in reality. We feel that we have to close our imaginations off and focus on life as it is. However, when we do that, we tend to leave enjoyment behind. Reality is often a grim picture and it’s even worse when we’ve suddenly removed its color.
It’s not bad to behave like a child at certain times. They often get the better end of the deal with all their happiness and zest for life. Let your inner child out and you can do the same. It’s dying to show you what life is all about.