How to Shift Your Family Mindset Toward Happiness

Katie Mitchell
Katie Mitchell
November 12, 2020 3 min read

Current events have illustrated something important to all of us: There are people who naturally have a more optimistic attitude than others, and this influences how they respond to significant events. Those with happier mindsets are able to keep calm, make decisions more easily, and take action with confidence [source]. 

How we see and respond to challenges in life matters for the happiness and health of our families. When we are happier, we are better able to field events out of our control and still feel - well - happy! A study published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that optimism actually increases people's lifespans, and that people live longer if they are optimistic. 

There's still great news if you are a more pessimistic person or your child is: brain patterns can change. Attitudes can be shifted with a little effort and time.

Here are 5 ways you can shift your family mindset toward happiness:

  1. Find humor. Humor can be found in almost any situation. Remembering this will help you and your family develop a more consistently happy mindset. Through the coronavirus crisis, we have seen funny memes continuously circulating the internet, helping people cope with everything from minor irritations to fear and even grief. According to a study published by the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, the ability to find some humor in the midst of serious life events lessens the negative physical and mental effects on the body. 
  2. Adopt a positive mindset around stress. If you're human, congratulations. You're going to feel stress at some point in life. Whether it's your endless to-do list, long lines to get into the grocery store (that's a new one!), or irritating video calls, you can choose how you respond to stressors. For your children, it may be an overwhelming list of school learning opportunities for the day, not being able to go to a playground, or technology not working. If adopting a positive mindset doesn't come naturally to you or your child, start by focusing on the positive around these stressors instead of what's negative about them. For example, if you're experiencing an internet outage at home, think of it as unexpected connection time to do a puzzle or play a family game. As grown-ups, our instinct is to want to control everything around us, but we can set an example for our kids of facing challenges head-on and seeing the good in them, rather than making each one the end of the world.
  3. Develop a gratitude practice. Optimistic people don't feel the need to play the 'comparison game'. Instead, they practice gratitude. Social comparison is especially hard on tweens and teens and they can find it difficult to avoid. If you or your children find yourself in this frame of mind, take a break from social media (or quit it all together). You can also remind yourself or your kids to stop and think about what you see on social media. Focus on the blessings in your life. Your high school senior might not have a scholarship to an Ivy League school, but she wants contribute to the world as a teacher. Your family's home isn't custom-built and perfectly styled, but the scuffs on the banister are a reminder of the thrilling laughter of children sliding down the stairs on cardboard boxes. 
  4. Let it go. Kids often blame themselves when things go wrong, and they can fall into dwelling on little setbacks instead of moving on. If you find your child stuck on poorly completed schoolwork, a difficult situation, or a fight with a sibling or a friend (or you!), encourage them to change their mindset. Help them name the negative feelings and thoughts. Help them clear room in their mind for a more optimistic frame of mind.

If these responses don't come naturally to you or your child, chin up! Find a family member, friend, or counselor who can help you develop a happier family mindset.

 

Follow us on Instagram here and subscribe to our newsletter here (scroll down) for all the latest on how you can keep your children and family thriving!


Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

Required fields are marker *

Related Posts

bokeh background, woman wearing a pink sweater holding a white mug and wearing light denim, orange text box with white heart and white text that reads Thriving as a Parent Under Any Circumstances www.beyondtheblackboard.com
Thriving as a Parent Under Any Circumstances

November 09, 2020 3 min read

Parents, create a deeper connection with yourself, and deeper connections with your kids! We want your family to thrive.
bright yellow background, kids hands, tablet with pink and white screen
Fun & Quality Online Resources for Young Kids at Home

November 05, 2020 3 min read

We're here to support grown-ups, kids, and families through this challenging time. This collection of FREE resources is chock-full of helpful online tools for art, literacy, and keeping your children moving.
Brilliant Family Staycation Ideas
Brilliant Family Staycation Ideas

November 02, 2020 4 min read

To help you enjoy your Thanksgiving staycation, we created a list of some of our best staycation ideas for time with your family.

SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTER