Looking on the Bright Side: Using Optimism to Create Happiness

Help kids practice optimism with a FREE worksheet download

Maureen Healy

Some days are clunkers. They just feel no good. That’s normal, but the best part is that you can always start over with a brand new day. But a person who can see the positives within a negative situation is called an optimist. Of course, some people are more optimistic than others, but with some practice, kids can actually see the good in situations, even when they’re facing challenges.

Optimism is choosing to focus on the positive parts of any situation. Challenging moments will inevitably happen. Things will not go our way and there is nothing we can do about it. But in general, when something goes wrong, optimistic people choose to ask: What good can come from this? Can I learn something here? What is my next best step?

For example, imagine that you planned a day at the beach, but when you wake up, it is raining outside. A negative person might say something like, “The whole day has been ruined!” On the other hand, an optimist might say, “We will have to reschedule our beach day, but now I can finally wear my new rain boots and splash in the puddles!” They are focusing on what feels good (positive) and choosing not to focus on the challenging (negative) part of the experience or situation.

It will take some practice to get into an optimistic mindset. But you don’t have to wait for something bad to happen to practice your positive thinking! By simply considering the good things around you, it is easier to feel happy in the moment. And if it’s been a very difficult day and it seems like nothing has gone right, you can still be thankful for the little things, like: “I woke up today,” “my dog loves me,” or “the weekend is only two days away!”

Optimistic people (both adults and children) are happier people. Science shows that optimistic people tend to be healthier and report feeling happier too. But choosing to be optimistic, and seeing the best in any situation that might come up, is totally up to how you see it!

Therapists and parents can help their clients and children practice seeing the bright side with these two free worksheets from my new workbook: The Happiness Workbook for Kids: 24 Fun Activities to Help Kids Focus, Make Smart Choices, and Bounce Back from Challenges.
Teach Children to Harness the Power of Happiness!
Some Days I Breathe on Purpose
In this insightful yet easy-to-read workbook, Maureen Healy teaches kids how to become happier despite the everyday obstacles, frustrations, and big emotions that often challenge their ability to make good decisions. With the tools inside, children will learn how to constructively express their emotions, bounce back from challenges, and move toward happier life experiences.
Meet the Expert:
Maureen Healy is an award-winning author, popular speaker, and expert in children’s emotional health and education. Her last book, The Emotionally Healthy Child, had a preface from the Dalai Lama, who said, “I hope Maureen’s book will contribute to a more wholesome education for future generations.” Healy is also the author of Growing Happy Kids: How to Foster Inner Confidence, Success, and Happiness and The Energetic Keys to Indigo Kids. In addition, she contributes to a popular blog on Psychology Today and has appeared across all media outlets.

Unique about Maureen is her global experience—working with children from the Bronx in New York City all the way to the base of the Himalayas. Her background in child development (BA, MBA, PhD program), complemented by her global studies with happiness teachers, has empowered her path to help children worldwide learn the ideas and strategies of becoming happier in their lifetime.

Learn more about their educational products, including upcoming live seminars, by clicking here.

Topic: Children & Adolescents | Happiness

Tags: Activity | Advice | Happiness | Happiness | How To | Self-Esteem | Success

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