THE SECRET TO HAPPINESS
Looking at the number of self-help books, online courses and retreats that exist it’s clear that we all just want to be happy and are willing to try many things to get there. I was hungry for tools, thirsty for advice and I devoured books and courses that seemed to contain answers. They all seemed to promise to give us the answer to happiness, to fulfilment, to finding our purpose or to abundance. At some point, I found myself very critical and suspicious of all these words of wisdom or step-be-step manuals to happiness. I thought, how can each of them be promising us the ultimate answer to all our problems? If they worked, there wouldn’t need to be so many of these books and courses.
WHY BOTHER WITH PAYING ATTENTION TO YOUR POSITIVE EMOTIONS?
Most of us like to feel happy, proud, grateful, calm and excited. For many, these feelings are a big reason why we do what we do - buying things, creating something, or behaving in a certain way - so that we can feel these or some other pleasant emotions. It seems logical right? Actually, it would be quite confusing or even slightly sadistic if it were otherwise. So here’s the news: there are more advantages to feeling these emotions than simply feeling “good”.
NEW! FEELING MAGNETS FOR KIDS
Growing up we learn many lessons for life, we feel intense emotions along the way and we experience many firsts. Our first disappointments, the loss of a pet, the fear of the first day of school or moving to a new place. The list is endless and so are the feelings that come up.
Somehow we all get through life without necessarily learning about our emotions - what they really are, what they mean and how to deal with them. If we were to grade our knowledge and ability related to emotions, most of us would just barely pass. We don’t want to just pass through life, we want to excel, to flourish and to thrive. To do this we need to master our emotions and ideally, as early as possible.
THE POWER OF COMMUNICATING OUR TRUE FEELINGS
There is great power in communicating our authentic feelings with others. The first step is to recognize our feelings ourselves (here some help with that: The Secret Techniques to Figure Out What You Feel) and then after to consciously share them when appropriate.
When I say « consciously share our emotions » I don’t mean an emotional outburst or telling someone they made you feel furious, disappointed or afraid. When I mean is that we share how we are feeling in a way where we are not blaming the other, but simply...
THREE STEPS TO SHIFTING YOUR FEELINGS
We we are feeling annoyed, lonely, nervous or, for that matter, any feeling that we don’t feel so comfortable with, it’s easy to wish the feeling wasn’t there or that we were feeling something more pleasant instead. If you have ever tried to ignore the unwanted feeling or to force yourself to « be happy », you will know that it doesn’t work like that. So how can we shift our feelings if we are stuck in the land of unpleasant emotions?
FEELING MAGNETS AT THE VIENNA INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL
Earlier this year, I was invited to the Vienna International School (VIS) to witness how they had integrated Feeling Magnets and the My Feelings Box in the school and classrooms. It was an incredibly powerful experience.
It started with the primary school Principal, Martha Ross, getting herself a set of Feeling Magnets as she transitioned from maternity leave with her little one into her new role, in a new school and a new city.
INTRODUCING CHILDREN TO THE MY FEELINGS BOX
We often hear from parents and teachers about the impact that the My Feelings Box has had on their children. They tell us that the kids use the My Feelings Box to share what is going on for them. This often sparks very interesting and constructive conversations and valuable teaching moments. Teachers tell us that the kids ask for the My Feelings Box when they find themselves in conflict with friends. Parents share stories of finding their children spontaneously pulling out their My Feelings Box when they get home from school.
Sometimes we get questions about how one might introduce the children to the My Feelings Box, especially when we think that a child might not want to engage with talking about their feelings. There are many different ways to do this and which one is best depends on the kids, your relationship to them and their situation.
5 STEPS TO STOP STRUGGLING WITH YOUR EMOTIONS (AND HAVE THEM WORK FOR YOU)
Sometimes intense emotions can feel overpowering and we seem to lose control of ourselves. We all know that feeling when we just can’t think straight, when we have things to do but just can’t get to doing them or when all we can think about is how worked up we are. We might be feeling overcome with anger when things are not going our way, paralized by fear when we don’t think we can cope with something, or dragged down by sadness when we lose something important to us. Yes, emotions do seem to take us over at times.
LET'S TALK ABOUT EMOTIONS with Jodi Aman
There are not many things in life as complex and even confusing as our emotions. It might seem like emotions don't make sense, that they are a pain and a nuisance, that they mess with us and get in our way... Well that's what we think until we learn better.
Unfortunately, today our education focuses on learning to read, write, count, play basketball and name all the presidents, capitals and so on. We have yet to find a school that fully embraces and includes “understanding and managing emotions” in their curriculum.
THE GUIDE TO UNDERSTANDING FEAR
Fear and our ability to flee, freeze or fight are what have kept us alive through evolution, so it's a pretty good thing to have. Only nowadays, we don't have so many tigers hunting us and we also have less situations where our life is really at risk. In a way, we feel Fear around less existential issues but sometimes it may still seem existential to us.
Fundamentally, Fear is an emotion with good intentions (as they all are), so here is some guidance to help you understand it a little better and to learn how to best put it to use.
WHAT TO DO WHEN A KID HAS A FIT
I recently witnessed a little girl, about 7 years old, go through two transformations within about twenty minutes. When I first saw her she was calm, had a stern look on her face and might have been a little shy. Less than a minute later, out of the blue, she was screaming, yelling, and crying uncontrollably. She ran to her mother, seeking comfort and her mother tried with all her motherly might to console her and reason with her. It seemed to no avail.
PERSONAL GOALS: HOW EMOTIONS CAN HELP SETTING AND ACCOMPLISHING LIFE GOALS
As the new year begins, many people see this as a new beginning. Some make New Years resolutions and others don’t bother because they don’t stick to them anyway. I’ve found that one of the keys to resolutions that work (or achieving any goal for that matter) is to not only to focus on the external (what the world will see) like losing weight, getting a promotion, doing more sport or signing up to that course I have been talking about for ages. My resolutions have been far more successful when I dig a little deeper into what is behind that and ultimately focus on what I want to feel.