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Gratitude and 5 Other Steps to Happiness

By Laura Bakosh, Ph.D. Co-Founder, Inner Explorer

Published 04-09-20

Submitted by Discovery Education

Discovery Education guest blogger, Laura from Inner Explorer, talks about the importance of practicing happiness skills, particularly during the challenges of the global pandemic.

Yesterday, I received a package from my sister in law, Marsha, with a beautiful homemade face mask. Gratitude washed over me. Her generosity released a cascade of feelings that researchers acknowledge lead to happiness.

In these unprecedented times, it is easy to lose sight of happiness and self-care. The following 6 learnable skills are proven to increase health and wellbeing and reduce stress and anxiety. Now is an ideal time to get started!

  • Gratitude.  In spite of challenges, it’s uplifting to recognize the efforts many people make every day; the healthcare worker tending to the sick, the store employee stocking shelves with food, the teachers bringing the classroom and learning into the home.  Writing in a journal or listening to a gratitude practice can help re-enforce the gratitude you feel.

  • Generosity. Sharing a kind word, a simple note of thanks, or lending a hand to someone else can lift your mood and theirs. Doing just one generous act each day begins a cycle that can inspire others to pay it forward. 

  • Purpose. Inspiration can come from anywhere. My mother was inspired by Marsha, and began making masks this week for the folks in her retirement community. She’s in her 80’s with poor vision, yet she’s engaging in this new sense of purpose.  As Thoreau said “One is not born into the world to do everything, but to do something”.  What is your ‘something’?

  • Positive Outlook. This may feel impossible during a pandemic, yet research shows focusing on the good helps you feel better, sleep better and be healthier. Balance pandemic news by tuning into the Good News Network (GNN) and explore all the good things happening. It may even spark a few new ideas.

  • Human Connection. There are many online and mobile resources like Zoom and Facetime to creatively connect people who are sequestered in their homes. A few ‘face-to-face” minutes can boost your focus and your productivity.

  • Mindfulness.  Practicing mindfulness is the glue that ties these skills together. When your body and mind are settled, creativity and compassion begin to flow naturally. Inner Explorer’s free mindfulness app I AM PRESENT, offers families brief daily practices that reduce stress, increase learning readiness and bolster resiliency.

Inner Explorer, in collaboration with LG Electronics, Discovery Education and others, has brought the Experience Happiness Initiative to over 3 million children and teens.  This crisis is providing a beautiful opportunity to practice being mindful, grateful, generous, positive, purposeful and connected. Please join our growing community and Discover your Happy.

The materials from the Experience Happiness Initiative and the Discover Your Happy, a program created in partnership with LG and Discovery Education, are available at no-cost to families through the curated weekly content site known as Daily DE.

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Discovery Education

Discovery Education

Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-based digital content for K-12, transforming teaching and learning with award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia content, professional development, and the largest professional learning community of its kind. Serving 4.5 million educators and over 50 million students, Discovery Education's services are in half of U.S. classrooms, 50 percent of all primary schools in the U.K., and more than 50 countries. 

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