Luis Belaunzaran

President, viviendo el exito

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Debate: We should use these techniques to teach our children to be happy

We should teach our children that the best way to answer a question like ¿how are you? every day, instead of "fine thank you", should be: "happy", "excited", etc,

It will influence the entire chemistry in their body, and they will become happy human beings.

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    Nov 8 2012: I've been living this... every time you ask me how are you?, I say "I'm very happy", the immediate question is WHY? then I look around my life and take one reason why I could be really happy: because I have a new project, because I'm seeing my family tomorrow, because I meet a very nice person, etc. And the truth is that everyone in earth have a reason to be happy, my experience tell me that even in moments that you're not in the best mood, you can change your entire body reaction, and there are science that shows evidence that you will perform better in the solution of the problems you have in life.

    So using the techniques involve lot of practice... that the question how are you? that is a very common one, several times a day we have the chance to use it to our benefit, and the reaction should teach is that the "very happy" answer involves a second question why.... that's the key...
    fake it... so you become right.. well in this case I think you should only remember why you can be happy.. there's a lot of people that are very angry in life and don't even know why... that's sad... so try it.. and like Amy says ITS FREE
  • Nov 8 2012: While I agree that we should be honest with how we communicate to one another, especially with people who genuinely care how we answer, I don't think it will actually change our body chemistry to the extent where we will become healthy happy human beings. I know plenty of people who talk honestly all the time about how they really feel and still don't feel happy. I still think body language is only a reflection of how we feel and changing from the outside to fill a role doesn't necessarily change you. There are plenty of people who are fine on the outside but not happy internally. Just because our children anwer "I feel crummy today" instead of "fine" doesn't mean they evolve into happier people. Better posture doesn't make someone more polite. Telling someone how you feel only sometimes changes how you feel. How about instead of not only teaching our children to anwer honestly to questions about how they feel we also teach them to take responsibility for changing why they feel a certain way (I feel crummy... I'll do something about it).
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    Nov 11 2012: i highly doubt saying you're happy, excited, etc. will actually cause you to become the emotion. if you are not happy, you are not happy. i don't believe you can just say you are x emotion, and suddenly you will be. i would honestly prefer it if people would stop saying "i'm fine" as their default answer to the question, and instead give an honest answer if they are not fine. there is no point in teaching children to give a specific answer regardless of their emotion. the "best way to answer" that kind of question is with their honest emotion.

    also, i do agree with the people saying that "how are you?" is often a question asked out of habit or without an expectation for details.
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    Nov 10 2012: Hello Luis,
    I believe children naturally KNOW how to be happy, and they will be happy unless life circumstances have taught them something different. So, I don't believe we need to teach children happiness...we need to create a safe environment in which they can practice what they already know.

    When people ask me how I am, I usually say GREAT! FABULOUS! FANTASTIC, EXCEPTIONAL, or something like that, because that's truly how I usually am. If I say "fine", those who know me, know that I'm not quite up to par!

    In addition to the fact that I usually am feeling GREAT, even when facing challenges, the responses I give sometimes cause people to really pay attention:>) As someone on this thread mentioned, often people don't really want to know, they just ask the question out of habit, or politeness. When we change our response, it sometimes adds more interest to the question. This not only alters the chemistry in our own body/ often alters other people's chemistry as well:>)

    It has been scientifically proven that smiling/laughing and frowning changes the chemistry in our body/mind. Now, it is proven that body language changes our chemistry as well! I believe in using every possible practice to facilitate joy, happiness, contentment, and good emotional and physical health in my life, and if it touches others, that is a bonus!!!
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    Nov 10 2012: I am agains any technique to force fake feelings. For children, even more.
  • Nov 10 2012: how are you?

    how are you not?
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    Gail .

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    Nov 10 2012: Teaching children to remember to be happy is easy enough to do. Have them put together lists of what they like to do 1) by themselves, 2) with one other person, 3) with two or three other people, and 4) with more than three people.

    Help them recognize when they are unhappy and allow them to choose to go into ME time to remember how to be happy. They go to their list. Choose something that they like and do it until they recognize that they are happy. Then take that happiness back to the group.

    I used this method on a group of 8-10 year olds one summer and all of the mothers were knocking on my door telling me that their daughters had been transformed and wanting to know what ME time was.

    One mother talked of how her daughter lost her shyness. Another said that the change was astounding. The daughter and mother used to fight constantly. Suddenly, the daughter was cleaning the ginnie pig cage and her own bedroom every day without being reminded. She helped her mother fix dinner and they actually had fun doing dishes together after dinner. The mother came to me after weeks of not a single argument with her now very helpful daughter.

    I talked to the daughter about this. She said that she discovered that she is happier when her room and the house are clean. She is happier when she sees her mother's appreciation. She is happier after she cleans the Ginnie pig cage than she is feeling bad about having to clean it. She is happier helping her mother (a single mother) than she is arguing with her mother. She now says that doing dishes with her mother is FUN.

    Some of these families were permanently transformed by a summer focused on learning how to be happy all day long.

    I do have to say that in the process, we found out that our unhappy moments were worldview based. We simply accepted another one and immediately, after two weeks of constant fighting, they spent the rest of the summer without a single argument.
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    Nov 8 2012: Happiness is a mental or emotional state of well-being characterized by positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy. I believe that we can observe these emotions but I find it hard to define what happiness is.

    The reply can only influence the chemistry in their bodies if it is true. Further if it is true that they are happy then the reply makes no difference.

    I agree with Fritzie that people ask the question out of kindness or general conversation and have little interest in the details. Have you ever asked a person how they are and they show you their scars and the stories of the operations and the thirty hours of pain in childbirth. I never ask again ... and may run upon their approach.

    I disagree that we can "teach" happiness .... heck we cannot even define it.

    All the best. Bob.
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    Nov 8 2012: Could the same effect be achieved in a sincere way by a habit of privately noting "gratitudes' on a regularly basis? Martin Seligman in his talk about positive psychology and happiness indicates that research supports the benefits of that habit.

    I agree that there are options to "fine, thank you," but I agree also that when people ask, they often are not interested in the details.
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    Nov 8 2012: We should give and become ourselfs a reason to our children to be happy, but how could you possibly teach them?

    Most of those daily 'How are you?' questions are nothing but a repetitive custom, a form of greeting, and do NOT reflect a genuine interest in another persons state of being. They also indicate, that the questioner is not willing to use its own 'senses' to get an idea about the other persons 'mood', as that would actually need a real interest to do so.

    It seems to me, that your proposal is not adding any sincerity to this given habit as all it does is changing the 'response pattern'.

    Did you ever try to anser those 'how are you?' questions with a counter-question like 'do you really wan't to know'? In my experience it 'sorts the wheat from the chaff'.

    I wish my children and all people to answer honestly, not 'programmed' on those intimate questions if they are willing to share.

    To become a 'happy human being' - whatever that may be - takes more, much more than neural 'word conditioning'.

    Happiness can be given, it can be shared, but can it be 'taught'? On this I have my doubts.