How to Be as Happy as a Child, No Matter What Your Age

This post is by Marie-Eve Boudreault of the behappyanddowhatyoulove.com blog.

Happiness is a tricky thing when you’re a kid—and also as you grow up into an adult.

I observe that we find happiness easily when we’re young. But we try so hard to please others, so we can be loved by them, or believe in a fictive way to live, that we lose that knack along the way. At least we can expect to grow up wise enough to have a broad perspective on life, and to know “It’s never too late to have a happy childhood.”

Fun

Have happiness teachers: mine are my sons (Image is author's own)

Fun is now

Somehow, when we think we “get” life and have a lot of responsibilities, the fun levels can decrease. We don’t have time for fun; we can’t have fun at work because we have to do “important stuff.”

When I was young, every moment was an opportunity to have fun. In school or in spare time, I knew instinctively what I loved: to hang out with my friends and sisters, read, go out into the woods with my dog, or be an athlete.

My three-year-old twin boys are the same: everything can be a source of wonder. Fortunately they are my every day teachers of having fun.

Find out how you can keep fun in your life or get it back.

Love goes with happiness

Love is energy: it can neither be created nor destroyed. It just is and always will be, giving meaning to life and direction to goodness. Love will never die.—Bryce Courtney

I understand now that love is what we should look for and do our utmost to carry out. But I can’t say I understand it more than ever, because it seems I knew it when I was as young as a toddler.

I flourished being in a circle of constant love, and perished when I wasn’t. Even if through the passage into adulthood loving slashed a bit of my happiness—because when love crashes, it hurts bad—I’ve never regretted to love. I get love from relationships, but also from the beauty of this world, the smile of a stranger, and conditions that permit us to live and experience reality.

Violence is the contrary of love. We can all know violence, going from a mild form to the extreme, and showing itself by verbal or physical abuse. I know we can stay in that place because we need to be loved, but this is not love. Looking back now, I’d stand up for myself and get out of abusive situations as soon as they came. Don’t be afraid to do so. Love yourself enough for that—and by this you’ll never be out of love.

You always have a choice to be happy

It’s easily observable: when a child has all his needs responded to, he’s—most of the time—naturally happy. I strongly believe genuine happiness is a natural state in humans.

Adults in our industrialized societies don’t appear to have retained this ability. Maybe we’re too much occupied to get the next thing that should gain us happiness, and greed, avarice or complacency have a part to play in it. Maybe we’ve been hurt too much by sad events in our lives. But we have to realize that we can be happy this very moment. If you don’t, you consciously—or unconsciously—make the choice to be unhappy.

I realized after doing what was expected of me, and facing the hardships of life, such as sickness, violence, and a child’s death during pregnancy, that I was becoming more and more unhappy. At the same time, that was the last thing I wished for me, and others. So I went out on a happiness quest: maybe this job will make me happy, this thing, this relationship…

I should have just stopped doing what was making me unhappy, and lived happiness in the present instead of going on a happiness treadmill. I’m not angry at myself. I was pretty much on my own, and I now have tools to remain happy no matter what happens. One of those tools is that I have to make the conscious choice to be happy.

Dreaming is good for happiness

Dreaming is the first step to achieve our dreams. We dream a lot when we’re kids, but somehow growing up we try to make those dreams fit with what’s socially acceptable.

Now that I have children, I really understand that parents love their offspring a lot. Often, we’re stuck in unpleasant situations and are depended upon to fulfill needs, so we forget our dreams and/or the wellbeing of our children. Young people, please understand this; parents, don’t neglect your children because of it.

Any of us can always strive for a better situation, and do our best to reach it. This is what will bring your dreams into your life.

An example: I’ve always loved books. In kindergarten I was angry at the teacher because she wouldn’t show me how to read and be in the first grade class. I forgot that one of my dreams was to write, but I’ve rediscovered it recently.

Now, the situation isn’t ideal because I work a lot at home with my kids. But we shouldn’t wait for ideal situations. I find time every week-day to write, because if I don’t, I feel unfulfilled. I’m an author and I love it. But if I’d stuck with my dreams originally, it would have taken me less time to find my passion, and what I believe I’m here to do: inspire people to live a happy, aware life and do what they love.

As adults, we have to fulfill all our needs, and rediscover our dreams without sabotaging those of our young—let them be.

Be a conscious, happy child

Now, it’s not too late! You can remember, as I did, to make the choice to have fun, love as if you’ve never been hurt, and live your dreams. Be a conscious child, no matter what age you’re at, and live in happiness.

Marie-Eve Boudreault chose the path of happiness and living her dreams, being a sociologist, stay-at-home mom and author. You can get her free ebook, ecourse, newsletter at Be Happy and Do What You Love, under the free products page, at http://behappyanddowhatyoulove.com/blog.

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Comments

  1. Reclaiming your childlike innocence is definitely one of the keys to happiness. You definitely have a choice, but you have to stop doing the things which take it away such as television and other brainwashing devices.

    Keep your children away from the television if you don’t want them to forget their own dreams and instead be told what to think and what to dream about.

    • Hi!

      Thanks for pinpointing what our cultures have to do with it. It’s true that we have to make sure we show the right values to our children first and that they keep their dreams alive.

  2. i’ve also learnt not to base my happiness on what others people think and define as such. i can be happy in my own ways!

    • Good one! It’s odd that we forget it at some point and have to relearn it. Hopefully people like FeelGooder readers and bloggers will bring it to awareness and more and more will live the way they feel like.
      Thanks for your comment 🙂

    • Happiness is when what you say, what you do, and what you think are in harmony. Somebody important said that.

      And frankly, there was no mention of what others think.

      So I think you’re onto something.

  3. I’ve been trying to reclaim my childhood happiness for many years now but have so far been unsuccessful, and I think the reason is that I’m trying too hard. I look back at my childhood, and, while it wasn’t perfect, it seems like a paradise compared to how I am now, even though right now isn’t really that bad. I try and have an upbeat attitude, dream about what I want to do in life, not basing my life on other people’s expectations, etc. But nothing is really “clicking.” At the end of each day I still feel very unhappy. I can’t pinpoint exactly what in my life is bothering me so much, which is frustrating. How do you choose to be happy? Why can’t I do something that I want to do so badly?

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