The Secret Handbook 4 Teens

Want 2 Feel Happy? Stop & Help a Turtle (or something like that)

Sometimes it’s the little things in life that can make you feel happy and it’s important to let that happiness bubble up in you and savor it for awhile. My little moment of happiness today was when I saw a turtle struggling to get up a curb after crossing the street. I pulled over to the side of the road (the opposite side of the road that I was supposed to be driving on actually) and a postal truck came rumbling around the corner and immediately beeped and the driver threw up his hands as I got out of the car. I held up my finger in a “Please wait one minute!” gesture and picked up the little turtle, put him on the grass and he toddled off on his merry way. The postal driver was now laughing¬†and waving after he realized what I was doing and we both drove away smiling.

If it felt that good to help a turtle imagine how good it would feel to help one of your fellow human beings. What can you do to help someone today? It doesn’t have to be a big thing. Maybe you can clean up your room or do the dishes or take a minute to chat with your parents or a family member (because believe it or not they actually do like to talk to you!) Happiness truly comes from helping others and when you can make it a habit, you will see how much happier you can be in life.

Don’t believe me? Go on, dare yourself to be happy and help someone out today (or if you can, at least help a turtle). ūüôā

Did U Know U Can Choose 2 B Happy?

You can be happy right here, not tomorrow, not in ten minutes, but now. You can be happy right now. Byron Katie

It feels good to be unhappy sometimes doesn’t it? Oh go ahead and admit it. Once you start sliding into your funk for the day there is a perverse pleasure in being angry, annoyed, pissed, irritated and surly with everyone and everything. Your parents are irritating. Your classmates are annoying. Your teachers…don’t even get me started about the teachers. Even your best friend is getting on your nerves. All you want to do is just sit and listen to sad music on your ipod and wallow in misery. Then something happens and all of a sudden, you forget why you were so blue and start moving through life once again.

Much like you choose to wallow in misery you can actually choose to be happy too. For some reason it seems harder to be happy than sad but with practice, you actually can jolly yourself out of a mood and make the conscious decision to be happy immediately. And I mean immediately. You don’t need to wait for things to help with your mood. You can just choose to be happy. You can start to see good things around you. You can see that your best friend is a good, that your parents just care, that your teacher is trying to help you grow and spread your wings and that your classmates are just struggling with the day just like you are.

See how easy it is to put things in perspective? What’s happy is making the mental decision to change the way you choose to dwell in this world but it just takes practice. So why not start now? Right now! Why not give up whatever crappy mood you’re in at the moment and choose to be happy. Smile at someone. Smile at yourself. Actively choose to not be moody.

Choose Happy. It might just make others around you happy too and wouldn’t that be nice?

3 Things 2 Do Today That R Guaranteed 2 Make U Happy

Being happy isn’t actually all that hard but there are some things you can do every day to guarantee it. Try these three simple things today and watch how much better you feel!

1.¬†Choose to be Happy. Believe it or not, you can actually choose happiness but it does require some actions and reprogramming on your part. So what one thing can you do to be happier? What is your strategy for happiness? Just pick one thing. Maybe it’s choosing to be around upbeat people. Maybe it’s choosing to pay more attention to the little voice in your head that brings you down. Maybe it’s doing one thing you love every day that’s just for you. You don’t have to try to 1000 of these things but figure out what you’re doing that makes you unhappy and choose to do something different. Happiness can just happen and it’s great when it does but you can have more of it in your life when you choose to make it happen.

2. Be Thankful. You’ve heard me say it before and hopefully you’ve heard others say the same but being thankful is a surefire way to be happy. It’s really easy to do too! Just think of three things that you’re grateful for. They can be big things or little things. Your friends. Your parents. Your life. A good grade. A better grade than you thought. The way the sun feels on your face. A little kid laughing. Your friends laughing. Life is filled with tons of things to be thankful for and spending a few minutes to focus on them is an instant mood boost.

3. Forgive.¬†Holding a grudge takes energy and creates a lot of negative energy and creates stress so you need to just let it go. The person you’re not forgiving doesn’t know or care that you’re harboring negative feelings towards them and it doesn’t actually impact them, it impacts you. How do you forgive?

Clinical psychologist Everett Worthington Jr. in his book, Five Steps to Forgiveness, created a 5-step process he calls REACH.

R: Recall the hurt. Figure out what you are or were really upset about. Figure out all the reasons but then move on to the next step.

E: Empathize and try to understand the act from the perpetrator’s point of view. I use this technique all the time and it’s helpful not only for learning to forgive, but can also keep people from getting to you. Maybe someone is having a bad day. Maybe they have an unhappy life. Maybe something really bad has happened to them. It doesn’t excuse their behavior but realizing that it’s not you helps you to let go of things.

A: Be Altruistic by recalling a time in your life when you were forgiven.

C: Commit to putting your forgiveness into words. Write an email, put it in your journal. Write it down on a piece of paper. Just get it out of your head and make it real.

H: Try to Hold on to the forgiveness. Don’t dwell on your anger, hurt, and desire for vengeance.

So there you have it. Three simple things to do every day to be happier. At least, these are the things I do. What do you do to be happy? Share it with other teens!

The 5th Secret for Teens: It’s a 4 Letter Word But it’s Not #%&@

arms love

Oh #%&@

Ok, the 5th Secret¬†is actually not that kind of four-letter word but let’s face it, we all have moments when pulling out that four lettered word seems like the only appropriate response to the situation (Just don’t tell your parents you curse…we like to think that you never do and never will and will also never admit that you learned it from us.) Anyway, I’m here to suggest that there is another type of response to those situations that also involves a four-letter word and that word is LOVE.

In fact the 5th Secret is very simple –¬†Life is All About Love.¬†

Sound too simple? It probably also sounds very hippie-let’s-all-sit-around-in-a-circle-and-play-guitar-and-hold-hands-while-we-wish-for-world-peace too. At least it does to me. But that’s not the kind of love I’m talking about. I’m also definitely not talking about romantic love which is wonderful and important but I don’t expect you to romantically love everyone (plus it would be weird and I’m not sure exactly how you’d handle all those relationships and heartbreaks but I digress…)

Read more…

happy dog

“The real question is whether you want to be happy regardless of what happens. The purpose of your life is to enjoy and learn from your experiences. You were not put on Earth to suffer. You’re not helping anybody by being miserable.”

РMichael A. Singer, The Untethered Soul

(and ps – this book, The Untethered Soul,¬†is a little secret that adults have been keeping from you. It’s totally understandable, totally something you’ll relate to and pretty life changing. I mean, if it was good enough for Oprah…)