Its been a fortnight since the New year and I hope it has brought all of us, lots of love, luck, peace and happiness!
Last month my bundle of joy arrived making us all feel blessed and happy. His innocent smile and coos made our hearts fill with joy and happiness. As a second time mom, I realized how joyful it is to see the two wonderful humans you created, bond every minute, be it when the firstborn cares or plays or helps with the needs of the baby.
Many of you know, Ayaansh wanted a younger sister and had been constantly saying this throughout my pregnancy. The D-day arrived on December 1st, 2020 and as the doctor announced “It’s a Boy!”, Ayaansh was super elated. When asked by the doctor if he wanted a brother or a sister, Ayaansh simply said, “I wanted a sister. But I am still very happy now as I have a baby brother! My brother for life!”
Cutting to the present, many times I can see Ayaansh patiently waiting for me to finish feeding or tending to the baby. While his patience surprises me, my heart also aches with the divided attention or time given for Ayaansh. Only recently, he mentioned that while he loves his brother, he is a tad sad that he doesn’t get to spend much time with me or sleep with me on the bed. As a mom, it broke my heart and I had an open conversation with my son. It was then, that we came up with Happiness Jar as a measure to notice and appreciate all those happy moments we have through the day and read it at the end of each month.
So What Is Happiness Jar?
Happiness Jar is a project conceptualized by Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love – a very popular novel turned Hollywood movie. It was an instant hit worldwide and people started using Happiness Jar to remind themselves of all the little and big joys or the nice things that happened over the year.
Our HAPPINESS JAR
In our daily lives, it is from the smallest incidents or acts that we derive pleasures or discomforts. It is the little things that matter to make our lives enjoyable or miserable. Although we had prepared Ayaansh for all the possible situations or changes post the baby’s arrival, it was only after our conversation, I realized Ayaansh missed all those small moments I had spent with him over the years. Things like making him the smiley-faced pancake, cutting his veggies, or helping him choose his clothes, brushing his hair, laughing over his funny faces or accents, etc. made his day as well as mine.
The five years spent with Ayaansh had indeed passed away too quickly and all those first time- joyous moments were now memories.
So our happiness jar is not just a project or a simple activity to fill the vacuum, but a visual daily reminder for the family to consciously focus on the positives, appreciate the efforts and be thankful for all the good things in our life. It is a continuous effort to inculcate gratitude as a habit in each one of us especially when the days will be tough. This happiness jar is also to assess and evaluate the quality time or things we do for each other.
Our happiness can be derived from a cup of coffee made by hubby, a new book, holding hands, watching the sunset, impromptu games, singing each other’s favorite song, a tasty meal, little one’s smile, or a milestone hit, a nap in the afternoon, playing in the garden or any tiny gesture that fills our heart and brings a smile to our lips. We all have different colors of paper chits in which we write our ‘Happy Moments’ and put it into our collective jar. I decided that we would be reading it at the end of every month or at our most sad time. I can’t imagine how nostalgic and joyful it would be to re-live those happy moments together as a family.
Benefits of Happiness Jar
Whether you make your jar as individual or as a family, the benefits of happiness jars on children and adults are:
- It creates a family ritual or inculcates a good habit as we record our happy memories daily.
- Creates a strong bond between people or parent-children or siblings.
- Teaches children to understand other’s perspectives and empathize with others.
- Creates calm attitude, making kids a good leader and decision maker in the future.
- It helps children to focus on the positives or goodness in everyone, enabling parents to raise them as loving and caring individuals.
- Teaches children and adults alike to respect and appreciate all the tiniest things in life.
- Children/Adults who make Happiness Jars tend to be happy and spread the cheer around instead of being anxious and worried, thereby reducing stress, depression and other psychological problems.
- The sooner we teach our kids to document all the happy moments in the jar, the quicker we teach them to practice gratitude.
- When happiness jar is followed by Journal Writing, it can help children to express themselves emotionally.
- Maintaining the Happiness Jar and daily Journal also fosters creativity in children and helps them to practice ‘ME TIME” from the very beginning.
Things we write or put in our jar
We have decided that we will not only write our happy memories but also put a souvenir or things that remind us of happy things. Below are the few things to write or put in a Happiness Jar
- The happiest moment that day (more the merrier!)
- Things you are grateful for or people you are grateful to (it can be your maid who has done a good job in cleaning your house, your doctor who spoke kindly to you or your friends/family who appreciated you, etc.)
- We have decided that we will add our travel tickets, dinner bills from our favorite restaurants or the pictures you clicked, lucky coins, or a note from a loved one. Just remember, it’s your jar and your happiness.
- Greeting Cards or Notes from your kids about their happiest moments, their paintings, etc.
- You can add, customize your Happiness Jar as you want it to be. Remember, if the jar fills up soon, you are indeed very lucky and happy. Fetch another jar and continue the happiness journey.
- You can create separate Happiness Jars for each family member or make a collective Happiness Jar for the family like me. Remember, there are no rules here except creating or noticing the happy things/ incidents through the day!
When Do we open it ?
As it is a collective jar, we have decided to open it at the end of the month or two, or during our dejected moments to cheer us up. You can open your Happiness Jar at the end of the year or during your low point in life. There are no hard rules here. Just concentrate on the positive, fill the jar and enjoy your life.
How Do You Make it?
Well, to make the Happiness Jar all you need is a Jar or a container or even the tissue box. You don’t even have to buy a jar, use the existing one like I did. Grab some colorful scraps of paper in any shapes or sizes to write your happy moments. A marker or pen, some paints if you would like to doodle or decorate the jar. A nice ribbon to tie at the neck of the bottle to make it elegant. That’s it! You are all set to DIY and create YOUR HAPPINESS JAR!
In my next post, let me share the detailed step-by-step pictures to make the Happiness Jar! Till then, keep reading and stay happy. Let me know in the comments, if you have any such hacks to keep your life simple and happy. I am all ears to it!
Once again, Happy 2021 and I wish each once of you with lots of happiness, health, wealth, peace and travel!