Can one enjoy childhood again through thoughts?
Laugh, learn, be amazed like a child: How you can bring back the happiness of your childhood
Do you still remember your childhood?
Many associate the memories of their childhood with a feeling of lightheartedness and happiness: As a small child, it was easy to live in the present moment. As a result, one experienced everything more intensely - joy and anger, all feelings were experienced without hypocrisy and undiluted. You gave yourself to every moment without thinking about later. When you ate, you ate; when you played, you played; if you ran around, you ran around; when you cried you cried; and when you laughed, you laughed. This and many other aspects led to an indescribable feeling of happiness that most adults either have long forgotten or miss dearly.
"Once you grow up, you see how nice it was to be a child."
Quote of unknown origin
Even those who do not have a happy childhood feel this longing for what can hardly be described in words, and what most children seem to have without being in the least aware of it.
Is it even possible to experience carefree happiness in everyday adult life?
Is this light-heartedness and happiness that one experienced as a child possible in view of the obligations, the demands, the time pressure and all the worries of life?
At the beginning of the film "Playmobil: der Film" there is an interesting conversation between the boy Charly and his older sister Marla, who has taken responsibility for her brother since the death of her parents:
Charly: “What has happened to you? You talked about adventures and wanted to see the world. Nothing is more terrible than a monotonous, boring life. "
Marla: “But I've grown up. And I had to learn that life is not an adventure. "
Charly: “You have that in your own hands. But you don't want to do anything about it. "
Is it really in your own hands?
Marla would have replied, “No, I have too many day-to-day duties. I didn't choose that. ”But she couldn't get around to answering. As the film progresses, she is surprised by incidents that were neither wanted nor pleasant - but which helped Marla to find herself again.
Sometimes it is precisely the circumstances that we want least of all that help us most to find what we lost at some point and to become who we really are again.
"Fate, he now knew, did not come from anywhere, it grew within."
A trip without a travel guide, map or navigation device
The return to ourselves, back to lightheartedness and unconditional inner happiness, is a journey. There is no map for this trip, because the route looks different for every person. We have neither tour groups that we could join, nor do we have a navigation device that would guide us safely and directly to our destination. Every human being carries a compass that shows us the direction, just like every migratory bird instinctively finds its way. Unlike migratory birds, however, we humans have forgotten how to understand this intuitive inner compass. Yeah, worse, we're not even aware that it even exists. Instead, in our heads we hear the thousands of voices of well-intentioned advice from others suggesting innumerable different directions.
We can therefore not give you a detailed procedure on how you can find happiness, lightness and lightheartedness again (or for the first time). However, what we can give you for your way, if you want to dare this journey, are a few suggestions.
1. Learn from the children
In many things we adults are important role models and coaches for our children. But it is precisely when it comes to lightheartedness that we are the students that children can do.
Resolve every morning that you will learn at least one thing from your child or children that day:
Let children's eyes teach you how to see the world.
Let yourself be taught how everyday life becomes an adventure.
Get taught how to play.
Get taught how to draw scribble pictures.
Get taught how to do somersaults on the bed.
Get taught how to hop in rain puddles ...
How does the eternally young desire of all adults to preserve their "childliness" fail? Often enough, that they can't even hop through the puddles with their children.
Peter E. Schumacher
2. Discover your ability to be amazed
One attribute assigned to happy children is their ability to be amazed. Can you, for example, still remember the Christmas parties from your childhood?
“Being able to be amazed” is a very important ingredient in the recipe for inner happiness. Children can even marvel at very irrelevant things: a dandelion on the side of the path. A shiny beetle. A rescue helicopter in the sky. Because of this “ability to be amazed”, her everyday life is full of surprises and wonders. There is no monotony, no monotony. Every moment is different and worth living, full of wondrous discoveries.
"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious".
And that is exactly what children can do: They see the mysterious in the familiar, they see the wonderful in the everyday, they see the magical in the ordinary.
We adults, on the other hand, are very rarely amazed. When we are amazed, it is usually only during a particularly beautiful holiday moment, when we visit a concert or have similar extraordinary experiences. Our normal, everyday life, on the other hand, seems predictable and without any fascination. Augustine of Hippo observed this as early as the 4th century:
People travel to foreign countries and marvel at the height of the mountains, the force of the sea waves, the length of the rivers, the vastness of the ocean, the wandering of the stars; but they pass one another without astonishment.
Augustine of Hippo
When we are ready to learn from children, we discover that our everyday lives are also in truth full of moments that we can marvel at. The first ray of sunshine in the morning that kisses you awake, or the scent of morning coffee, would be enough to fill our hearts with joy - if we didn't take it for granted.
There are two ways of living your life: either as if nothing is a miracle, or as if all were one.
How we live our life is first of all a decision.
An important question arises: How do children actually manage to discover the mysterious in the familiar, the wonderful in the everyday and the unusual in the ordinary?
3. Live more in your perception
When a baby is born, it does not yet think much about what it is experiencing and what it will encounter. Above all else, a baby perceives. It is fully aware of its perception and less of its thoughts.
For us adults it is usually the other way around: We are fully and constantly aware of our thoughts, but little of our perception.
This perception is an important reason why children can also be amazed at everyday things: They perceive things for what they are instead of being satisfied with what they think about things.
What is meant by this:
As an adult, when you walk past a daisy, you think “daisy”. You have a word in your head, a generalizing thought, you are satisfied with it, and there is no astonishment. One no longer has an eye for the peculiarity and uniqueness of this flower and creates a certain distance to the flower.
A child does not “think” about the flower, but perceives it directly in its entirety: the delicate white petals, the bright yellow circle in the middle, how the flower feels in the hand ... The child does not analyze what it perceives. Instead, it is open to be amazed at the wonder of this flower. Or the miracle of a mud puddle. Or the miracle of a glittering stone.
The younger a child is, the more obvious it becomes. If you have ever observed how attentively a small child plays with a simple mug and some water, how fascinated a child can watch a fire bug, or how happy a baby is with a simple household item that it feels and feels in its hand, then you know what we mean. When we perceive, life is full of surprises and wonders, because there is a constant stimulation of the 5 senses. We smell, hear, taste, see and feel life and experience our own vitality in it.
4. Live in the here and now
Perceiving has another decisive advantage over thinking:
Thoughts often distract you from the present, because many thoughts have to do with later or before, with the future or the present. However, perception only works in the present moment. Therefore, the more we begin to perceive again, the more we begin to live mindfully and in full awareness of the present moment.
Perception can therefore also help you to regain inner peace.
Instead of rushing from one goal on your to-do list to the next, relax and ask yourself, "What is it now? What do I perceive? "
The more you live in the present, the more you come back into contact with yourself. And that's a good thing, because happiness cannot be found anywhere but in yourself. If wealth and luxury could make you happy, then there wouldn't be so many stars who take drugs, slide from one broken relationship to the next, or other You can see her unhappiness in her eyes.
Jim Carrey once said:
I wish everyone got rich and famous. So everyone could see that this is not the solution.
The solution lies only in you.
5. Become like a child inside
We probably cannot find the happiness we long for if we do not become a little bit like a child inwardly. A child is fully aware of his or her perception. This not only means that it can live in the here and now and is therefore always connected to itself and can enjoy every moment undivided; living in the present also leads to a feeling of carefree and light-heartedness.
"A truly great person never loses the simplicity of a child."
Have you ever seen a child ask themselves, “What am I going to eat in 2 hours? Oh no, I'll definitely get hungry then. What if I don't like the food? Hunger can also cause stomach ache. Oh no, I don't want that! ”. A child does not worry, because worries mostly have to do with the near or distant future, but rarely with the immediate present moment.
6. The right balance
Of course, it doesn't mean that we shouldn't think about later, shouldn't plan anything, or drift thoughtlessly and naively through life. No. Thoughts are an enormously important, valuable, and useful tool. The only question is whether we control the tool or whether the tool controls us? Do we use our thoughts or are we a victim of our thoughts?
Don't turn off your thoughts, but use them wisely.
When a baby is born, it doesn't think much about it; it perceives everything intensely. The older and more mature they get, the more intellectual skills a child develops. The ideal state would be a healthy balance between thinking and perceiving. As adults, however, we tend to think and worry too much and become unbalanced. It is important to find that again. Little by little, step by step.
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