Mindful Living Gratitude Happiness Parenting

My Happiness Jar Project

My happiness jar project

I just started a new project. A personal one. It is called the Happiness Jar.

This is how it looks:

VidyaSury CollectingSmiles

What you are looking at is a Jar with a smiley stuck on it.

We also call it the gratitude jar, because we drop notes in it about what we are grateful for, as well as what made us happy.

Appreciation is an important part of life, more so for children, so that they don’t grow up with a sense of entitlement. Children who do grow up thinking they are privileged often end up with not so perfect relationships and are not liked by everyone. And that’s so sad.

When we appreciate what we have and focus on it, rather than whine about what we don’t have, life is much better. We learn the value of things. So why not teach children this? Best to start when they are very young. And the happiness jar or gratitude jar is the best and most fun way to do it.

Here’s what we will be doing with our happiness jar: Each time something makes us happy, we’ll write it down in a slip of paper and put it in this jar. This means we will consciously appreciate every little thing. We’ll watch the jar fill up. At some point, it may not even be necessary to open the jar and read each slip, though we’ll do that too. Just seeing it fill up will be motivating, inspiring.

If we have a problem or if we’re upset about something, we’ll discuss it, disperse the sadness, find solutions and take action to feel better.

What you need to make your Happiness Jar

  • A jar, of course. Any old container will do. Use a large one because children are enthusiastic about filling it up. Try and get a clear jar so you can see the notes inside it. If you don’t have a jar, even a cereal box is good enough. Just dress it up with pretty pictures and put a giant label on it, that says “Happiness Jar”
  • Keep small notes ready–you can cut large sheets of paper into small notes and keep them ready along with a pencil. For the paper, even one-sided ones will do. Be creative!
  • Place the Happiness jar where you can see it several times a day. It will serve as a pleasant reminder to be happy and grateful.

Just the sight of it filling up will bring you joy, I promise, along with a smile on your face!

Grateful children grow up to be wonderful human beings.

Teach your child the value of gratitude, today!

Why you should teach your children to keep a happiness jar

19 Comments

  • Reply
    Betsy at Zen-Mama
    October 18, 2011 at 2:14 pm

    The other day I wondered out loud to my husband, “I wonder who is reading my posts and if it’s helpful?” (He always calls the positive comments I get “my paycheck”.) He answered back, you’ll get your paycheck soon, don’t worry!”

    Well, reading your post was my paycheck today. Thank you so much! I was amazed, humbled and inspired by you to continue my journey of writing. I hope someday to meet, but in the meantime, I’m so glad you’re blogging friends!!

  • Reply
    My Inner Chick
    October 18, 2011 at 9:26 pm

    “““It’s the second best thing you can do with your lips? What’s the first, Vidya?!

    Love your smile project. Love you, too. X

  • Reply
    Vidya Sury
    October 18, 2011 at 5:00 pm

    Thank you so much Betsy. I feel great when I can convert my inspiration into action and make things better. Am so excited about this activity, I’ve been telling people about it and a few kids I know now have what they call the “Zen Mama Jar”

    How is that? I am thrilled about connecting, too. 🙂

  • Reply
    Vidya Sury
    October 19, 2011 at 3:30 am

    Dear Kim, 🙂 Take a wild guess about the first thing…. MMuah!Hugs to you!

  • Reply
    Dionna @ Code Name: Mama
    October 20, 2011 at 11:20 am

    That is such a sweet idea! What a wonderful way to be conscious of everything life blesses us with every day 🙂

  • Reply
    Vidya Sury
    October 20, 2011 at 11:35 am

    🙂 Thanks for stopping by Dionna. Am happy to say my son’s busy putting something into that jar every day.

  • Reply
    Unknown Mami
    October 22, 2011 at 4:21 am

    You made me smile.

  • Reply
    Vidya Sury
    October 22, 2011 at 4:28 am

    🙂 Unknown Mami, you’re a favorite with me.

  • Reply
    My Inner Chick
    January 7, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    –You. ROck. ALl. The. Way. To. America.

    Xxx Kiss. Love.

  • Reply
    Vidya Sury
    January 7, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    Hugs, Kim, for coming back and visiting this link. I am in love with this project. And I am in love with you. Smooch!

  • Reply
    Chicky
    June 30, 2013 at 10:13 pm

    This is a really wonderful idea. My Dad was sitting with me when I got your reply in my inbox from your other blog post. And even he went “WOW”! We’re going to make our own Happiness Jar! 🙂
    Chicky recently posted…Mom’s Recipes: Photo A Day – Handwriting

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      June 30, 2013 at 10:18 pm

      That’s wonderful, Chicky. And I’ll tell you a secret – when you start jotting down the little things, you’ll never run out of topics to write about. 🙂

      Please do thank your Dad for me.

      Hugs, Vidya
      Vidya Sury recently posted…Moving By Faith And Intuition

  • Reply
    REKHA
    July 2, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    Wonderful idea! But at my place, I’ll be the only one putting in notes and reading through them. 😀
    REKHA recently posted…Jaipur – A Picturesque tour (Part I)

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      July 2, 2013 at 1:08 pm

      Hi! Rekha! 🙂 Then, would you try this, just once? Place the jar/container where everyone at home can see it. Add your notes. You’ll generate curiosity. And seeing the jar fill up, the others will want to participate. Slowly. But steadily. 🙂 I’ve seen that happen! Be prepared for a little teasing, initially, though. If you are keen on others participating, write a few notes praising those people. When they check your notes… 😀 You know what to do. I really appreciate your coming by!

  • Reply
    T
    July 29, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    What a brilliant idea, Vidya! I have been reading a lot of positive psychology research and I think this is right up there with some of the very effective and doable ideas that have been suggested as a means for more positive living. Loved it to the core. Will be making one for myself 🙂

    Thanks a lot for sharing
    T recently posted…My Pretentious ‘I’m 25’ List

  • Reply
    Li-ling
    August 24, 2013 at 3:03 pm

    What an excellent idea! I’ve come to your blog via Vishnu’s (virtues) and i’ve really enjoyed reading your posts. I know you posted this a couple of years now – is it still an on-going project?
    I’m going to start a gratitude project too, but with a slight twist, as I’ve got lots of wall and lots of spare post-its 🙂
    Hope you’re having an amazing day!

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      August 24, 2013 at 4:09 pm

      Hi! Li-ling! and welcome! Yes, I still maintain the Happiness Jar 😀 Would love to see your gratitude project – I do mine in a journal, though. 😀 Come to think of it, I have loads of blank stickers too. 😀 Have a lovely weekend!
      Vidya Sury recently posted…When the going gets tough

  • Reply
    The Power of Positive Posture - Vidya Sury
    May 28, 2014 at 4:10 pm

    […] I have more than 300 reasons to be happy now. Take a look at my Happiness Project! […]

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