Family, Kids & Relationships

Do you know your happiness triggers?

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You’ve probably heard of anger triggers—things that test your patience or otherwise set off your temper. Identifying them is really important for parents, because it can help you handle situations that tend to make you lose your cool with your kids.

But did you know it’s just as important to identify your happiness triggers?

Identifying things that consistently brighten your mood or bring you joy can be an important step in nurturing your own mental health—and the better you feel, the better you’re able to take care of your kids!

Start by thinking about moments when you’ve felt particularly calm, joyful, nostalgic, or suddenly happy.

Some might be pretty common (like the sound of crashing waves, a sip of hot coffee, or cuddling your pet) while others might be very specific to you (such as massaging scented lotion into your hands, cleaning off your desk, or hearing your neighbor’s wind chimes).

Make a list of your own happiness triggers, and then seek those things out regularly—especially when you’re feeling down—to boost your mood!

Need help making your list? You can check out our simple printable worksheet that will help walk you through identifying what triggers your joy.

Robyn is Editor-in-Chief at ParentsTogether and is co-author of several NYTimes bestselling anthologies. She lives in southern Michigan with her husband and five children.