Habits can have a surprisingly big impact on how your girl feels, thinks, and responds to what happens to her. Help her build strong happiness habits, like these from Your Happiest You: The Care & Keeping of Your Mind and Spirit.

Your Happiest You
Girl exploring nature

If you want to find something, you almost always have to look for it

The good moments in your life are that way, too. They’re practically everywhere. But they can be hard to see. If you don’t make a point of seeking good things out—on purpose—they tend to sneak right by before you can enjoy them. You can decide to look for the little, positive thoughts that are bubbling up all the time, even though they don’t normally attract as much attention. Often, this one simple choice can make all the difference between feeling grumpy and feeling great. Once you notice the good moments in your day, the next step is to really enjoy them. Here’s how.

Girl playing on sandy beach

Pick up the pebble

Have you ever spotted a pretty pebble on the beach? Did you pick it up and really look at it, or did you just keep right on walking? This is a great way to think about the small, positive things that are happening all around you.

When someone is friendly to you, when you step into the shade on a hot day, when your baby sister makes you laugh, when you smell cinnamon rolls, or when you just have a nice thought, take a moment to hold on to the tiny, warm feeling it gives you. Can you feel a smile spread over your face, or a little extra bounce in your step? Really let that feeling sink in to your heart. Then imagine tucking that small, good moment in your pocket, just like a little treasure to carry with you.

Kids catching fireflies

Count to Three

At night while you’re putting on your pajamas, press a mental “replay” button on your day and look for three positive things that happened. Don’t be choosy! Anything that felt nice, made you smile, or merely caught your interest is worth including. It’s also fine to include things that you might not describe as sunny or funny, but that are positive in a less-obvious way. Once you’ve thought of three things, challenge yourself to see if you can remember each one in the morning.

Looking for what’s good is just one of many happiness habits you can practice each and every day. Before too long, you may discover that you don’t need to remind yourself to be open to what’s good around you, because happiness has become your habit—helping you live a life with lots of meaning and joy.

Explore content excerpted from Your Happiest You: The Care & Keeping of Your Mind and Spirit by Judi Woodburn; illustrated by Josée Masse. American Girl Publishing, 2017. All rights reserved.