Write a Letter to Your Future Child, Niece, or Nephew

Writing letter to a friend.
Writing letter to a friend.

Assignment:

1. Using Microsoft Word, open a new Letter from the templates.

2. Next, write a letter to your future child (or nephew or niece), and in the letter explain the science of happiness in three paragraphs.

3.  You have learned that there is actually a recipe for happiness, and you have many notes about it. For your three paragraphs, just choose three tools of happiness to talk about.  Make sure that you explain the science of each tool of happiness, and then give examples about how to do it, and why it works to make one happy.

Example Essay from a student from last year:

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Maria Garcia
1234 Stenner Rd.
Santa Maria, CA 93455

Abigail Garcia
1234 Stenner Rd.
Santa Maria, CA 93455

Dear Abigail,

It’s hard to have happiness in life, especially when there are problems and really bad situations where you just want to give up. Some people don’t believe in happiness, but happiness is one out of many emotions we have in life. There are many things you can do in life to be happy: for example exercise, helping others, and meditation.

Exercise is one of the best ways to become a happy person. It helps you in many ways: for example, losing weight, which makes you feel and look better, and it gets you smarter because it helps your brain. John J. Ratey, MD, an associate professor to psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and author of A User’s Guide to the Brain says, “Exercise is really for the brain, not for the body. It affects mood, vitality, alertness, and feelings of well-being. Exercise affects many sites within the nervous systems and gives off pleasure chemicals such as serotonin and dopamine that makes you calm and gives you happiness.” A personal experience of mine how exercise helped me in my life was when I didn’t like how I looked or how I felt about myself. I was not happy with whom I was, but by exercising, I became confident in myself and learned to love myself.

Another great way to have happiness in life is by helping others. Some people may give you things or do things for you and that will make you happy, but giving back to others or doing things for other doubles up the happiness. There’s many things you can do to help others: for example: volunteering. Mark Snyder, a psychologist and head of the Center for Study of the Individual and Society at the University of Minnesota says, “People who volunteer tend to have higher self-esteem, psychological well-being, and happiness.” Studies had shown that if you help others the brain releases feel- good chemicals and spurs you to perform more kind acts. Helping others makes you a better person in life it shows how you care about others and not just yourself. When I would help you grandmother when she would get sick I did not care how hard I needed to work and the time I needed to invest because as long as she was healing and smiling that paid it off and it made me happier than ever.

Another way you can achieve happiness in life is by meditating. Life gets hard and sometimes you have to take a minute or more to breath and not thing about the problems that are going on in your life. Meditation helps your brain and helps you not to be depressed. Sara Lazar, a researcher at Massachusetts General Hospital discovered that the more one practices mindfulness meditation, the thicker the brain becomes in the mid- prefrontal cortex and in the mid-insular region of the brain. A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Internal Medicine, finds that mindfulness meditation may rival antidepressants in easing the symptoms of depression. These are two out of the many ways meditation works in your life. Meditating changes your life it sure changed mine. Every time I would have problems I would get angry, stressed, and depressed, but after I started mediating I was able to just breathe and have time to myself to relax and have my mind go blank, which is nice.

Happiness does exist, it’s all up to you my darling to decide if you want it in your life. I hope you follow these three tips: exercise, helping others, and meditation to make your life easier and happier.

 

Sincerely,

 

Mom

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Example Paragraph from the Teacher: about Exercise 

Exercise may be one of the most important, yet least used tools for happiness in the world today.  History shows us that we were meant to move; it was part of our ancestor’s survival.  New science now also shows us that moving around a lot  (or exercising), is not only good for the body, but even more importantly, necessary for a healthy brain.  Brain research tells us how exercise actually makes us happy through the release of neurochemicals like dopamine.  Dopamine is the bodies feel good chemical and also works like an Etta-strength aspirin (John J. Ratey, Harvard Psychiatrist).  Exercise also releases stress that builds up from the many things going on in our lives.  The problem today is, that many people don’t exercise, so instead of releasing stress, it continues to build up…sometimes leading to massive anxiety or depression.  Even worse, in America, treating depression, anxiety and stress is all done through medication.  Did you know that America prescribes $26.1 billion dollars worth of medication for stress, anxiety, and depression.  Conversely, in the United Kingdom, did you know that they do it just the opposite?  The first line of defense for their patients is actually exercise!   All in all, I can attest that no matter how bad, stressed out, or sore I might feel before exercising, I always feel better afterward…and that good feeling lingers on all night and often into the next day.  So with all that being said, my future child (niece or nephew), I want to make one promise to you about the world and your life: you will fall down.  Although this thought may seem pessimistic, find my words above the optimistic spin on this reality.  Although you’ll always fall down, from time to time, it’s always your choice how you’ll get back up.  If you heed my words to use exercise as a first line defense against life’s stress, adversity, and incidental set-backs, you’ll bounce back quicker in life each time, with confidence, poise, and a champion mind!  Exercise is a human need, don’t forget that.  It nourishes the mind and will bring happiness.  So lace up your shoes, and lets get to it my child (niece or nephew)!  It’s on

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