If a tablespoon of salt is placed in a half a cup of water, then the water will be salty. How can you make the water taste less salty if there's no way to remove the salt? Add water.

Salt represents the bitter challenges we encounter in life, and water represents happiness. Every life has its share of challenges; there is no way to remove the salt. But we can add activities that generate happiness so that saltiness is diluted; the pain and grief we feel is mitigated by the happiness we feel.

This sounds so simple, but when we tend to do the opposite. When we’re unhappy, we like to curl up in our beds and focus on our troubles, which just makes us unhappier.

The same is true when we feel negative vibes in our home. When our kids are arguing with each other non-stop and only take a break to whine that they’re hungry and bored, our instinctive reaction is to join the fray.

We run in and start barking orders, shouting at whoever made the mess to clean up right now – or else, or scream at whoever dares fight with a sibling and we tell them all that they’re driving us crazy.

We react by throwing more salt into the water. We enter a negative situation and throw in even more negativity.

Our attempts at straightening out the situation would be more successful if we cut out the salt and throw in “water” to dilute the situation. We should inject positivity into the situation and thereby dilute the negative vibes.

Here are few ways we can inject happiness in our homes, even when the atmosphere may be tense and negative.

  • Music. Put on happy music, turn up the volume and start a funny dance, and get the kids to join you. Studies show that bright, happy music make a person feel happier, more energetic and alert and reduces stress. Playing music in your house will put everybody at home in a happier mood.

  • Humor. Instead of being pulled downhill with all the sad, depressed children in your home, make a joke. Do something strange that will make the kids stop and laugh. Answer the nudgy child in a funny voice, respond to the one who tried out an insult by pretending to cry, lie down on the floor and mimic the two-year-old in middle of a tantrum, or dance a funny jig for everyone to see.

  • Laugh. There are people all over the world who engage in Laughter Yoga, which encourages people to laugh spontaneously because laughter relieves stress, boosts immunity, fights depression and make people more positive.

    Tell your kids to follow your lead. Start to laugh real loud. They’ll start laughing soon after. Have them try laughing quietly, laughing while standing, sitting, walking – and whatever other type of laugh your mind can conjure. Laughing is guaranteed to put the whole family in a good mood.

  • Inject positivity. Make positive statements. Ask for help in a positive way. Tell your children how much you love them. Tell them that they are the most wonderful children in the world. Sit down and read them a book. Give them compliments: Tell them how much you enjoy watching them play together, what great cleaner-uppers they are, and that there’s no other family in the world that could be better than yours.

Try these tips to make your home happier during this time leading up to Purim – and use them all year round so that the happiness in your home never goes out of season.

Photo credit, S&B Vonlanthen, Unsplash.com