Last night, while the rest of St. Louis was watching the Cardinals, I watched the documentary “Happy.”
The study of happiness was very interesting to learn about. What makes people happy?
A few things that stood out to me: (1) money and image do not contribute to happiness; (2) physical fitness is highly linked to happiness; (3) relationships and community are key to long life and happiness; (4) activities that bring you simple pleasure, like playing an instrument, are linked to happiness.
Then, oddly enough, this morning I began some of my teacher training pre-assignments. I watched this video of Harvard professor Tal Ben-Shahar, whose Harvard course on happiness was featured in the “Happy” documentary. He talked about how positive psychology focuses on what works, instead of what doesn’t. He said we need to take responsibility for our own happiness, that it is a part of our true nature, and that by focusing on the good we will cultivate happiness.
One take away from this video that I am going to bring into my life is a gratitude journal. Every night, I am going to write down five things for which I am grateful. Do you do this? I think it will be a nice reflection of my day, a ritual to send me off to sleep.