Believe it or not, one of the most effective ways to boost your everyday happiness quotient is to actively decide that you want to be happier.
Just like you can improve your manners by making a habit of saying “thank you” or improve your health by putting a lunchtime walk reminder on your calendar, you can improve your overall outlook by taking advantage of opportunities to be happy. Is there a subject you love teaching that never seems to make it out of the curriculum box? Put it at the top of your to-do list. Does that clique-y mom group at park day make you feel down on yourself? Find another activity to keep you busy on those Tuesday afternoons. Are you happiest when you’re out in nature? Start a family nature journal or relocate your readalouds to take advantage of the fall sunshine. Do you have a tendency to hold on to frustration when you have a challenging day? Practice techniques like meditation or visualization that can help you let go of the negativity and see the positive. Make a point to look for ways to add a little joy to your day, and you’ll be surprised how many you find.
We tend to think of happiness as something that just magically happens—the stars align, and boom! whoosh! happiness. And sometimes happiness is like that. More often, though, happiness comes from the intention to be happy—a commitment for looking for the good stuff in the ordinary stuff of our everyday lives. And just like math or Latin vocabulary, the more we practice happiness, the better we get at it.