Joy, an important part of everyone’s life. We all want to be joyful, but sometimes that can be hard. Perhaps you are going through a difficult time in your life or maybe its the drab winter weather that has got you down. Either way, we all experience times in our lives when we wish we were more joyful. To that notion we at SEL4CT wanted to put together some great ideas to increase joy in your life.

The first strategy we wanted to share with you was Berkley’s Greater Good Happiness Calendar. This calendar provides you with daily (or weekly – whatever you are up for) tips on bringing more joy and positivity to your life. Our favorite tip on this calendar is to “offer everyone patience and kindness as you navigate pandemic-time school together.”

The next strategy to bring more joy into your life is from Cultivating Happiness by Help Guide. This article discusses many great tips and tricks to bring more joy into your life through training your brain, nurturing and enjoying relationships, living in the moment, helping others, and caring for yourself. The article also discusses the importance of gratitude – as it allows us to better appreciate and enjoy the life we are living. Check out our blog posts The Importance of Gratitude in SEL, Gratitude Germination Challenge, and Mindful Appreciation for our tips and tricks on practicing gratitude. 

Now using a positivity calendar and practicing gratitude are great ways to help increase joy in your life, but the most important part is knowing what makes you happy and keeping that in sight. Time Magazine explains the importance of prioritizing your happiness, as we can’t be joyful if we do not prioritize it. Time Magazine also discusses the importance of savoring the small things in life, such as stopping to smell the flowers on a midday walk, soaking up a bit of sunshine, or just listening to your favorite song before you get to work. These small acts can greatly improve your mood throughout the day and even keep you from hitting that afternoon “wall.”

Smile! Smiling, even if it’s a fake smile, can improve your overall mood. The mere act of smiling can trick your brain into sending dopamine out and increasing your positive mood. If you don’t believe me check out this article by NBC and Happify Daily. So the next time you are feeling down, fake a smile – we promise it will make you feel better.

Berkeley and Hapify agree that personal connection can not only increase joy in your daily life, but it can increase joy throughout your life. Joy is only so joyful if you can’t share it with the people you care about. So reach out to those you care for and tell them about a joyful moment you had today, then ask them to share a joyful moment they experienced. This personal connection not only brings joy to your own life, but it helps bring joy to others as well.

How might you bring more joy into your classroom or educational space? Well, celebrating your students’ achievements is one way to do so. According to Berkeley, when you celebrate achievements of students you allow for more meaningful connections to be made within the classroom, which in turn increases joy and a sense of community. Another suggestion Berkeley has about increasing joy in the classroom is to provide students with positive affirmations – such as referring to students as their preferred names, using inclusive language, and showing enthusiasm in the classroom. Not only do these affirmations increase joy, but they can help increase students’ engagement and excitement to learn as they feel included and supported. 

Now go on and share a smile with your students and colleagues alike – pursue joy and don’t forget to stop and smell the roses!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.