The Beautiful Side of Life

February Edition

How do we find happiness?

Remember when I said I would push out a newsletter every month? Here I am after having missed TWO months in a row ... ! I'd love to blame it on something ... Covid maybe, since we can blame virtually everything on Covid these days? But really the bottom line is life just got crazy busy and this kept getting pushed to the bottom of the stack. I actually started this newsletter, deleted everything and started over ... several times. Have you ever have days like that? (...or months like that...?)

Either way ... welcome to the February edition of the Counseling Newsletter! I flipped my topic several times until I finally hit one that resonated with me for this month - happiness.

Often times we think happiness will come when we get good grades, when we are recognized for a certain talent, or when we finally get something we want. But science has proved over and over that happiness is actually the opposite of that ... happiness actually comes first! When we can find happiness, then we become more successful. Combined studies on over 275,000 people found that happiness led to success in nearly every domain - including work, health, friendship, sociability, and creativity.

This requires us to switch our focus and instead of shooting for something that we think will make us happy, we have to become happy first and then the rest will follow suit. So, how do we find our happiness? Read on to find out how!

What is Happiness? Learn How to Be Happy In Life

5 Ways to Build Your Happiness

H(elp) someone by using a signature strength: "Each time we use a skill, whatever it is, we experience a burst of positivity. If you find yourself in need of a a happiness booster, revisit a talent you haven't used in a while."

Challenge: Determine what you're particularly good at and enjoy doing. Each night, before you go to bed, think about how you're going to use your signature strength to make a small difference in someone's life.

A(rrange) something to look forward to: "One study found that people who just thought about watching their favorite movie actually raised their endorphin levels by 27 percent. Often, the most enjoyable part of an activity is the anticipation. If you can't take the time for a vacation or a night with friends now, put something on the calendar. Then whenever you need a boost of happiness, remind yourself about it."

Challenge: Watch a movie you've been hoping to see, make plans with a friend, or plan something you can look forward to

P(ractice) gratitude: "When researchers pick random volunteers and train them to be more grateful over a period of a few weeks, they become happier and more optimistic, feel more socially connected, enjoy better quality sleep, and even experience fewer headaches than control groups. Countless other studies have shown that consistently grateful people are more energetic, emotionally intelligent, forgiving, and less likely to be depressed, anxious, or lonely."

Challenge: Keep a journal near your bed. Before going to sleep at night or before getting out of bed in the morning, write down three things you're grateful for.

P(erform) deliberate acts of kindness: "Sonja Lyubomirsky, a leading researcher and author of The How of Happiness, has found that individuals told to complete five acts of kindness over the course of a day report feeling much happier than control groups and that the feeling lasts for many subsequent days, far after the exercise is over."

Challenge: Make a conscious decision to help three people today (bring someone a cup of coffee, offer your time to listen to someone's struggles, send someone a message of encouragement to a friend or family member).

Y(earn) for social support: "In the midst of challenges and stress, some people choose to hunker down and retreat within themselves. But the most successful people invest in their friends, peers, and family members to propel themselves forward. This principle teaches us how to invest more in one of the greatest predictors of success and excellence - our social support network.

Challenge: Make plans with a friend or friends at the beginning of the week - coffee date, dinner date, movie night, game night, etc.

(Nathan Lozeron;

Challenge Yourself:

Watch the video below ("An Experiment in Gratitude"). I challenge you to write a note or a letter to someone in your life that you are grateful for, letting them know what you appreciate about them. Then call that person and read them the note or the letter.

You might feel really silly at first ... so silly that you try to talk yourself out of doing it. But, I challenge you to push through the feeling of awkwardness and just do it. Tell someone why you're grateful for them! It will boost their mood AND yours at the same time ... what have you got to lose?

Want to learn more about the science of happiness?

  • How to boost your happiness
  • How to get out of a bad mood
  • How to train your brain
  • How to be more optimistic
  • More about the essence of positive psychology?

Click the link below!!

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New Workout Challenge!

I haven't given us a workout challenge lately. And let's face it ...

Exercise = A significant increase in happiness

Don't get me started on dopamine and endorphins ... the feel-good chemicals in the brain that are released when we actually move our bodies and work out!

We've planked, we've push-up'ed ... let's go for some burpees. I'm being honest ... I really cannot stand burpess (...because frankly, ouch). BUT ... I'm up for a good challenge. Who's in?

Join me and then keep me posted on how you're doing!

(Email me pics or updates to if you want to be included in my future victory-collages in the next newsletter!)

If you're in ... follow the chart below (you only have to start with ONE burpee, and by day 30 you'll be rockin' out 50!)

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Happy - Pharrell Williams (Lyrics) 🎵

School Counseling Website

Looking for answers to your academic questions, career options, or college planning? Looking for local job opportunities or resources for mental health? Please scroll through my website and become familiar with it's contents! This can also be found on the Battle Lake School Main Page --> District --> Counselor's Corner
Virtual Suggestion Box

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