Hello API Job Corps Centers:
What are some secrets to finding happiness?
December is a month full of holidays, all the way to New Year’s Eve. We often set high expectations around the holidays, with happiness as our goal. Learning how to be happy is something many of our students and Job Corps staff identify as a life goal. Researchers and philosophers alike say that you cannot be happy until you find happiness within yourself. Below are a few tips from Cigna Health Care that can help us all get closer to our happiness goal (https://www.cigna.com/knowledge-center/how-to-be-happy).
Recognize that you have choices: While you cannot prevent many of the difficulties that you'll encounter in life, including reality not living up to our expectations, you can control how you respond to them. Many of our students experience things that are out of their control. As Job Corps professionals, we often feel that way too. We must follow the COVID protocols, the PRH, the center and corporate policies, and the timeframes for deliverables, to name a few. Learning how to respond to whatever life grants is one of the keys to happiness. It is a wonderful skill to teach our young people so they can continue life knowing that they have control over how they respond.
Practice gratitude: There is research that practicing gratitude can help us mentally and physically. Finding purpose and meaning in the routines and actions of each day can produce happiness. The power of gratitude can be found by finding ways to help others, getting out in nature, writing a gratitude list, and living each moment for what it is (not dwelling in the past or longing for the future). Having our students practice gratitude can have a positive influence on the center culture.
Forgiveness: Anger toward yourself, anger toward things that have happened in your life, or anger toward other people can be a significant burden. When you can let go of anger, you can begin to be happy with yourself. Finding the grace to forgive, and knowing that we also need others to forgive us, lifts a heavy load. We can make the Wind River and New Orleans Job Corps Centers places where the grace to forgive comes easily.
Removing Clutter: Keeping your work and home spaces clean and free of clutter may help lift your mood. Benefits of decluttering include better focus, finding what you need faster, removing distractions, saving money by not buying what you cannot find, and creating a safer environment at work and at home. Removing clutter provides space and freedom that can boost happiness.
Small wins: Try to set a goal. Start small by finding a goal that is relatively easy to reach and celebrate when you reach it. This is a good strategy to share with our students who need to see and feel success as much as possible. It can also apply to the upcoming holidays. Achieving goals, prior to going home for the holidays, can help boost confidence and increase a sense of happiness.
Finding happiness is different for everyone. Try making a few small changes each day to be happy. Wishing you all the best, however you celebrate your holidays, this December.