I’ve noticed more of our students arrive at school preoccupied / focused on themselves and their feelings. They are ruled by their emotions which is a recipe for their unhappiness, and everyone around them. This is more than a teenage passing phase. We do live in a feeling based culture where people are urged to get in touch with their feelings and you have a right to express them freely (sometimes in class). I don’t see a lot of joy, happiness, or gratefulness. I do see
- anger / it’s not fair
- bitterness / it’s not fair
- complaining / it’s not fair
- disappointment / it’s not fair
- sadness / unhappiness / it’s not fair
- kids ready to be offended about something and looking for someone / anyone to take their emotion out on.
As health teachers, our job to instill some insight into how to live a healthy life. We teach everything but how to experience joy / happiness every day. I believe, if people were content in their life / joyful / happy they wouldn’t look for outside stuff (drugs, sex, acceptance) to fill an empty love / acceptance / happy tank. If you are experiencing these issues in your class / school — TRY THIS (incorporate these concepts into your lessons.)
Law of Attraction — (An important element in a self-esteem unit)
1. Like attracts like: we attract into our lives the things / people that we want. Want is defined / based on what we are thinking and feeling. Your thoughts are the most important things you have because they create feelings which lead to actions. 1 + 1 = 2 (every time)
Thoughts + Feelings = Actions (every time)
What you focus on gets bigger and bigger. It’s not the thoughts; it’s the feelings the thoughts generate. What comes into your life will match your feelings.
2. Happiness is not just a feeling it is decision you make every day. It is not about “letting it (emotions) all hang out”. It is about holding “it” (emotions) in. You control your emotions by controlling your thoughts; respecting others and remembering you represent / reflect your family’s values.
3. Be grateful. Choose to be grateful for the small pleasures in life you take for granted — there is a roof over your head, heat in the winter, air-conditioning in the summer, running water, indoor bathroom, toilet paper (there are places in the world with NO toilet paper), food, comfortable shoes, the green grass meeting the blue sky that has white clouds, the yellow pollen swirling in the wind and of course Claritin to stop the sneezing and drippy eyes , . . . . . If you are only happy and excited about the big things then you are happy once in a while. If you can enjoy the little things in every situation, then your life is happy constantly and you still enjoy the big things.
4. Teens are not taught how to be happy. They are encouraged to be true to their feelings. Some people think if they act other than how they feel; they are not being true to themselves or authentic. Be true to your values. Values (something other than yourself) compel you to do the right thing. For example, act happy even if you don’t feel it. You won’t be happier unless you act happier. How you act / behave affects your feelings.
5. People are not born happy, just like they are not born being able to read and do algebra. Some people are born with a happy disposition most of us have to learn to be happy. It is an important skill / discipline that will take you far. If you are happy, you will make the world around you a happier place.