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Episode 32: Part 1: The First Four

Description: This week, Dr. Boogren presents Part 1 of her takeaways from Dr. Laurie Santos' presentation on why happiness matters and how to put happiness at the top of our to-do list.


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Transcription: Hi, and welcome to Self-Care for Educators. I'm your host, Tina Boogren. This is Season 4, Episode 32. And, I'm just so happy you're here. I just want to start off with some gratitude. I oftentimes giggle when someone comes up to me and says, Oh my goodness, I love your podcast. And, the reason I'm giggling is because, you know, I record these just sitting in my little office at home or in a hotel room, as I am now, just talking into the abyss. And, I just am shocked every time someone tells me that they listen and that my words somehow proved to be helpful. That's just such a gift. And so, I'm grateful for you for being here. And, actually what I just shared with you really wraps into what I'm going to do for the next three episodes. I'm going to make this a three part series.


And, the reason why is because I got to hear Dr. Laurie Santos speak at a women's event and it was awesome. If you are not familiar with Dr. Laurie Santos or her work, let me just give you a little bit of a background. So, you may recognize her name because there were tons and tons of stories about her. She is a cognitive scientist and a professor at Yale, and she started a course that happened to be the most popular course ever in the history of Yale. And, it was all about the, the science of wellbeing, and it was so popular that she actually, she started a podcast. Some of you may listen to, if you don't, I highly recommend it. It's called The Happiness Lab. And, she has a free Coursera course on the science of wellbeing. I took that a few years ago and was reminded that I want to go back and review that myself.


At this event that I attended, she spoke for about 45 minutes. And, what she did is she talked about happiness, why happiness matters, and then gave kind of her top 10 list of practices that we can put into place. You're going to recognize a lot of these because we kind of pull from the same, pull from the same research and look at the same data. And so, a number of these strategies I've already talked about, but it was something about hearing them in her words. And, getting that validation that always feels good of the work that I try to put out into the world, really, is the work. It's the work that matters. And so, I decided I'm going to break this into three segments so that we can really digest these practices and work on them just kind of bit by bit.


So, for this episode, I'm going to talk about the first four practices that she mentioned. So, first I'm just going to list them, and then we'll talk about them a little bit more. So, the first thing she said, isn't really a practice, but, but it's kind of, it's what I would say is a fact that we need to hold onto as our foundation. And, basically it's this happiness matters for our performance more than we can even almost wrap our brains around. The second one is helping others makes us happier than we expect. The third one is to make time for making social connections, and the fourth one is making time for gratitude every day. So, let's just pause with those and go back and talk about them a little bit more. So, I'm going to go back to the one about happiness matters for our performance.


What she shared with us was hard data and statistics and graphs about how literally happier people, people perform better. And, for us as educators, wow, does this matter? When we're happier, we're better at our jobs, which is better for kids. She even shows data that happier companies make the most money. That bottom line, that bottom dollar is actually so much of that is attributed back to the happiness.


The second one, helping others makes us happier than we expect, is this idea that even if we're forced to do it, it works. When we help others, it makes us happier than we expect. So, I've talked about this before, in the idea of altruism. That the fastest way for us to feel better when we're feeling a little bit off is to do something nice for someone else. So, even if we don't want to, and we're forced to, like as in an assignment, we actually feel so much happier. She referenced a study done by Liz Dunn, where people were given 20 ... That it was like, I don't know ... I'm making this up. 20 people ... Again, I'm making this up ... But like half of the group was said to spend the 20 on something for themselves, and the other half of the group, the other 10, were told to spend that money on someone else, and far and away, the group that spent their 20 on someone else were much happier.


Oh, I love that. That next one that I mentioned, the third one was making time for social connections. Now this one stood out to me because as many of you know, I am an introvert. I love my job and being with people, but how I kind of refill my own tank is by being alone. So, I have a tendency to kind of go inward. And, I know this in my core, and we've talked about it, but I needed to hear it again, is that for introverts and extroverts alike, making time for social connections is huge. She mentioned, and I loved this, is that real time is as good as in person, meaning Face-Timing with someone, talking with someone on the phone. That's as good as sitting together in the same space. What's not the same is a text or scrolling or messaging through social media. So, that one's a good one to hold on to and remember. So, even when we don't feel like it, let's, let's get ourselves face to face or phone to phone where we're talking in real time.


And, the last one for today is what I mentioned at the start is that making time for gratitude each day matters Immensely for our happiness. She gave the idea of just literally writing down three to five things that we are grateful for unique things is really helpful instead of listing the same things over and over again, and there's studies that suggest that this little practice can improve our well being in as fast as two weeks. She said, extra credit points come when we express that gratitude towards others. And so, that's why I really wanted to make sure that I was very vocal about my gratitude. I think about this audience and you and the Self-Care Squad all the time and how grateful, grateful I am for you for being here for the work that you do. And, that's, man ... I need to express it more. I realized, I think about it. I'll write about you in my own journal, but sharing it feels so good.


So, those are the four practices that I want us to carry with us as we move into the week. Number one, reminding ourselves that happiness matters for our performance. Doing things that makes us happy actually makes us better at our jobs. That's number two. That when we help others, oh my gosh, that is a huge boost to our own happiness. That making time for social connection matters, matters, real time social connection. And, the idea of gratitude, let's express our gratitude and even better if we can express it to someone else. So, play around with those, think about those, think about which stand out to you the most. Give yourself a nudge to try to implement those this week one at a time or all four of them or the one that feels the hardest to you is the one that I nudge us to play around with first and foremost. I'm cheering so hard for all of you, and I'm so grateful for you. Make it a great week.


As always, thank you, Brooke, for making this happen. We are so grateful for you. Thank you to Solution Tree and Marzano Resources for this job that I get to do. And, once again, to you, my bad-ass Self-Care Squad. I'm so grateful for you. Feel my hand on your back as you move through your week and make it an amazing one.

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