Recently I came across notes that I took at a seminar in 2013 about happiness led by Dr. Tal Ben-Shahar, the renowned professor of positive psychology. (I am still convinced that had I known about positive psychology in college I very well may have chosen to study that instead of pursuing nutrition—having been a psychology major—but who knows…)
I thought it was apropos that the notes I wrote in 2013 apply so much to now in 2019, when I am the head teacher of a preschool class for the first time.
I resonated deeply with two things from my notes. One was that we should reflect back other’s emotions instead of negating them. If a child is sad, express that you understand they are feeling sad and why they are feeling sad. This is something I have been thinking about in leading a preschool classroom. It is also a great tool when interacting with co-workers, as well as friends and family.
The other thing I found to be a helpful reminder was the importance of recovery; that we all experience stress in life but those who are more successful are those that take breaks during the day, turn their phone off, go on vacation, etc. We need these periods of recovery.
This was such an important reminder for me because I tend to push myself to get as much done as possible instead of taking time to recuperate. And it always, ALWAYS, ends up backfiring in the end—if I don’t proactively address the stress it builds up and gets released in unhealthier ways. In the end I don’t save time, and the situation causes greater hurt than if I simply addressed the stress in the first place.
There is simply no way to escape from the vulnerability of being human.