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Take the Happiness Advantage Challenge

Mar 15, 2017

What does it take to be happy?

Frisco ISD is inviting the entire community to participate in the 21-Day Happiness Advantage Challenge starting Monday, April 3.

The process is simple and possible to do whether traveling, working or just going about a daily routine. The key is developing these habits by setting a routine and following through.

The five steps are:

  • Write down three things you’re thankful for each day.
  • Keep a journal about something positive that occurs during each 24-hour period.
  • Send an email or text thanking or praising someone in your social support network.
  • Exercise at least 10 minutes a day.
  • Observe quiet time for five minutes each day. Let your mind relax or meditate/pray.

For years, the Frisco ISD Guidance and Counseling Department has worked to meet the emotional, social and physical needs of students and build a positive climate on each campus. Numerous programs and activities – from school-wide events and assemblies to District-level initiatives such as Student Ambassadors and bullying prevention training – are designed to help students get connected, become more understanding of others and cope with challenges.

People have long thought happiness was the result of life circumstances, but research by professionals like psychologist Shawn Achor has determined that only 10 percent of our happiness is based on life circumstances and the other 90 percent is determined by how our brain perceives the world. Achor believes that by changing the lens through which you see the world, you can change your reality. Not only can this can this increase your level of happiness, but it can change your educational and business outcomes as well. Achor calls this positive frame of mind “The Happiness Advantage.”

“We are reaching out to students, parents and teachers to raise awareness about the benefits of these five simple steps, which can make a huge difference when it comes to overall happiness,” said James Caldwell, the District's safe schools coordinator. “We are also talking to various faith-based leaders, hospitals, therapists and community groups to encourage as many people as possible to participate in the challenge.”

Most people have read about or studied Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, Caldwell noted. Here in a fairly-affluent society, many people have their basic needs met. But happiness continues to elude many.

“If you can see the world through a positive lens, you may find yourself making better grades or being more successful in your business. It can help you deal with problems in a healthier way,” Caldwell said, noting the potential impact of the challenge, especially if the behavior becomes a habit after 21 days.

“Frisco ISD wants to serve the whole child and help our students and families find balance,” Caldwell said. “For so many people, life may seem out of balance because we aren’t taking time to talk to each other, have quiet reflective time or exercise.”

Schools have committees that work exclusively on ways to foster a positive, healthy environment. By encouraging everyone to participate in the challenge and read Achor’s book, The Happiness Advantage, Frisco ISD hopes to reach outside the classroom and inspire the entire community to develop a more positive outlook.

Change the lens you look through and gain the Happiness Advantage!

Take the Challenge

Download the Happiness Advantage Challenge Log to keep you on track over the 21-day period with journaling, expressing gratitude, sharing acts of kindness and getting some exercise and quiet time. Get the version for adults and secondary students or elementary students. Remember, the challenge begins Monday, April 3!

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