Happiness Triggers

Today I'm thinking about my happiness triggers.

I've felt a lot of happy lately, and here's why.

First, Jacob and Victoria came home for Mothers Day
and we got caught in a downpour while on a walk.

It might seem like a stressor, but it's truly a joy-filled memory.

Another happy moment came from reading this heartfelt note
for Teacher Appreciation Week from an 8th-grade boy. 

All. The. Feels.

I also found this Tweet that's jingling through my soul.

"A book worthy of a spot in any classroom library."

Such a kind reflection of our picture book.

Know what else triggers happiness? Partner yoga!

We are, after all, wired for connection.

Other recent happiness triggers include the scent of the impending rain and then sitting on the porch at a local restaurant watching said storm blow in, my husband bringing home a bouquet of flower from the grocery story just because, an invitation to set up a booth at a Career Fair and talk with 4th graders about being an author, a Day Maker phone call during which we both end up crying, a beautiful smile, a bear hug.

These Color-Me-Calm pillows make me happy, too;
I donated my kindness T-shirt and now it's
heading off to an educator in New Jersey.

Relivables By Lori make such special gifts.

And while most of these might seem like little things, the older I get,
the more I realize that the little things quickly become the big things.

The happiest I've felt in a long time happened last Monday morning at school, when I announced that we were going to have a classroom Estate Sale auction. Let me back up: Since I probably won't have another classroom, I'd like for my students to have my stuff. The best way I could think to divvy it all out equitably was for students to answer a question on a practice National Spanish Exam. I'd show the question; if they're the first to stand and tell us the correct answer and why, it'll be their turn to go pick un recuerdo, a souvenir, something to remember our year together. 

I went through a few of the things that would be auctioned off, shared a few back stories, and asked for questions before the fun ensued.

"Even the license plate is for sale?" Carmen inquired skeptically.

That question stopped me for a second; was I even willing to part with my personalized plate from 1986 when I first got to Texas as a young Barb Natzke and was hired on at FHS to teach Spanish? (Get it? Muy BN?) 

But after a short pause (there's SO much power in the pause!), 
I said yes, even the license plate, that everything must go.

And you can probably guess who was the FIRST to stand, to answer a question and earn herself a vanity plate three times her age. I will never forget watching Carmen on her tip toes proudly reaching for her prize and then dancing with it all the way back to her seat. Happy tears.

It was the sweetest, most joyful three hours as my students carried off my special treasures like that piñata bat, a Don Quijote Picasso print, the chess board from Mexico, the feeling faces we used to review vocabulary. 

Later in the week, one mom sent this picture of their mantle.

 Another happiness trigger, her thoughtfulness.

Knowing our happiness triggers can be just as important as knowing our anger or anxiety triggers, because when we're feeling stressed or burnt out, bringing these thoughts or memories back into focus can help us self-regulate and give us a dose of dopamine. 

Here are just a few more potential happiness triggers:

Listening to that certain song.
Reflecting poolside.
Writing a thank-you note.
Savoring a sweet treat.
Reconnecting with a special someone.
Nature bathing.
Game night.
Doting on your kids.
Snuggling under a weighted blanket.
Enjoying your favorite scent.
Watching the sunrise or sunset.
Affirming someone.
Holding hands.
Re-reading your thank-you notes.
Helping a friend.
Drinking something warm.
Spending time with your pet.
Texting something inspirational.

What are your favorite happiness triggers?

And what might your happiness trigger in someone else?

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