Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Write your own Happiness notebook. Does that work?

Suddenly there is this marvellous idea in my head: tomorrow I'll start with a Happiness notebook! 

As a teacher of 11 and 12 years old kids who are nervous about going to secondary school, who have all kinds of hormones flying around in their bodies, who are trying to find out how to cope with challenges at home and who seem to be very cool at school while meanwhile ...,  I want to give them a helpful tool.
A tool unique for them, to use in situations they choose. A tool that makes them smile and in the moment of a (starting) smile, there is this chance to 'turn around' , get your hope back and look at things differently, in spite of everything.
I'm getting all exited and happy creating this idea in my mind! At least once a week we are going to work on two pages in our Happiness notebook. One page for writing and one for drawing. So, at the end of the year they will have at least 15 ideas about how to feel (a little bit) happy. Next year I'll start right away in September :-)  

  • By doing this we make it concrete: what can be consulted, where can we turn to when we are not feeling happy at all. 
  • By doing this we practice in thinking about 'happiness stuff'; what makes us smile?
  • By doing this we hopefully remember the assignments while being with someone who could use an uplifting smile   
  • By doing this we realise what is important for us.  
It's all about creating tools to empower yourself, to enlarge your well being in moments when you're not feeling okay. For my beautiful kids in school I love to think by reading in their Happiness notebook it makes them feeling more okay in their own changing, unfamiliar skin. For all adults I know it makes it more easy to change their stuck mind and activity because they read something they have written for themselves!
A few assignments I have in mind: 
1. Drawing a small mandala while hearing instrumental music. Colouring the mandala with dark colours and drawing and colouring everything around it with light colours. Write on the page next to it about a problem you have and also write about 'the good things' in your life (do you have a place to sleep? do you have friends? is there something in school you like? etc.)   
2. Write down everything you can do to make someone smile, just for free. Draw various smiles.
3. Write down what kind of activities make you smile, make you feel good. Make drawings of things you like to look at.  
Just stock your possibilities to smile again in a Happiness notebook and consult it when feeling down and depressed. At home or at school! 
Smile, Ella
Download my e-book and have a great resource of empowerment in stock!
Ella de Jong: e-book at Bookboon (already 4,000 downloads!!): Solution Focused Mentoring. 5 Steps to bring out the best in your Mentee and yourself. 
This blog is also to be found in Dutch: Een happiness schriftje ...


  1. I can not find any audio files you've =CONCATENATE("";http://skywritingservice.com/blog/20-tips-how-to-feel-happier-at-work;"") said about. So, can you help me with that and provide me some link or something..

  2. Dear Sarah, thank you for reading my blog! I have made 3 short videos: Youtube Ella de Jong Strength Focus. this is a link to nr. 1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OiBkUqkgU40
    Smile, Ella