My independent learning project was a reflection of my own personal happiness project. The project went pretty well for the most part. I think the hardest part for was finding the time and consciously getting myself to think about what makes me happy in the moment and how I should relate that to the others around me.
Something that I have learned about myself is that I am generally very happy on the outside, but not all the time on the inside. Being happy means more than putting on a smile and being nice. Don’t get me wrong, that is an important part of it, but being happy comes from the inside. I sometimes go around pretending I am happy so people around me will be happy too. It is a fabrication of happiness.
The best way to make other people around you happy is to be truthful with them. Being truthful about your feelings is the best way to make yourself happy, and then in turn making others around you happy. Bottling up feelings of sadness and anger just so you can pretend to be happy is a slippery slope to hate and depression.
The hardest part about this project was sticking to all the things I said I was going to do to help me with my happiness. I said I would do yoga everyday (didn’t happen that often), meditate everyday (happened about three times a week), the smile challenge (I smile all the time at strangers), dieting (I don’t like diets, but eating healthy is easier when you don’t limit yourself), and reading books that help me find what makes other happy.
The best part about this project is all the things I learned about myself. I learned that I need an accountabilibuddy when I diet and exercise. Excising is much easier when you have someone to do it with so I have been enjoying group fitness classes. I am also that way with eating healthy. The thing that finally made me realize that I need to change my eating habits is that I was running out of breath with walking up the stairs. I work out frequently and I still had a hard time with heart health, it is because of bad eating habits! I have also learned that I love to make people happy to the point that is almost in danger of me becoming a doormat. I have always been a people pleaser, but lately it has translated into me being a little spineless. That has changed a little now that I know what makes me happy.
I think independent learning projects are a great idea for students in any grade to do! They help students learn better and learn about themselves in the process.