MIL OSI Translation. Region: Germany / Deutschland –
Source: Swiss Canton Zug – news in German
The pursuit of happiness is a human right enshrined in the American Declaration of Independence of 1776. The constitution of Bhutan also mentions a basic right to happiness. However, the question arises as to how happiness can be captured and held on. Young people will receive instructions on how to do this in the workshop “Everything is great? Happy and healthy – this is how you can do it! ”From the Office for Health of the Canton of Zug.
Brigitte Järmann, AdveryWhat is happiness? A fleeting feeling that arises unexpectedly? Something that just happens? Or is it in your own hands, true to the saying “everyone is the maker of their own happiness”?
A chain of happy circumstances cannot be conjured up any more than blows of fate can be averted. But there is a lot that can be done to create a basic feeling of satisfaction and wellbeing. Starting with the search for his own personal happiness up to the development of strategies with which Fortuna can be attracted. I set out on this path one afternoon at the end of November at the GIBZ commercial and industrial training center in Zug.
Long-term life satisfaction as a goal Schoolchildren from a total of 28 different professions and the vocational school-leaving certificate visit the GIBZ. Seven of them – all of them boys in their first year of training in information and communication technology ICT – explore in the workshop “Everything is fine? Happy and healthy – that’s how you can do it! ” your very own formula for happiness. The workshop was created as part of a youth research project on child and youth health in the canton of Zug. This afternoon it will be led by the social worker Miriam Scammacca, a specialist in child and youth health at the health department of the canton of Zug, and Sarina, a student at the vocational high school specializing in health.
After a brief introduction and information about the course of the workshop, the students write their names on small pieces of paper. These are then folded into a cloth bag, which is kept until the end of the workshop and is immediately forgotten by me. I will come back to that later.
Theoretical basics, practical exercises – each for yourself and in a group – as well as small experiments that deal, for example, with how your own posture influences your mood, alternate. We learn that positive psychology provides the scientific basis for the workshop. In contrast to classical psychology, which in practice aims to provide relief for negative experiences and behavior, positive psychology goes further: the goal is not to be free from problems, but to achieve long-term life satisfaction.
What makes you happy? However, happiness is often misplaced. In prosperity and property, for example, or in ideals of beauty. Myths that one likes to sit on because more money and the latest cell phone trigger feelings of happiness at the moment, but only for a short time. The effect quickly fizzles out and generates new material wishes.
In place of the happiness myths, positive psychology relies on the five pillars of happiness: positive emotions, positive relationships, flow, meaning and meaning as well as effectiveness and personal responsibility. The foundation for this is formed by personal qualities or strengths of character. The young people investigate these using a questionnaire that was developed by the University of Zurich and a short version is used in the workshop.
The young people transfer the results from the questionnaire into a workbook. You proceed in a similar way with other questions: Which activities give me pleasure? How can I best relax? Which music calms me down, which motivates me? Which people are particularly close to me? Who can I trust with problems? What makes my life meaningful? How and where can I use my personal strengths in a targeted manner?
At the end of the workshop, the young people hold their personal recipe for happiness in their hands with the workbook.
Nevertheless, there are many problem areas with which young people in particular are confronted on the threshold of adulthood. The young people involved in the youth project of the Office for Health in the Canton of Zug have compiled these and developed four core strategies for self-help. This resulted in the “Kennsch-es” campaign with the aim of sensitizing children and young people to the subject of mental health. In the workbook of the workshop, the findings from the youth project are summarized again. If, despite the knowledge and experience gained in the workshop, the young people do not know what to do next, all free contact points are also listed in the workbook.
My personal impression of this afternoon: The 3 to 4-lesson workshop provides a lot of background knowledge and enables self-awareness and self-awareness. All exercises, tasks and experiments are interlinked and tie in with the previous and the following. The seven young people are interested and committed. Whispering can hardly be heard, if at all, but noises caused by ballpoint pens, post-it notes and paper are even more so. Miriam Scammacca and Sarina have also experienced that the young people are fully involved during the workshop at the other workshops they lead. “It’s a topic that concerns everyone,” explains Miriam Scammacca. “Every participant can take away from the course exactly what is particularly important to her or him.” The social worker is also happy that the young people learn in the workshop that dealing with oneself is fun.
The lessons always follow the same script and are taught by alternating teams of two – specialists from the Office for Health together with young people from the Zug secondary school. Demand has been high since the workshop was launched on November 30, 2019. “In 2020 alone there were 24 workshops that we carried out on the initiative of teachers at various schools for young people between the ages of 14 and 18,” says Michèle Omlin, Deputy Head of Child and Adolescent Health, Canton Zug. The feedback on the workshop is very positive: The teachers emphasize, for example, that the workshop is closely geared towards the world of experience for the young people. That the sequences would quickly switch between listening, experiencing for yourself and mutual exchange, which kept the attention span of the young people high. Or that it is easier for young people to deal with various problem areas and tips because they know that their peers have developed them. A teacher tells of a student who said after the workshop that he had talked so openly and honestly with his classmates about things that he would otherwise never have mentioned.
The preparation for the workshop and the follow-up work around a week before or after the teacher of a school class takes over. There is also homework. Oh yes: At the end of the workshop, the cloth bag that I mentioned at the beginning makes the rounds again. This time everyone takes out a piece of paper. The young people now have the task of showing the person whose name is on their slip of paper three times a nice gesture before the follow-up lesson, without revealing themselves to be an “imp”. Because giving joy to other people also makes you happy.
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EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and / or sentence structure not be perfect.