In February, we practiced the importance of Mindfulness; about being present and living in the moment.  Thank you to all of the students who developed their ability to be mindful and at peace each day this past month.    For the month of March, we will be focusing on the skill of Autonomy.  Autonomy is our ability to make decisions and have a say in the direction of our lives.  It is about thinking for ourselves and confidently making choices when faced with uncertain situations.

WHY DOES AUTONOMY MATTER? HOW DOES IT HELP US? Having a choice in what we do helps us to feel more engaged with our school or work and this increases happiness and wellbeing. When we have autonomy we feel empowered to make decisions that can improve our lives instead of feeling that our lives are outside of our control. Autonomy increases our motivation to do something and that makes our tasks feel less like work and more enjoyable. Making good choices and building autonomy takes time and practice. We will make lots of mistakes along the way, but mistakes are a good thing! We learn a lot from our mistakes, including how to make decisions that will help us find more joy and passion in our school, work and activities.

RESEARCH BASED OUTCOMES OF AUTONOMY

  1.  Autonomy makes us more passionate about our interests (e.g. music, sports)
  2.  Feeling we have autonomy in our lives increases our wellbeing more than having more money
  3.  When employees have autonomy, businesses grow faster
  4. Having autonomy increases happiness with our jobs and school
  5. Autonomy increases our intrinsic motivation (doing things for the sake of doing it)
  6.  Autonomy makes us feel less stress
  7. Autonomy can increase our energy

During this month, we will explore and learn about autonomy and how it involves taking control of our lives and making active choices to do something we love or feel strongly about. This will also help us think and feel differently in situations where we sometimes find ourselves in that don’t feel like a choice. Setting personal goals and developing strategies to accomplish our goals also shows personal autonomy!