Every year we have a theme at JJCA, each contributing to our overarching goal of creating a special place for our employees. From stretch, to push, to trust, our themes seek to enhance our culture by stretching our creativity, improving our teamwork, and finding the right work/life balance. This year's theme of ENJOY seeks to make us our happiest selves and is based on Shawn Anchor's book The Happiness Advantage.
One of our happiness exercises, being led by Blake Daniels, is based on research that suggests that acts of altruism decrease stress and strongly contribute to enhanced mental health. Since early February, all JJCA team members have been encouraged to commit conscious acts of kindness each day.
Our first week of the exercise culminated in a "Happy Hour" where we shared what we had learned. All agreed that what is most important is not so much having a goal to do a set number of acts, but simply to focus on doing something meaningful. From Halie writing notes to people she'd lost touch with, to Jason emptying the dishwasher every morning to help his wife; or Brian sharing a sandwich and chatting with a homeless man with Parkinson's; or Blake and his wife regularly keeping a lonely lady at church company: we're learning that making others happy makes us happy too!