The negative downward spiral is something I have been well acquainted with in the classroom and even at different times with my own children. In fact last night my 10 year old was lying on the floor bemoaning the fact that nothing ever goes right, that he never gets to do anything and that basically life is not fair! For him a good nights sleep changed that point of view, but in that moment of time he was in a downward spiral. Sadly there are some kids where a sleep does not change it, the feelings stay negative and the downward spiral can begin.
These kids need to experience positive emotions (PERMA – The P stands for positive emotions).
For more on Perma https://asunshinyday.net/2013/07/14/well-being/
“When you are experiencing positive emotions like joy, contentment, and love, you will see more possibilities in your life.”
“Positive emotions provide an enhanced ability to build skills and develop resources .”
“Positive emotions broaden your sense of possibility and open your mind up to more options.”
The challenge we all have is how to build positive emotions into our lives and those around us – our kids and the kids in our classes.
Recently I read a magazine article while waiting at the Doctors where the writer decided to get out of a rut and do something different each day. Some things were as small as changing the normal breakfast, to eating food not normally ordered (and being ok if they didn’t like it), to spontaneously dropping in to watch a 3D movie. These changes in routine actually increased the amount of positive emotion experienced.
With kids in the classroom where we can see the downward spiral, it is a challenge to help them and to help them see that it does not have to be like that. There is no easy answer, but sometimes as a parent and teacher being aware of what a difference positive emotions can makes encourages us to focus on them and to try to make a difference.
I would love to hear any stories or ideas of things that help move one out of the negative spiral.