Not the downward spiral…

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

“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.”


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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.


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4 thoughts on “Not the downward spiral…

  1. I agree that doing something different in your day is so good. I took my kids down to the jump park last night (something that is not part of our routine during the week) and it was refreshing to suck in some fresh air and be somewhere different with the kids!


  2. Hi Rebekah,
    I did enjoy this article very much especially when that lady spoke about Meditation, Writing and Play. I need to read it again and again (meditate). I must admit life does present many challenges and it is easy to be bored when you do the same old routine and when the job list is not ticked off! Our job lists can become quite long! I think you also have to think about the person or persons on your team! I am married to someone who enjoys routine and he is able to work independently, but I enjoy working with someone else otherwise I get very bored easily. Who wants to do washing, folding, ironing, sweep and mop floors, and tidy up every day? But someone has to do it, so I can think when you feel negative, stressed or bored and feel that life may spiral out of control because of jobs not completed, you have to somehow cultivate a different mindset!

    For example, at the moment because of those dreaded magpies, I am not riding my bike 25 kms. each Sunday. I said to my husband today “Do you think the magpie breeding season is over?” He said “No”. I said “how do you know?” He said “yesterday at a school bus stop, there was this child waiting for the bus and a magpie continued to swoop down at her”. For those who have had this experience, it is very scary being in such close proximity to them! So, am I afraid to ride my bike? Yes! So what can I do? I suppose I need to realise that the breeding season will pass and in the meantime, focus on a different exercise program!

    Cultivating a more positive frame of mind isn’t easy, and I must admit I do appreciate those who affirm me in the positive things that I do accomplish. I think it is extremely difficult in a classroom, but when schools provide programs for those students who are way behind academically, this certainly is a positive action. Today, a young 15 year old lady is coming to our little farm for a day to learn practical skills because his school is providing an Ag. Science Traineeship for him. He loves the practical work and learning new skills….and we certainly love and appreciate him.


    • I am so glad you looked at the link and enjoyed it. I was thinking about you not being able to ride you bike. Maybe it presents a great opportunity to try a different sort of exercise? A break in the enjoyable routine of riding, but maybe you will find something else you enjoy? Is there a pool nearby? Can you do some stretching, Pilates, yoga? Can you do some fast walking? I wonder what you will find? Happy looking. Love rebekahx


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