Positive emotions broaden our behaviours

It is week 2 of my 6 week Positive Psychology course that I am doing on-line.

This week’s learning has left me thinking a lot about those kids in my class and even my own kids at home who find it hard to experience the positive emotions.  The positive emotions are often fleeting, but they are nutrients for growth.  When people are taught positive emotions a domino effect happens.

Photo Credit: stockfresh.com

Photo Credit: stockfresh.com

A subtle increase in positive emotion leads to an increase in positive resources in a person’s life. For example, the ability to be more mindful or feelings of greater connectedness, which then leads to an increase in positive psychological resources: fewer aches and pains, increased satisfaction in life and reduced depressive symptoms.

Photo Credit: coachingforclergy.com

Photo Credit: coachingforclergy.com

As part of the course there was a reading that asked the question “How can we increase positivity?”

For me, this is where the rubber hits the road, these are the things I want to be helping kids to learn, as positive emotions are closely connected with resilience. Resilience is a resource that can grow. Resilient people are less worried about the ‘perhaps’ negativity in life. Resilience is a fantastic life skill to have.

Photo Credit: theschooloflife.com

Photo Credit: theschooloflife.com

We can help increase positivity by:
*Being aware of the present moment.  Most moments are positive. When we miss the moment, we miss opportunities to experience positive emotions by thinking too much about the past or worrying about the future, rather than being open to what is.

*Pay attention to human kindness. Gratitude is unlocked when we see things done for us by others. But also, we can make someone’s day!

*Go outside in good weather. Research shows that just 30 minutes outside increases positive emotions.

*Rearrange life around your strengths. This is an involved step, but includes looking at your strengths and using them in daily life.

Photo Credit: generationext.com.au

Photo Credit: generationext.com.au

 

I am thinking that as parents we can help our kids do this in so many little ways as we practice it.
Yesterday we needed to visit the Doctor to get an asthma plan for one of my tribe going on camp. The Boy and I reflected afterwards how thankful we were to not have to wait long, how nice it is to have a GP who has a personal relationship with us as a family and what a blessing Bulk Billing can be. At the time I did not realise it, but together we were building positive emotions!

 

A little pep talk…

We all need ‘pep talks’ sometimes.

A friend shared this You Tube clip with me. You may have seen it, but I thought it worth sharing. I found it quite inspiring when I first saw it and then I found out about the boy – he has a disease where his bones break easily and he has broken over 70 bones in his body! Such inspiration amongst adversity. Such resilience. Such useful reminders he brings for both adults and kids.

Enjoy…you just need 2 and a half minutes..

Resilience in kids

I have just read a fascinating article by Maya Angelou re resilience in kids.  Maya had a very unusual childhood with lots of difficulties to overcome.  She is certainly well qualified to give advice on resilience. The interview I was reading appeared on the DailyGood blog.

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photo credit: mayaangelou.com

Resilience is a word that is bandied around in our current world. Often I wonder what resilience means?  I wonder if my kids are resilient? What does it really look like? The quote I have chosen does not answer these questions specifically. It really speaks what we all know, but find so hard – we need to be careful what we say and how we listen to the precious kids in our lives.

The word schools can (I think) be easily substituted for parents, carers and adults.

“If you could leave our readers with one thought about how schools can best support kids and foster resilience, what would it be?

I would ask the teacher to be sure that this is the program—this is the job—that he or she is called to do. Don’t just teach because that’s all you can do. Teach because it’s your calling. And once you realize that, you have a responsibility to the young people. And it’s not a responsibility to teach them by rote and by threat and even by promise. Your responsibility is to care about what you’re saying to them, to care about what they’re getting from what you’re saying. If you care about the child and care about the information, you’ll handle both with care, and maybe with prayer. Handle them both with prayer.”

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Photo Credit: Loveandlifetoolbox.com

And, an unrelated quote from her, just because I can …..

The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.

– Maya Angelou –