September 21, 2020 is World Gratitude Day, and we’d like you and the children in your life to join in the celebration with us! One of the 24 character strengths that make up the backbone of Shipley’s positive education framework, gratitude can be a powerful tool to help you flourish. Research indicates there are both emotional and physical health benefits when gratitude is practiced regularly, including: increased happiness, improved sleep and physical health, a more optimistic outlook, increased meaning and life satisfaction, stronger relationships, and greater success.
Topics: mindfulness, positive education, PERMA, positive psychology
For most of my career, my mantra regarding avoidance of difficulty has been, “Don’t let children believe ‘The world is dangerous,’ or ‘I can’t handle it.’ One of the problems with the COVID-19 crisis is that some activities that were previously considered normal and non-threatening (e.g. shaking hands, hugging your friends, going to school) are now considered dangerous. We are all navigating this new and seemingly ever-changing environment, determining what parts of the world are actually “dangerous.” So, my focus this year will be on the second statement, “I can’t handle it,” and helping children, adolescents, and adults replace that with a more resilient statement such as, “I can handle it,” “I got this,” or “We can do this.” At home, parents can, and should, adopt these mantras, too, so children can build resilience to handle uncertainty.
Topics: Parenting, social emotional learning, positive education, PERMA, positive psychology
In the early Autumn of 2016 I helped host a talk by Dr. Sonja Lyubomirsky (whom you saw some research from in our previous post). If Marty Seligman is one of the “fathers” of the field, we ought to consider Sonja one of the “mothers.” As we waited for the crowd to gather and pile into the auditorium we were chatting about the name of the field—Positive Psychology. Sonja became visibly annoyed. “It’s a terrible name, I hate it,” she told me. I knew why. I felt (and still feel) similarly. We’d both had to endure countless interactions with audiences, students, or clients who inevitably ask, “Is it just about thinking positively?” No, no it is not. Positive Psychology, on the most basic level, is simply devoted to understanding the science of human flourishing. That scientific study has revealed an unfortunate truth. What helps us flourish is often not pleasant.
Topics: positive education, PERMA, positive psychology