Build up on students' positive emotions

Build up on students' positive emotions
Will I be able to rise up to the expectation of my parents and teachers? This is a  question that pops up not just during vacation but at every exam time. 
 
Their anxiety, fear and disappointment are shared with parents if they are below class five.

Those above class five and up to class eight share their fear with peers, and for those above class eight it weighs on them. 

We may know enough about fear and disappointment, but do we know how to help students overcome their fear and disappointments? 

Every teacher and parent can focus on positive emotions.  
 
Teachers have to turn a keen eye toward developing students’ strengths, and schools need to be optimally designed to promote learning. 
 
Teachers and parents need to gear toward teaching students everything from character to leadership, resilience to gratitude.

There is a growing understanding that students know everything, but many a time individual differences are overlooked in a classroom situation.
 
Of course, not everyone is with sounding strength and resilience.

There are many students who feel offended with small passing comments or corrections. Having the opportunity to develop students’ strengths, teachers and parents need to prepare students for win-lose or win-win transactions with the armor of positive emotions.

Negative emotions such as fear or anger are students’ first line defense-mechanism against failures.

Unhelpful emotions narrow students’ attention to the source of the threat and mobilize them to fight or flight.

In contrast, regardless of the results, positive emotions like joy or contentment prepare them to accept the given situation, and search for new avenues.
 
Positive emotions broaden their attention, thus become aware of the wider possibilities in life.  

Happiness enhancers

Teachers and parents can focus on a few happiness enhancers such as n Personality traits: 

Students who are extrovert, optimistic and have self-esteem and an internal locus of control are happier than students who are introvert, pessimistic and have an external locus of control. 
 
Students who are extroverts easily get into interactions with their teachers and peers. They consider themselves as good socializers and happy students.

Optimistic students are more likely to respond with greater happiness to the stimuli around them, and thus they experience more positive outlook in-turn.
 
These students learn their optimism from their parents and teachers who adopt an optimistic explanatory style. 

Healthy self-esteem boosts personal confidence, and is associated with the well-being of students. |

Culture: 

It is a set-point for happiness students’ happiness. Cultural environment of the school may facilitate a sense of well-being in students. 

School and classroom culture in which there is equality and equal level of opportunity for each student, higher level of satisfaction is promoted. 

Relationship: 

In enhancing students’ happiness, it is useful to be aware of their relationship with the teachers, parents and peers. 

Healthy interactions between teachers and students can improve the learning capacity of students, their ability to solve problems in life, and promote the locus of control.

Friendship: 

Maintaining a few close healthy relationships can nurture happiness. Selecting friends who have positive emotions and good values can foster happiness in students.

Acquaintances: 

Acquaintances who are neither teachers nor family members are a potential source of happiness. 

It enhances a sense of well-being and provides opportunity for growth.

Religious activities: 

Students engaged in religious activities are happier than others.

Religion provides a clear belief system for students to find meaning in life and hope for the future. 

Religion helps them to make sense of the hardships, challenges and inevitable losses which occur during a lifespan. Being part of the religious activities can provide social support.

Physical exercise: Physical exercise leads to positive state of mind. 

Research studies show that physical exercise leads to the release of chemical substances like endorphins and morphine in the brain. 

It promotes good health and increases the level of well-being.

Goal-attainment: 
 
When students’ goals and aspirations are clearly organised, it leads to greater happiness than when it is not defined. 

Time bound goals can help students arrive at their maximum potentials and give them a feel of contentment.

Leisure activities: 

Rest, relaxation and leisure activities are found to be associated with positive state of mind and pleasant feelings in students. 

Therefore, teachers and parents need to provide space and time for the students to enjoy and relax during holidays.

Obstructions to happiness n Tendency to compare: 

Comparisons with other students by parents and teachers demotivate and frustrate students. At times, students compare their performance with that of others in the class. 

Unhealthy family environment: 

Lack of healthy family ties can cause unpleasant feelings.
 
Loving family environment and good peers, despite the frailties, weakness or peccadilloes, can rear happiness in students.

Conflicts in identifying careers: 

Whenever conflicts are found between the parents and students in identifying potential careers, there is an unpleasant feeling. 

In general, there should be consistency between parents and students in identifying potential careers and future life.

Poor health: 
 
Students in poor health with constant diseases and disabilities are unable to cope and to adapt to their conditions, and find other avenues to happiness and satisfaction without the help of family and support from teachers. 

Labeling students: 

Too often, students are affected by different labels branded by parents, teachers and peers. In contrast, our education system should promote respect and acceptance of every student, leading to deeper intrinsic satisfaction and pleasant feelings of school days.

Lack of understanding: 

When uniqueness of each student is overlooked by teachers, it can obstruct happiness.

Students crave to express their uniqueness and originality in their interaction with teachers and peers.
 
Acceptance of uniqueness can energize students in all their pursuits with self-confidence.

Unsound financial condition: 

Students in economically disadvantaged families have lower level of happiness than others. When students' needs are not met, they are discontented and unsatisfied with life. 

Recent decades have seen huge increase in the proportion of students with emotional and behavioural problems. 

These problems affect other areas of their life and also raise the possibility of mental health difficulties in later life. 

Teachers and parents should work toward promoting good emotional health in students.

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