For a positive experience

For a positive experience

Today, we rarely tend to focus on the positive aspects of life and often choose to focus on the negatives. This tendency is often seen among students. It’s time that they are taught to actively think positive, avers Sonia P Thomas

The frustrating and aversive circumstances faced by students may be triggered by the ignoring and devaluing attitude of parents, teachers or peers. It could also be due to the academic pressure and the classroom atmosphere. These may make a student feel hopeless and slip into a sliding spiral of anger, anxiety, or despair.

However at times like these, it important for the students to be taught how to remain positive in a sustainable manner, although it may prove to be difficult. At the same time, however, one must not ignore the negative emotions. The fascinating thing is that negative emotions give way to resilience and foster long term positive emotions, if students know how to bounce back during negative experiences.

While helping the students achieve positivity, teachers and parents the atmosphere in the class and home are positive and open. Life is full of positive emotions, and students should be taught to unfold these emotions so that they become part of a much larger positive world. Teachers and parents can help students to be resilient by teaching them count the mild positive emotions, and increase the number of positive experiences in day to day classroom ambience.

Many times, positive emotions are overlooked by negative biases. For instance, parents and teachers often tend to focus on the deceits and correct them. This method, in fact, does not empower the students in any way. Hence, it is good to teach students to become aware of the positive emotions and name them daily.

Positive Emotions

Research suggests that positive emotions can reduce the physiological damage on the cardiovascular system caused by negative emotions. It is said that there are more positive emotions than negative emotions in the life of a student. Like the fish that don’t always see the water, positive emotions are present in life but it often goes unnoticed. As a result, it is important for the students to be attuned as to the positive emotions and latch on to these experiences for their well-being.

Experiencing positive emotions transforms a student’s life, and it also transforms the life of classmates and the people around them. This is possible because each student’s positive emotion can resound through others. To become more aware of the positive emotions in one, students need to record positive experiences daily. How does one enable them to experience it on a daily basis? Here are a few: 

Positive emotion produces more positive emotions.
For example, students who help their peers may receive help and support in return. In addition, they feel encouraged to extent their helping hand to many more by creating a cycles of events that bring positive meaning for others. 

It improves interpersonal relationships.
When students connect with their teachers and peers, the chance of creating a momentary resonance is higher. It changes the students for better socially, psychologically and physically.  As a result, it creates classroom discussions and sharing to promote quality relationships.

It cultivates immune benefits.
The new area of science shows how negativity and stress cause different kinds of adversities and illnesses. Our emotional experiences communicate with the immune systems in our body. Therefore, higher the positive emotions, higher the immune benefits.

As the immune system can be attunes to positive emotions, one can see improved immune benefits. Therefore, help students build positive emotions by paying specific attention to positive emotions and occasionally giving them opportunities to share their experiences.

Positive emotions help students to be resilient.

Resilience is the ability to bounce back during unpleasant situations of life. In times of negativity, students with high resilience have the ability to come over it with a positive perspective.  Resilience can be developed during the developmental stages of a student.

One way of helping students journey through difficult situations is to make them know that this too will pass, everything will change, and ‘I am not alone.’ Resilience is a resource built on positive emotions. The more resilient a student is, the more positive he or she becomes. Resilience holds the positive and the negative together.

Positive emotions helps broaden the mindset of students and enables them to think differently.

It broadens the students’ temporary way of thinking, and problem solving capabilities, and it contributes to build up a lasting personal resource.

Positive emotions foster well-being. Students who experience positive emotions strive toward valued goals that they believe are important to them. This sort of positive view of future is an important aspect of psychological well-being of a student. Positive future thinking can enhance academic success, and personal well-being in students.

Positive emotions facilitate students to find more meaning and purpose in life. This is because they feel more effective and happy at what they do. They are better able to find the blessings in life and can see more options to life's problems. This sense of meaning and purpose in life reduces the many physical and psychological problems of students.

Imbibing positivity indirectly

All of these suggest that students need to develop methods to experience positive emotions more often. Although, the application of many pleasurable activities, fun games and other direct attempts to stimulate positive emotions are appropriate, they often seem a poor choice especially in trying times. It would be better to teach students to cultivate positive emotions indirectly by discovering positive meaning within the present situation.

Positive meaning can be obtained from everyday ordinary events such as smiling at a person, appreciating someone, feeling grateful, being part of someone’s achievements, being glad about one’s new strength, and enjoying the micro moments. Students can find positive meaning through academic achievements, healthy interpersonal relationship with teachers, peer support, problem solving mindset, and compassionate acts toward people in need.

Although many of these acts can be done without much effort, there is less awareness among students about the benefits of positive emotions. Therefore, teaching should focus on forming positive emotions, positive attitudes and positive values in students.

Every student has hopes and dreams, and want to achieve a sense of being appreciative. The best teacher motivates, supports, listens and makes students resilient. Teachers should equip students to bounce back and remain resilient during aversive circumstances. And when they are finally able to do this, the magic of positivity can be fully experienced by students.

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