I have been privileged to have attended the PESA (Positive Education Schools Association) conference over the last two days. I’ve also felt a sense of gratitude that Barwon Heads PS has generously supported my attendance. This shows the extent to which Positive Education is valued at our school.
Next week will be the first week of Term 2 and the character strength that we will be focussing on is gratitude. Gratitude is a value that has been emphasised at PESA. Kerry Howells talked about appreciation as the most effective state to be in to learn (ie to have strong cognitive functioning). Ahn Do spoke about his family’s attitude of gratitude to overcome adversity and Paddy Dangerfield spoke of the power of a team player acknowledging the impact that playing alongside him had on their game.
Practicing gratitude can reduce stress and leads to higher levels of hope and optimism. Being more grateful can also lead to increased levels of well-being (Emmons & Crumpler, 2000) and is also a powerful tool for strengthening interpersonal relationships. People who express their gratitude tend to be more willing to forgive others and less narcissistic (DeShea, 2003; Farwell & Wohlwend-Lloyd, 1998).
There are all sorts of ways to practice gratitude throughout your day. Thinking of three good things that happened during your day is a simple intervention that can flip your emotions and boost your wellbeing.
What are you grateful for?