On cold January days, it can be tough to stay positive. If we can push through the gray days and attitudes to find positive energy, we will be rewarded in a variety of ways. Remember these wonderful reasons to stay positive in your classroom and life!
- Positive people have more energy
Scientists have proven that people with a positive dispositional affect have more energy and enthusiasm than those who have more negative affectivity. A little extra energy and enthusiasm can go a long way with a class full of learners!
- Positive people are healthier
A recent Harvard School of Public Health study found that positive psychological well-being, which includes positive relationships and self-acceptance, is associated with improved hearth health. People who tend to think positively have better cholesterol results and fewer heart problems. A related study found that positive thinkers had lower levels of triglycerides in the blood.
- Positive people are less likely to “stress out”
A study at Quebec’s Concordia University found that optimists produce less cortisol, the hormone associated with stress, during difficult times. They also did not perceive stress as much as their less-positive peers.
- Positivity builds resilience
While positivity helps us to feel good in the short term, it can also build neural connections for the long term. Using positive thinking can literally train our brains for more resilient ways of thinking.
- Positivity improves decision making
Research also shows that positive thinking stimulates the growth of the frontal lobes in our brain. This area of the brain is responsible for logical thinking, goal construction, decision-making, and complex tasks.
- Positivity is contagious
A recent article in Psychology Today confirmed that emotions are contagious. Studies have found that people automatically and unconsciously mimic the emotional expressions of others. These expressions trigger reaction in our brains that cause us to interpret those expressions as our own feelings. Being positive will spread positive energy to your students, colleagues, and family members!
So how can you stay positive? Try these three easy tips.
- Positive self-talk.
When you find yourself gravitating toward a negative mindset, reframe it. Instead of saying, ‘I can’t do this’, try saying ‘This may be tough, but I can get through it one step at a time’. Positive self-talk is also a wonderful habit to share with students so that they can learn to persevere.
- Gratitude for improved attitude
Instead of making mental lists of the bad stuff, focus on the positive things in your life. Research shows that the brain starts to develop a new habit of scanning the world for positives instead of negatives after just three weeks of gratitude work. What do you have to do in gratitude work? Just take a couple of minutes each day to list things for which you are grateful.
- Feel good habits
Simple, easy practices can improve positivity. Just three belly breaths can reset your brain and encourage de-escalation. Meditation has been proven to increase endorphins and serotonin which help you to feel good. A daily walk outside (even a short walk) results in increased feeling of pleasant energy.
The power of positive thinking is tremendous. Positive people can bring joy and energy to their surroundings, even during the gray days of January!