From the Head of the Crowther Centre – Dr Ray Swann 

Accentuate the Positive

As the weather changes, the weeks seem a little wetter and we head towards the latter part of the term many feel a sense of tiredness which can lead to unhelpful emotions. It can seem a little trite to say, but it’s during these times that our characters can be tested. Whilst it’s not quite as simple as ‘just be positive’, there are some really interesting things coming out of psychology when we do focus on positive emotions (for ourselves, and for the boys). As McGrath and Noble (2016) write,  these can include:

  • People who experience and express positive emotions more frequently than others are more resilient (Fredrickson and Tugade, 2004)
  • They are also more socially connected (Mauss et al, 2011) and more likely to function at optimum levels (Fredrickson and Losada, 2005)
  • Positive emotions can lead to being more resourceful (Lyubomrisky et al, 2005).

McGrath and Noble also offer some simple routines to help develop a positive mindset when the going gets a little tough:  

  1. Use positive tracking: consciously identify the small positive encounters with others
  2. Use positive conversion: even in the tough moments, find a small ‘win’ – at school, we use the thinking process ‘two roses and a thorn’ to help break down the experience
  3. Check your inner voice and make sure it is set to an optimistic style – identify setbacks as temporary (things will get better).

And practice Gratitude.

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