Last week we started Gratitude Journals. A Gratitude Journal includes things that we are grateful for and helps us to focus on the positives in our lives.
Gratitude helps us to see what is there instead of what isn’t. As part of our Positive Education program we are focusing on gratitude and all the positive effects of being grateful. Experts say that you can “rewire” your brain to be happy by simply recalling 3 things you’re grateful for every day for 21 days.
The benefits of practicing gratitude are nearly endless. People who regularly practice gratitude by taking time to notice and reflect upon the things they’re thankful for experience more positive emotions. simply keeping a gratitude journal—regularly writing brief reflections on moments for which we’re thankful—can significantly increase well-being and life satisfaction.
We look forward to sharing some entries from our Gratitude Journals!
As part of our Positive Education program we have been learning about growth mindset.
People with a growth mindset believe that they can learn, change, develop and improve. The brain works like a muscle , it grows from hard work, determination, effort and lots of practice. Our brains grow by effort, practice and hard work and making mistakes are part of the learning process.
People with a fixed mindset believe that person is born ‘smart’ and stays that way for life. But research has proven that this is not the case. The brain gets stronger and grows when you use it.
Inside the cortex of the brain are billions of tiny nerve cells, called neurons. The nerve cells have branches connecting them to other cells in a complicated network. Communication between these brain cells is what allows us to think and solve problems.
When you learn new things, these tiny connections in the brain actually multiply and get stronger. The more that you challenge your mind to learn, the more your brain cells grow. Then, things that you once found very hard or even impossible become easier. The result is a stronger, smarter brain.
Sometimes people miss out on the chance to grow a stronger brain because they think they can’t do it, or that it’s too hard. It does take work, just like becoming stronger physically. Sometimes it even hurts!! But when you feel yourself get better and stronger, all the work is worth it!
We can learn anything with hard work, determination, effort and practice!
What are the important messages in these clips?
What can you do when you are faced with a challenge?
What does the quote from the video, “mistakes can make you smarter” mean?
Have you had an experience where you have learnt from your mistakes?
How can we support each other when facing challenges?
Why is the word “yet” so powerful in these examples? Have you had a “yet” moment?
What are neurons and how do we make connections between our neurons?
What can you do this week to make some new connections in your brain?
What is a challenge that you have faced that has helped grow your brain? What’s a new challenge you want to tackle now?
What kind of attitude should we take on when facing a challenge, and why is this important?
What are some strategies we can use when facing a challenge?
On Friday, Martin Heppell from The Resilience Project visited our school to talk to us about positive mental health.
The Resilience Project believes that resilience and happiness are based on the three pillars of gratitude, empathy and mindfulness. The research that supports their work suggests that we can improve our positive emotions by practising gratitude and performing acts of kindness. When we express gratitude on a regular basis we tend to be happier and more resilient. Performing small acts of kindness for others can also make us feel good and create positive emotion.
Martin also spoke about three things that are readily available that can help to “flip” our mood if we are feeling down and that is music, exercise and laughter.
Below is a link to one of the clips that we watched about kindness:
What important messages stood out to you from Martin’s presentation?
What small acts of kindness have been done for you or have you done for others?