Positive Emotion

Experiencing positive emotions such as happiness, cheerfulness, optimism, and hope are essential to one’s wellbeing (Seligman et al., 2009). Positive emotions boost learning, attention, and can help change one’s mindset (Fredrickson & Branigan, 2005; Chesney et al., 2005; Bolte et al., 2003). Experiencing positive emotions in early adolescence can prolong one’s life expectancy by an average of 9 years (Danner et al., 2001). Positive emotions can boost productivity and creativity, strengthen resilience, and promote healthy relationships and social support (Lyubomirsky et al., 2005). Dr. Peggy Kern has said, “emotions provide feedback as to what is working and what is not working; by tuning into our emotions, we can better navigate the opportunities and challenges that life brings” (Kern, 2022, p. 6). Understanding our emotions is the first step in improving our wellbeing, providing us with the ability to “anticipate, initiate, prolong and build positive emotional experiences and accept and develop healthy responses to negative emotions” (Norrish et al., 2013, p.152). The activities in this section are designed to provide your students with the opportunity to recognize positive emotions with ease, cope with negative emotions, and to have more positive experiences.  


Bolte, A., Goschke, T., & Kuhl, J. (2003). Emotion and intuition: Effects of positive and negative mood on implicit judgments of semantic coherence. Psychological Science, 14(5), 416–421. https://edtechbooks.org/-TeIo

Chesney, M.A., Darbes, L.A., Hoerster, K., Yaylor, J.M., Chamber, D.B., & Anderson, D.E. (2005). Positive emotions: Exploring the other hemisphere in behavioural medicine. Journal of Behavioural Medicine, 12(2), 50–58. https://edtechbooks.org/-ERTK

Danner, D.D., Snowden, D.A. & Friesen, W.V. (2001). Positive emotions in early life and longevity: Findings from the nun study. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 80(5), 804-813.

Fredrickson, B. L., & Branigan, C. (2005). Positive Emotions Broaden the Scope of Attention and Thought-Action Repertoires. Cognition & Emotion, 19, 313-332. https://edtechbooks.org/-jJJB 

Kern, M. L. (2022). PERMAH: A useful model for focusing on wellbeing in schools. In K. A. Allen, M. Furlong, S. Suldo & D. Vella-Brodrick. (Eds.), The handbook of positive psychology in schools (3rd ed.). Taylor and Francis. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003013778 

 Lyubomirsky, S., King, L. A., & Diener, E. (2005). The benefits of frequent positive affect: Does happiness lead to success? Psychological Bulletin, 131, 803-855. https://edtechbooks.org/-TubP 

Norrish, J. M., Williams, P.,O’Connor, M., & Robinson, J. (2013). An applied framework for positive education. International Journal of Wellbeing, 3(2), 147-161. https://edtechbooks.org/-SNRc  

Seligman, M., Ernst, R., Gillham,J., Reivich,K. & Linkins, M. (2009). Positive education: positive psychology and classroom interventions. Oxford Review of Education, 35(3), 293-311. https://edtechbooks.org/-uQbh

Three Good ThingsCounting BlessingsEnvisioning Your Best Possible SelfUnderstanding HumorThree Funny ThingsOutdoor LearningBringing the Outside InBibliotherapy

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