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, in press, 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.
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