Updated: Jul 18, 2020
At this time of the year, my students and I engage in 'Hunt the Good Stuff'. Each day for six weeks, we personally reflect on one good thing that has happened to us. We write a word, a sentence and/or draw a picture. This enables us to savour that moment. We then put our Good Stuff post-it on the wall. Our goal is to fill our nine square metre wall with Good Stuff. 'Hunt the Good Stuff' is the beginning of several exercises for building optimism and resiliency. My hope is that my students begin to build a habit of savouring good moments in their lives as I believe:
Resilient people draw on happy memories to enable them to meet the challenges of difficult experiences.
Optimism is a disposition of hopefulness and confidence that there are positive outcomes in setbacks. Optimism has shown to be an important factor in our healthy functioning because it has been shown to impact positively on our mental, physical, social, and emotional health. Optimism positively correlates with emotional regulation and social skills. Optimists do better in relationships and engage in types of problem solving that helps to maintain these relationships (Carver et al 2010).
In this video Dr. Martin Seligman explains optimism:
Resiliency is the ‘ability to bounce back or bounce forward’, to bounce back from a negative event and to bounce forward to seek and take up challenges as opportunities present themselves. Building resilience is building psychological protection against negative events in the future. Optimistic and resilient people live by the motto “Every cloud has a silver lining”. They are able to see the positive potential in a difficult experience. They encounter and experience things going wrong but believe that negative experiences have the potential to go right again.
Coaching Optimism and building resiliency:
Dr. Karen Reivich, a resiliency and positive psychology expert, discusses the importance of optimism & how to coach optimism in children in this video.
She also writes in this article: The Seven Ingredients of Resilience and how we can build growing resilience in ourselves and in our children.
Three Good Things:
Dr. Martin Seligman explains the Three Good Things exercise in this video.
Stories that coach optimism and resiliency
The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes
by Mark Pett and Gary Rubinstein
'Beatrice offers a lesson we could all benefit from: learn from your mistakes, let go, laugh, and enjoy the ride.'
The Most Magnificent Thing
by Ashley Spires
The girl's frustration and anger are vividly depicted in the detailed art, and the story offers good options for dealing honestly with these feelings, while at the same time reassuring children that it's okay to make mistakes.
by Barney Saltzberg
Good stuff can be found in mistakes.
And finally a story on optimism and resiliency.