Module 1: Happiness and Gratitude in Challenging Times



Question: Are you a person who sees a glass half full?  How are you helping your children to become optimistic, positive people?

First a few thoughts …. Optimism is not actually about the glass being half full as is commonly believed. Optimism refers to your belief system about how successful you think your actions are, and how effectively you can impact on the world. It involves learning to think positively about the future, even when things go wrong. It’s about looking objectively at a situation and making a conscious decision to focus on the good.

This first module will encourage your child to illustrate their understanding of optimism, by reflecting on case studies and personal examples. It is important to build their resilience as optimistic people are happier and more engaged, succeed more often, and are better problem solvers.  Optimists do better academically, socially and have better health than pessimists, so it makes sense to promote the skills of optimistic thinking to children. Optimists look at the flip side of negative events for some good, some hope and some reason to be positive. Recent research indicates that children learn optimism or pessimism from their experiences of success and through their interactions with parents, teachers and other significant adults. 

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How optimistic is your family? - Take the Quiz!


21 Day Happiness Challenge21 Day Challenge

Pick one of five researched habits and try it out for 21 days in a row to create a positive habit. Doing so actually rewires — or trains — your brain to be more positive.  Download the Free 21 Day Journal here!


Here are the five habits to choose from:


Three Gratitude’s: Pause to take note of three new things each day that you are grateful for. Doing so will help your brain start to retrain its pattern of scanning the world, looking not just for the negative inputs but for the positive ones.


Journaling: Similar to the gratitude practice, but in this case, detail — in writing — one positive experience each day. This will help you find meaning in the activities of the day, rather than just noticing the task itself.


Fun Fifteen: Exercising for 15 minutes a day not only brings physical benefits, but it also teaches your brain to believe your behavior matters, which then carries (positively) into other activities throughout the day.


Meditation: Take just two minutes per day to simply breathe and focus on your breath going in and out. Doing so will train your mind to focus, reduce stress, and help you be more present in this moment.


Conscious Acts of Kindness: This can be something simple, and Shawn suggests writing one positive email to praise or thank someone each day. Not only does it benefit the recipient, but it also increases your feeling of social support.