“Every day might not be good, but there is something good in every day.”
In psychology class this week, I teach one of my favourite subjects – Stress, Coping, and Health Psychology Chapter 11 in my psychology textbook.
I purposely teach this topic during the height of midterms. Raising awareness about the healthy (and not so healthy) ways students manage stress is critical for building resilience.
Shifting Negative ⇒ Positive
One of my top 10 techniques for shifting students from stress to strength is to share what’s going right even (especially) when things are going wrong. Small uplifts in the course of the day change everything. Fleeting. Unexpected. Goodness.
Based on my experience as a school psychologist, I will never deny the stress students are under. Witnessing adversity is an essential part of moving through it. However, I choose not to remain in the territory of “what’s wrong” for too long.
What We Focus on Expands
Once we acknowledge what’s wrong. We open our eyes to the grace that takes place throughout the day.
“Good things are always happening. The key is to notice them.”
Students make the shift from powerless to empowered by sharing ordinary joys happening in their lives.
A radiant smile from a fellow commuter. Free coffee at McDonald’s. An unexpected A on a paper. A sweet parking spot. Spending time with an old friend. A surprise compliment from a stranger. Laughing out loud with fellow classmates. A really good night’s sleep.
And I’m the fortunate professor who gets to hear all these uplifts at the end of a long, rainy day. One more reason why I love working with students.
How do you shift positive on a stressful day?