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Positive Education

What is Positive Education?
Positive Education is about empowering students with the skills of well-being and achievement to flourish in any environment.

What is Well-Being?
Well-being is about having a growth mind-set, finding joy and meaning in what I do and leveraging on my strengths to achieve and contribute to society.

PERMA is an acronym for a model of well-being put forth by a pioneer in the field of positive psychology, Martin Seligman. 

According to Seligman, PERMA makes up five important building blocks of well-being and happiness:
Positive emotions – feeling positive in who you are and what you do
Engagement – being completely absorbed in activities
Relationships – being authentically connected to others
Meaning – finding purpose and fulfillment in what you do
Achievement – a sense of accomplishment and success

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How Am I Feeling?
  • Do I have a positive outlook in different situations?
  • Do I persevere even when a task is difficult?
  • Do I have a supportive community to journey through school with?
  • Do I find purpose and fulfilment in what I do?
  • Do I feel proud about the things I do?
  • Where am I on the Mental Health Continuum below?

MENTAL HEALTH CONTINUUM MODEL

HEALTHY

REACTING

INJURED

ILL

·         Normal fluctuations in mood

·         Normal sleep patterns

·         Physically well, full of energy

·         Consistent performance

·         Socially active

·         Nervousness, irritability, sadness

·         Trouble sleeping

·         Tired/low energy, muscle tension, headaches

·         Procrastination

·         Decreased social activity

·         Anxiety, anger, pervasive sadness, hopelessness

·         Restless or disturbed sleep

·         Fatigue, aches and pains

·         Decreased performance, absenteeism

·         Social avoidance or withdrawal

·         Excessive anxiety, easily enraged, depressed mood

·         Unable to fall asleep

·         Exhaustion, physical illness

·         Unable to perform duties, absenteeism

·         Isolation, avoiding social events

Actions to Take at Each Phase of the Continuum

·         Focus on task at hand

·         Break problems into manageable chunks

·         Identify and nurture support systems

·         Maintain healthy lifestyle

·         Recognise limits

·         Get adequate rest, food & exercise

·         Engage in healthy coping strategies

·         Identify & minimise stressors

·         Identify & understand own signs of distress

·         Talk with someone

·         Seek help

·         Seek social support instead of withdrawing

·         Seek consultation as needed

·         Follow healthcare provider recommendations

·         Regain physical & mental health


Mindful Breathing Exercise

If you are feeling stressed or down, try the following mindful breathing exercise, which would only take 3-5 minutes:

  • Settle yourself into a comfortable position, and allow your eyes to close. It would be helpful if you can find a quiet place, or somewhere free of distractions.
  • Start by taking several long, deep breaths, breathing in through your nose, and breathing out through your mouth.
  • Bring your attention to how the air enters through your nose, and enters your lungs. Notice that as this happens, your lungs and ribs start moving upwards and outwards.
  • As you breathe out, notice the air coming out of your mouth and how your shoulders start relaxing.
  • Repeat these steps for the next 10 breaths.
  • You may find that during this time, your mind starts to wander – you could be distracted by the sound of a friend walking by, or the chirping of a bird. Or you might simply be distracted by the thoughts running through your head. When you notice this, gently bring your attention back to your breathing.
  • For the next 10 breaths, you will focus on the sensations in your body. Notice how the fine hair on your skin tingles ever so slightly when there is a breeze. Notice how your muscles work together to allow your body to sit upright. You may start to feel a little distracted by an ache in your body, or any itch.
  •  Finally, for the last 10 breaths, bring into your mind a happy thought or experience. It could be something good that happened to you, or something that makes you happy. Focus on that thought, and when you are ready, gently open your eyes, and bring your attention to notice the room or space that you are in.

 How Can Positive Education Help Me?
  • We cannot change our circumstances but we can change how we approach them
  • Research shows that when we feel good and do good, we achieve better grades, have better long term memory and grasp concepts faster and become more resilient in stressful situations.