Spreading positivity – spread that stuff thick! GUEST POST by Jenny Cole from Postively Beaming

Spreading Positivity 10 tips on how to be happier and more mindful as a teacher

Ok I get it… life’s hard … the kids are sick.. you are working your butt off, your boss is a control freak, your partner is AWOL, your legs need waxing and your inbox has exploded.

It’s really hard to stay upbeat and positive, in fact our brains are hardwired to notice the negative (that’s a blog for another day) . What is becoming clear to researchers that happiness is a choice and positivity is a choice.

I am NOT suggesting that you run around ”pumping sunshine” –

that kind of insincerity is toxic - instead try small daily practices to improve both your mood and those around you.

Spreading sunshine lady on balcony embracing the day positive mindfulness

Barbra Frederickson’s work around Positivity suggests you need three positive emotions to lift you up for every negative emotion that drags you down.

Her research found that people “under the influence of positivity” were more resilient, more creative, more tolerant.  People who experience the right amount of positivity broader “thought action repertoires” – they can literally see more, feel more and experience more. 
Stress response to negative events are actually really useful. If we are frightened or threatened our body prepares us to do something – fight or flee. Positive emotions however - help us to manage the fallout of stressful events. Getting plenty of positivity is kinda like getting enough goodness in our diet. Good nutrition won't prevent you from getting sick but it certainly helps to speed your recovery when we do.


How do you become more positive – even if you don’t feel it?



Start by downloading your free gift of 30 activities to increase mindfulness and begin your journey to a happier you.


1.    Practice being nice.  Everybody loves a smile and a thank you but we get busy and we forget.


2.    Share the good stories first.  Get meetings off to a good start by sharing good stories. Some idea starters are:


·      What’s something that’s made you smile this week?

·      Tell me something that has made you feel proud this quarter?

·      What’s better since we last met?


3.    Help people identify their strengths.  Affirming is a great way to do this.  Listen for the strengths in the good news story and try this “what impressed me about what


you just told us,  was how __________________ you are and how you showed        organisation             persistence  

____________ and _______________.”



4.    Don’t allow downward conversations.  Focussing on the problem and what’s wrong takes our energy away but it’s easy to get trapped into these conversations.

Practice Solution Focus techniques better yet politely tell the person who is complaining that they are making you feel drained.

Gossip is the enemy of a happy workplace, don’t allow it.


5.    Listen and empathise.  Take 3 minutes to truly listen to a grizzling colleague.  Don’t comment or try to find solutions, just empathise ...  “I can see how working with a new employee is really draining on your time”.  “It must frustrate you when they constantly interrupt you”. People just want to be heard.


6.    Offer to share the load.  In schools; offer to take a playground duty or take the class for an hour while the teacher meets with a parent.  Offer some admin assistance time to get that project going.  Suggest working away from the office for a morning, make someone a cuppa or bring them lunch.  Expect nothing in return.


7.    Step away from that computer, desk or classroom.  Have a conversation, share a joke, laugh loudly, tell someone why today has been a great day! Complete one of the mindfulness activity cards for the week (download here).

Mindfulness activity cards to build connections healthier happier your free download teaching tool



8.    Practice noticing. Notice nice things, good work, flowers, the sunshine as it enters your room. Notice the acts of kindness by others, the flavour of your coffee, notice the sounds of laughter or collaboration. Once you start to notice the good stuff, you start seeing more. Write these moments down in a special journal such as the beautiful My Teaching Journal to return to when times are rough.

My Teaching Journal handdrawn quote Dance Love Sing Australia Made Gift for teacher planner graduate reflection book


9. Colour in- Not just for children, adult colouring books are all the rage. Mindfulness is all about enjoying the moment and letting your mind wander.


Colouring is calming and helps focus your body rather than having your mind trying to think of everything at once. Utilise the gorgeous hand-drawn images the accompany inspirational quotes in My Teaching Journal to help still your mind. 

My Teaching Journal elephant paisley lotus flower Mindfulness colouring in Made in Australia teacher gift planner


10.Spend time with family- making deeper connections with your loved ones is really important to helping you feel supported when you are stressed. Ask your parents about their teenage years, call your grandparents and ask them about their childhood antics, you will be surprised at what you learn and how that can bring you closer. There are more interesting interview questions in this pdf here.



What are your top tips that help you to spread positivity like sunshine? Comment below :)


Jenny Cole Spreading Positivity blog happiness


Guest blog by Jenny Cole



Jenny is an executive and well-being coach who supports wildly wonderful women to take "their best self to work and bring her home again" using strengths-based, mindful practices. She is endlessly curious and distracted by shiny objects (and ideas). She is a writer, a facilitator, a special needs consultant and a mother to Albert the spaniel.



Contact her at www.positivelybeaming.com.au or on Instagram as @positivelybeamingjenny.



See our latest blogs.


My Teaching Journal- made for teachers, by Melbourne teachers. A unique and thoughtful keepsake to aid mindfulness and optimism.


Download the 30 activity cards to increase mindfulness for FREE here.



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