Practicing Positive Emotions
Positive emotions are good for our minds and bodies. Making sure we have daily helpings of positive emotions is just as important as getting those daily helpings of nutritious vegetables and fruits.
It's easy to give ourselves experiences that boost our positive emotions. Positivity is fun to practice. It's also a great way to learn more about ourselves and what makes us tick.
Below are 10 word groups that describe positive emotions. For each group, think of an activity or situation that helps you feel one of those emotions.
Next, pick one or two positive emotions that you want to practice this week. Commit to doing something that will increase that positive emotion every day for a week. Here are some examples to get you started.
1. JOYFUL (happy, glad, lighthearted, pleased)
"When I see my friends and we laugh and have fun together, I feel happy. I'll take time to laugh with my friends every day at lunchtime."
"When I get home from school my dog is so glad to see me and I feel glad to see him, too. I will make time to play with my dog every day."
2. GRATEFUL (thankful, appreciative)
"When I take time to notice all my mom does to take care of us, I really appreciate her. To feel more gratitude this week, I can list the things I love about mom and why I'm lucky she's my mom. "
"Saying grace before dinner reminds me of the blessings we have, especially for a good place to live and my family. I know some people aren't as lucky as I am."
3. PEACEFUL (relaxed, serene, at ease)
"When I listen to classical music, I feel peaceful. I will listen to it for 15 minutes every night before bed."
"Stroking my cat and hearing her purr gives me such a feeling of being relaxed. I'm going to try that before bed each night this week and focus on how peaceful she is."
4. INTERESTED (engaged, attentive)
"I feel totally interested when I am in my favorite class, science."
"I get completely absorbed in my music. When I play, I'm not thinking about anything else. I'll plan to practice each day after school, before I do my homework."
5. HOPEFUL (wishful, expecting good things)
"Before a game, I feel hopeful that we'll win. This week, I'll concentrate on that feeling of hope and expecting good things before I play."
"I love the idea of making a wish. This week when I'm at that pond in the mall, I'll throw in a penny and make a wish."
6. PROUD (beaming, satisfied, confident, accomplished)
"I feel this way when I put my best effort into something. This week, I'll really focus on my homework and how I feel when I give it my best — even when it's not my top subject."
"When I cook something, I feel accomplished. This week, I'll bake something for the whole family. I love how it feels when they compliment me!"
7. AMUSED (humorous, fun-loving, playful, silly)
"I am reading this book that makes me laugh out loud. Reading some of it every day is a way to get my daily dose of laughter and humor."
"My dad and I tell each other corny jokes as a way to laugh together. We can start a 'joke a day' habit. We'll get my kid stepbrother in on the act, too. He's so goofy that sometimes just the way he tells a joke cracks us up."
8. INSPIRED (creative, uplifted)
"I feel really inspired in art class. I can stop by the art studio at free period and work on something creative or I can make time to draw and doodle at home."
9. AMAZED (awed, part of something larger than ourselves)
"Looking at the sky is my favorite thing. The clouds, stars, planets, moon ... I feel I am a part of this whole incredible universe."
10. LOVING (loved, compassionate, caring, kind)
"Doing a kind thing for someone anonymously is a way I like to be caring. Every day this week, I'm going to find one person who looks like they could really use a boost and do something to help them."
"I've started doing a loving kindness meditation. I'm going to practice it every morning when I wake up."