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Dr. Tammy Davis Marymount University

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1 Dr. Tammy Davis Marymount University

2  Learning optimism at ages 10-12 halves the rate of depression as children go through puberty.  Happy people show less burnout!  Students with learning goals take necessary risks and see failure as a chance to learn.  Highly successful people do not succeed by working on weaknesses; the emphasis is on using strengths.  Students with positive core self-evaluation will out earn their less positive peers by as much as 100%.

3  To achieve success  To grow and develop in a healthy and vigorous way  To be in a state of activity or production  To prosper  Synonyms: Improving, growing, or succeeding steadily: booming, boomy, prospering, prosperous, roaring, thrifty, thriving.  Flourishing Pre-/Post-test

4 Circle the number that most represents how you feel. Not at all Totally  I feel positive emotions every day. 1 23 4 5   I love learning new things. 12345   I generally feel that what I do in my life  Is valuable and worthwhile. 12345   In general, I feel very positive about 12345  myself.   I’m always optimistic about my future.12345   When things go wrong in my life, I can 12345  usually get back to normal quickly.   There are people in my life who really12345  care about me.   ©Adapted from: Seligman, M.E.P (2011). Flourish: A visionary new understanding of happiness and well-being. New York: Simon & Schuster. 

5  Flourishing should be PERMA- nent! P = Positive emotions E = Engagement R = Relationships M = Meaning A = Achievement/Attitude

6  21 freshmen just starting college  Selected the course among 15-18 others  Had to do small activities to try to “increase” happiness  Took the Happiness Inventory (pre- and post)  Also worked on strengths (Strengths Inventory)   Goal was to connect students to the University and to increase happiness


8  Positive statements  In a study of corporations, those with a 3:1 ratio for positive to negative statements are flourishing.  BUT, don’t go crazy! Above a 13:1 ratio, you lose your credibility.  Not only SAYING positive things to facilitate positive emotions, but also helping them start to identify the positive.  Activity: Three good things/Me at My Best/Observation

9  Students who are connected and engaged in meaningful activities are much less likely to exhibit risky behaviors.  Engagement fosters a sense of belong, responsibility, and control.  Activity: “My Secret Good Deed”

10  Who do students connect with?  If not you, then WHO?  Ask, investigate, follow-through!  External support systems are an ASSET and give students HOPE!  Activity: “Who Surrounds You?”

11 YOU _______

12  Students were asked to do six exercises that build positivity and happiness.  “Forgiveness Letter”  “Gratitude Letter”

13  Goal-setting  Future/Forward-thinking  Activity: I.P.O.D.

14  “Doors” Activity  Practicing what I preached  Constantly praising and reinforcing when they did well  Having some fun!


16  Focus on Happiness, Kindness, Forgiveness, Gratitude  Activities: Observation, Team-Building  Reflective Journaling Resulted in a 14% average increase in the happiness scores of students! Only 2 students did not return for Spring semester

17  Negativity breeds negativity  Where’s your energy?  Where’s your smile?  Who does complaining help? If we knew that hope and despair were paths to the same destination, which would you choose?

18  H = Hear their story  O = Offer a reframe  P = Praise their Strengths  E = Encourage expression of feelings

19  The best shot students may have at flourishing is your belief that they can.  “Success is not final, failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts” - Winston Churchill

20  “When there is opportunity to be grasped and there is hope, then things get better. When there is no hope, things do not. What can I do to help the cause of providing opportunity and hope?” Seligman (2002)

21 Seligman, M.P. (2011). Flourishing: A visionary new understanding of happiness and well-being. New York: Simon & Schuster. Snyder, C.R., Feldman, D.B., Shorey, H.S., & Rand, K.L. (2002) Hopeful choices: A school counselor’s guide to hope theory. Professional School Counseling, 5(5), 298-307. Pedrotti, J.T., Edwards, L., & Lopen, S.J. (2008). Promoting hope: Suggestions for school counselors. Professional School Counseling, 12(2), 101-107

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