Positivity Touch Points
written by Michelle Schroeder – Lowrey for Pebble Tossers (part three of a three-part series)
Michelle Schroeder-Lowrey is an artist educator specializing in music, movement and drama at Columbus Academy. Michelle is a CAPP certified Positive Psychology Practitioner and recently completed certification as a Resiliency Trainer at The Flourishing Center in NYC. Her love of learning has taken her as far as Australia and as close as downtown Columbus. Michelle is passionate about educating people about the benefits of living life with purpose using the principles of PERMA-V and the VIA Character Strengths. She is a proud wife and mother and a founding member of Available Light Theatre and holds a BA in Theatre from The Ohio State University.
How do we stay grounded and in the present moment?
Right now, I am leaning a lot on GRATITUDE. There is a lot of research out there around how expressing gratitude effects your personal happiness. Dr. Barbara Fredrickson’s research shows that expressing our gratitude to others opens us up and “broadens” our capacity for positive emotions – and it feels so good we want to repeat that experience – so we “build” on that by expressing more gratitude. There are so many gratitude practices out there. Journaling is one way or sharing out-loud with family and friends at a meal or at bedtime. Asking our kids to talk about what is “sticky” for you today or what good or positive event is sticking in your thoughts from today and how did you contribute to making it good. Taking ownership of how “I” helped make it positive provides an extra boost and helps us to savor those moments or little things that are sticking with us.
Also, remember that connection and positive relationships are vital. During this time of “social distancing” we can still be connected through FaceTime, Zoom calls and Google Hangouts. Check-in with family and friends -often – and share your gratitude, humor (yes! It is okay to laugh. Remember ALL emotions are okay!), recipes and art. We are social beings with a need to feel belonging. Texts are good, but seeing each other’s faces and hearing each other’s voices will give us so much more of a boost.
And lastly – don’t forget the power of exercise or movement. Especially for our teens and littles. With sports practices canceled indefinitely and no scheduled PE they need our help to get motivated and moving. (And truly, I need it too. And that is hard to admit.) Learners need to talk AND move. There are myriad apps and websites offering dance, yoga, movement and even sports drills you can do at home. Bike riding, walking your dogs, roller skating outside – all of these will boost your positivity and resiliency.
We are not superheroes, we are humans. We are inherently resilient. These practices will not be easy for all of us to implement. They are “practices” meaning – they take time to master. And now we’ve got some time. Use it well.