WEEK 18- Staying Healthy- Introduction to Health
Health and Positive emotion
Teachers to read and facilitate the following:
Being healthy involves enjoying our body when it is working well. We have all had experiences when this is not the case- for example, when we have a cold and our bodies do not work as well and we feel miserable. While we are going to get sick from time to time, there are many things we can do to improve and maintain a healthy body and mind. A recent study suggests we do not “inherit” longevity as much as previously believed. Instead, the sum of our habits determines our life span (Rath, 2013). Healthy habits lead to a healthy body, this includes eating well, moving often, restful sleep and mindfully restoring our energy. These behaviours also positively support mental health, relationships and cognitive functioning. Making small, everyday choices to be healthy in what we eat, how much we move, how we sleep and how restore our minds will lead to our overall flourishing.
Researchers have suggested that if we expend too much energy without sufficient recovery periods, eventually our body will burnout and break down (Loehr and Schwartz 2005). Mindfully restoring is taking a few moments to rest when we start to feel tired, stressed and restless- allowing us to recharge. Rather than pushing through, we need to have a brain break. Our mind affects how healthy our body is. This means that our thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and attitudes can positively or negatively affect our biological functioning. If we can take small moments when we feel overwhelmed during our day to just breathe and have a brain break, we will be more energised, focused and productive.
Description of Personal Wellbeing Practice: Mindful Breathing
We are going to practice calm or belly breathing. You can be seated or lying down. Before we begin, please be reminded that you should be comfortable, and in your own space. You are to remain silent so as not to distract anyone else, or yourself from the exercise.
Close your eyes and gently place one hand on your diaphram and one hand on our chest.
Slowly breath in through your nose, feeling the stomach rise and push against your hand. Your chest should remain still.
Exhale through tensed lips while tightening your abdominal muscles and feel your hand moving back down.
Continue to breathe for 10 breaths while focusing on feeling the rise and fall of the abdomen.
“Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor.” — Thich Nhat Hanh
UPP’s Personal Wellbeing Practices
A Personal Wellbeing Practice (PWP) is an evidenced-based positive psychology intervention, applied in school communities or other educational settings. At UPP, we have tried to make these PWP’s simple, concise and relevant for students and their teachers. The six elements for the Personal Wellbeing Practices are: Positive emotion (P); Engagement (E); Relationships (R); Meaning (M); Accomplishment (A); and, Health (H).
We hope that these evidence-based tools of positive psychology will enhance help people to thrive and live their best life, both within and beyond the school gates.
For more activities like this (and much more), check out THRIVE Online Lesson Modules for Pastoral Care and Wellbeing.
Unleashing Personal Potential