WEEK 5- Positive Emotion Introduction (Happy Hits)

Teachers to read and facilitate the following:

Equipment Required
Pen and Paper

PERMAH Element
Positive Emotion


Experiencing positive emotions, like joy, gratitude, interest, hope, pride, amusement, inspiration and love, has been found to benefit mental and physical health, social relationships, and academic outcomes (Lyubomirsky, King, & Diener, 2005).  Studies have shown that positive emotions help us broaden and build the way our brain responds to opportunities and challenges (McQuaid & Kern, 2017). Professor Fredrickson from the University of North Carolina, found that when you are in a positive mood, your peripheral vision expands up to 60%.  Also, we can think more quickly and creatively due to the enhanced neural connections caused by the release of dopamine and serotonin (these are neurochemicals that help our body function at its best). Furthermore, positivity broadens social responses and we can connect and attune better to others.  Our wellbeing is greatly enhanced from infusing more positive emotions in our lives.

Description of Personal Wellbeing Practice:  Happy Hits

  1. Write down three happy thoughts- things that bring a smile to your face.  For example: a favourite song, a great memory, a funny youtube clip you’ve seen, a person who makes you smile, a place that brings you peace, a funny scene from a movie. These are your “Happy Hits”.

  2. Place the Happy Hits in your pocket and read them a few times during the day.  Observe how your brain responds and how your mood changes throughout the day.

Main message:

Experiencing heartfelt positive emotion creates an upward spiral of wellbeing that can broaden and build your psychological resources, allowing you to be more open to possibilities, connect with others and build your resilience and wellbeing  (McQuaid & Kern, 2017).


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