Headteacher Talk: What is the Power of Positivity?

This month’s Headteacher Talk is all about positive thinking. Now that we’re approaching exam season, it’s easy for students to become dissuaded and let negative thinking take over. Let’s have a look at what Gemma has to say about the importance of keeping positive.

 

The power of positivity.

 

A couple of weeks ago, a few Year 13 Biologists were talking about tests they had had or were going to have. During their discussions, they were saying to each other that they were going to stay positive and hope it goes well.

This led onto a discussion about the power of positive thinking.  We all found some way in which we had thought we couldn’t do something and so gave up. My own personal experience at present is running. I couldn’t run. I hated it. But I have signed up for a 10km run in April and so have been training. I found it hard and thought I’d never be able to complete 2km let alone 10! However, I turned a corner when I actually started to believe that I could do it. Training is still hard, but I’m making progress and seeing results each week.

 

So, is there any truth in this?

 

Well, research suggests there is. A negative thought can create fear. When we are fearful we concentrate solely on that fear. This is useful in life threatening situations, as you need to concentrate on that one thing to survive. But passing an exam isn’t a life-threatening situation. Even if it seems like it is!

Now let’s think about positive emotions, like joy and happiness.  These allow you to open up to lots of possibilities, rather than focus on one area. Being positive about a situation allows you to be more productive. The more productive you can be the more successful at achieving your goals you will be.

 

So, how do you remain positive in the midst of revision or completing a 10km run?

 

  1. Believe it or not, smiling improves your whole mood. Try it!
  2. Start saying, ‘I can’ instead of I can’t. Or ‘I will be able to’ instead of ‘I’ll never be able to.’
  3. Celebrate your success. No matter how small the gain is, all gains are positive.
  4. Be kind to yourself. If you take a knock, don’t dwell on it and focus only on the negative. Brush yourself off and get back on to the road of success.
  5. Everyone knows that they do not function when tired and grumpy. Being tired encourages negative thinking. So get your rest!