We talk a lot about choosing our attitude at Camp Weequahic. It is one of our three building block values and something that comes up daily for both our campers and staff members. Our attitude remains the only thing we have complete control of and it has an enormous impact on both ourselves and those around us.
In fact, a positive attitude is at the heart of the Happiness Advantage.
This is a phrase coined by Shawn Achor, a researcher and teacher in the world of positive psychology. Dr. Achor’s findings basically say that when you employ a more positive outlook, you are subsequently more intelligent, creative, resilient, and better a lots of things from studies to sales.
In other words, by choosing a positive attitude, you give yourself the best opportunity to be happier and more productive. But, sometimes choosing that attitude is difficult, especially if we are surrounded by those who do not think as we do.
So, how do we become more positive? Dr. Achor suggests doing the following over 21 consecutive days:
- Pick three new things you are grateful for from that day and share them with a loved one
- Write in a journal about one really positive experience you’ve enjoyed over the past 24 hours
- Take a few moments each day to relax and think calmly about your breath
- This reminds your brain that it can overcome obstacles
- Practice one act of random or conscious kindness. Send someone a ‘thank you’ email or text for something specific. Help out at a shelter. Do anything as long as it is an expression of kindness
These are all practices that we enjoy at Camp Weequahic. We talk about the best things from your day before going to bed, we write letters home about the great stuff we’ve enjoyed, we take a moment at campfire each Friday night to simply ‘be’, we are on the receiving and giving ends of making people laugh each day. And, while no one would call it ‘exercise’, we certainly burn our calories….
It’s easy to remain positive at camp because everyone around you is focused on the same things and supportive of this idea. It may be a bit harder at school when competition can get in the way. So, take a moment each day and practice. (And, if you need to, just remember camp is a few shorts months away!)