Where there is joy there is learning. Where there is courage there is a willingness to try hard, make mistakes and grow from them.
Our resources have been highly influenced by the research and work of the following people -
Martin Seligman (Penn University) -
Martin Seligman is the founder of modern day positive psychology (the scientific study of what enables individuals and communities to flourish). He is the recognised authority on interventions that prevent depression, build strengths and wellbeing.
Some of the areas of work that relate strongly to our kits and what we seek to help our children develop are in the following areas.
OPTIMISM - Seligman states that optimism can be a learned behaviour and should be a priority for children, in order to build resilience, prevent poor mental health and extend life.
GRATITUDE - Seligman has highlighted that gratitude is a powerful technique to practice in order to boost long term happiness, in fact it is the key ingredient in all long term studies on people who feel happy for extended periods of their life. It is also a big component of building optimism.
Seligman refers to fascinating research on these topics. He has also written numerous books and carried out his own studies in this area. Please see the below links:
Dr Barbara FredrickSon (North Carolina)-
Barbara Fredrickson has completed numerous studies on broadening emotions and their impact on our emotional and physical health. In particular she has focused on what joy, kindness, love and gratitude do to our mental health. For more information on these studies see the links below.
Garland EL, Fredrickson B, Kring AM, Johnson DP, Meyer PS, Penn DL. Upward Spirals of Positive Emotions Counter Downward Spirals of Negativity: Insights from the Broaden-and-Build Theory and Affective Neuroscience on The Treatment of Emotion Dysfunctions and Deficits in Psychopathology. Clinical psychology review. 2010;
Dr Carol Dweck (Stanford UNIVERSITY)-
Carol Dweck is one of the world's leading researchers in the field of motivation. Dweck has focused on mindsets, which are -the beliefs we hold about ourselves and our most basic qualities. Through her work she has highlighted the power of praising effort in children as opposed to talent. Her studies have spotlighted the power of imparting knowledge about Fixed vs Growth mindset to children - that their brains are always growing - that intelligence is not fixed.
For more information on Fixed vs Growth Mindset see the following links.
Karen Reivich (Penn Uni)-
Karen Reivich has studied and created the 7 habits of growing resilience in people:
1. emotional awareness
2. impulse control
3. realistic optimisim
4. flexible thinking
5. self eficacy
7. reaching out (taking risks)
For more information about her work please click on the following links.
Dr Sonja Lyubomirsky
Sonja Lyubomirsky, Ph.D., is Professor and Vice Chair of Psychology at the University of California, Lyubomirsky has carried out abundant research on the impact of expressing gratitude, doing acts of kindness, fostering micro-connections, making someone else happier, affirming significant values, visualising a positive future, and savouring positive experiences She has been conducting research on happiness for 29 years and has published widely in the area.
Lyubomirsky, S. (2013). The myths of happiness: What should make you happy, but doesn’t, what shouldn’t make you hoxforappy, but does (X, Trans.). Beijing, China: Cheers Books
Further links to research, organisations and articles we make mention to in the kit:
Neurobiology: Rise of resilience. King. Nature 531, S18–S19 (03 March 2016)
Neurobiology of stress. Brand new OPEN ACCESS journal from Elsevier.
Understanding stress resilience. Robert R. Rozeske, Michael V. Baratta, Steven F. Maier (Eds). Frontiers Research Topic Ebook.
Association between physical exercise and mental health in 1·2 million individuals in the USA between 2011 and 2015: a cross-sectional study. Chekroud. 2018. Lancet Psychiatry 2018 5: 739–46
Exercise for depression. Rimer et al., Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Issue 7, 2012.
Black Dog Institute – Exercise and depression
The mechanism linking exercise to BDNF – Neurofantastic blog by Shelley Fan
Spark!: How exercise will improve the performance of your brain, by Eric Hagerman & Dr John J. Ratey (2008). Little, Brown and Company.
Development of the social brain from three to 12 years. Richardson et al 2018 NATURE COMMUNICATIONS | (2018) 9:1027 (Saxe lab)
Meditation Programs for Psychological Stress and Well-being A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Goyal et al., JAMA Intern Med. 2014;174(3):357-368.
Is meditation associated with altered brain structure? A systematic review and meta-analysis of morphometric neuro imaging in meditation practitioners. Fox et al. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews 43 (2014) 48–73
The ‘M’ in PERMA and FINDING your purpose. The Positive Psychology Foundation (explainer)
Be You - a brilliant website about promoting mentally healthy school communities Be You supports educators and learning communities at every stage of their journey to grow Australia’s most mentally healthy generation.
Feeling Lonely? You're not alone. Here is Why. By Grace Jennings-Edquist ABC life
A randomised controlled trial of dietary improvement for adults with major depression (the ‘SMILES’ trial). Jacka et al BMC Medicine 2017 15:23
You are what you eat: how diet affects mental well-being, by Felice Jacka, The Conversation.
SmilingMind - links to mediations and research on mindfulness
If you would like to find out more about the research or how Grow Your Mind can come to your school, please fill out the enquiry form below.