• User AvatarMiriam
  • 03 Oct, 2023
  • 3 Mins Read

Thriving Children

“Thriving” is a word that can encompass character strengths, resilience, and happiness in children. It implies that children are not just surviving but flourishing in terms of their character development, resilience, and overall well-being. 


According to ChatGPT. It’s a pretty good definition except what is missing, is the bit about it can’t be like this all the time. There has to be ups and downs and ‘rest’ time or else it becomes ‘too much pressure’. On the child and the parent.


Success and happiness. Do they go hand in glove?

Shawn Achor’s Ted talk ‘The happy secret to better work’ is pretty funny but also really interesting, informative and enlightening backed up with research. While he is talking about work performance, the theory applies to any age, including children.

The talk appears on YouTube under that title and another one “The Happiness Advantage: Linking Positive Brains to Performance” but they are one and the same. It’s only 12 minutes so it’s well worth the watch but just in case you don’t have 12 minutes or can’t be bothered clicking on the link, here’s a brief summary in bullet points and quotes –

  • 25% of job success is attributed to IQ. 75% is optimism levels, social support network, seeing stress as a challenge, not a threat (Emotional Intelligence)
  • “Achieving a goal will not guarantee happiness because you will just shift the goal posts. This method of motivation of achieving goals and therefore happiness is broken and backward. If happiness is on the other side of success the brain never gets there.’ (not entirely correct quote but close)
  • “If you can raise the levels of positivity in the present then the brain experiences what is called the happiness advantage. Your brain at positive performs significantly better than it does at negative, neutral or stress.” Your business outcomes will improve significantly if you and your employees have greater levels of optimism.
  • 90% of your long-term happiness is predicted not by the external world but by the way your brain processes the world.”

There have been many incantations of this quote but it’s a timely reminder. How does your brain process the world? Mr Achor has a 21-day method to retrain the brain to happiness. You don’t need gym shoes or any other equipment for this, just 2 minutes, a pen and paper.

One aspect of optimism and happiness mentioned in the talk was a social support network. This helps because you can talk about how you have perceived something as a negative or there have been so many negative images or heard negative stories then it can be discussed and reframed to a positive experience or put an optimistic viewpoint upon it, within the network.

Breathing and Positivity.

If we find ourselves in a negative thinking state, the quickest way to switch to positive is through your breath. Apparently, 80% of modern humans have a dysfunctional breathing pattern. If we get stressed we breathe more, if the stress is prolonged that over-breathing becomes a habit. The paradox is by breathing more, less oxygen is available to the body.

The quicker you can get this thought into your head when you are stressed, the quicker you will be able to switch your thinking pattern to a more positive thought process.

Stop. Take a breath down to your tummy button. Take another one, then another one.

Below is an exercise that can help with breathing in the most effective way, not only to lower stress levels but also for speaking purposes. 

To your breathing & happiness! Miriam.


PS – if you would like speech and communication help for yourself or children check out our courses page, there are freebies to test out first! or email me – miriam@sayitclearly.co.nz

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