We are all aware that, faced with a changing and complex world that presents many challenges, it’s important to invest in our wellbeing – to be healthy both physically and mentally. As Department of Health reported in 2013:
“An individual’s health is a key aspect of their wellbeing”.
This is a re-blog post originally written by Fiona Phillips, PTA UK Trustee,PTA UK and published with kind permission.
The original post can be found here.
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Therefore, hearing the results of research on our children’s wellbeing is a concern. In 2015, The Children’s Society reported that children in England ranked 14th out of 15 countries for life satisfaction and 11th for recent feelings of happiness and feeling positive about the future.
Knowing what contributes to better wellbeing helps us to apply it to our own lives and support others. It’s interesting to learn that many teachers report feeling helpless when dealing with the growing demand for mental health support in schools.
Actions for Happiness
So how can we ensure, as parents and teachers, that we can support our children to grow up healthy and fulfilled? I recently attended a great seminar led by Dr Mark Williamson, Director of Action for Happiness, on the subject of well being and what contributes to it.
Dr Williamson suggested ten goals to happiness which can be pursued – summed up in the acronym, GREAT DREAM.
I reflected that volunteering in school including as part of a PTA ticks many of these boxes including “Giving” and also “Resilience” springs to mind!
Dr Williamson also suggested keeping a gratitude journal, in which is noted those things in our life which we are thankful for.
Finally we were sent away with a great thought – “If you can’t change it, change the way you think about it”.
There is more on www.actionforhappiness.org.
Should education include wellbeing?
The Welsh Government launched its new curriculum in October 2015. Focussed on ensuring the future success of every child and young person, one of its key purposes is to ensure children develop as healthy, confident individuals, ready to lead fulfilling lives. Consequently, the curriculum includes a new health and wellbeing learning area. It will be interesting to see whether this also emerges as a need from the Westminster Education Select Committee inquiry into the purpose of education.
Featured image source: By Saulo Victor on Flickr under (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)