facebook icon
Yellow Paper Plane going in circles

No products in the cart.

C.A.R.E.S., Fly Five Curriculum, The Mindful Student

How to Help Students Recognize Their Positive Feelings

How to Help Students Recognize Their Positive Feelings

Helping students identify moments of positivity not only feels good, but is good for their well-being. Research shows that people who feel positive emotions often experience increased awareness, attention, and memory (Gavin, 2018). While fostering responsible, empathetic, and self-aware students, it is important to remember how positivity and joy play a role in students’ day-to-day. Even on challenging days, students can cultivate self-awareness and emotional literacy skills by noticing moments of positivity.

Consider these strategies to help students recognize their positive feelings in your classroom (Martínez, 2017):

  1. Notice and track positive emotions. Engage your students by asking what positive emotions look and feel like in their bodies. Maybe it’s a smile, relaxed stance, or upbeat tone of voice. It could feel like an inner calmness or quiet confidence. Emphasize that each person experiences positive emotions differently. Encourage emotional check-ins during class warm-ups. Ask students to notice moments of joy or serenity, which can help them track positive experiences.
  2. Name a positive emotion and act to increase it. Emotional check-ins are helpful for setting positive intentions. Having students reflect with a partner about a positive experience or a moment when they felt proud of themselves can inspire gratitude and future positive awareness.
  3. Highlight student strengths. Help students identify what makes them happy, and use their strengths as confidence-building tools. Encourage students to acknowledge how confidence feels in their body. Students can even create a “map of emotions” that helps them define how emotions look and feel in the body, such as broad superhero-stance shoulders, or a sense of calm in their chest. When students can identify their assets, it creates a positive self-image that sets them up for future success.
  4. Interpret their emotions. At times, when feelings are too overwhelming for students to work through alone, it is okay to gently remind them why they might be feeling a certain way. Interpreting our emotions gives us a greater understanding of why we were feeling that way in the first place and greater insight into who we are.

As students continue to become more mindful of their positive feelings, their happiness within school environments and their home life will grow. With teacher support in the form of positive intentions, emotional check-ins, and emotion maps, students will be set up for greater social and emotional success.

How to Help Students Recognize Their Positive Feelings


Gavin, M. L. (2018, August). The power of positive emotions. Nemours TeensHealth. https://kidshealth.org/en/teens/power-positive.html

Martínez, Lorea. (2017, February 8). Got SEL? Teaching students to describe emotions. Edutopia. https://www.edutopia.org/discussion/got-sel-teaching-students-describe-emotions

Positive Action. (2020, August 7). Teaching self-wareness to students: 5 effective activities. https://www.positiveaction.net/blog/teaching-self-awareness-to-students

TeensHealth. (2021). 3 ways to increase positive emotions. Nemours.


Pin It on Pinterest

Share This