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As a part of this course, learning positive in both theory and practice is imperative as envisioned in our syllabus. As such, one learns how to help others increase their happiness and well-being with a goal of producing a smiling society. In theory, there are numerous concepts of positive psychology such as gratitude, forgiveness, autonomy action, and mindfulness. Moreover, there are theories such as broaden and build theory all meant to expound on the idea of positive psychology. However, to get a better understanding on the implementation of these concepts, developing a plan of action of action in which to realize them is imperative. Accordingly, this report covers an activity in which the main aim was to put gratitude into action.
According to oxford, gratitude implies the state of being grateful or thankful to someone for doing something that had a positive impact effect on one’s feeling. The word first known use was in 1523 by Anglo-French or Medieval Latin word “gratitudo” or Latin word “gratus” meaning grateful. As a positive psychology construct, gratitude is a general tendency to offer recognition and response with grateful emotion to those people whose roles have been of benevolence to us resulting to positive experiences and outcomes in our lives. Gratitude shares similar meanings with words like appreciation, thankfulness, and gratefulness.
Gratitude can be described as an affirmation of goodness as Robert Emmons, world’s leading expert on gratitude, argues in his essay, “Why Gratitude Is Good.” He also argues that gratitude also makes us recognize that what makes us feel good is outside ourselves. Consequently, we acknowledge that god or other people may shower us with gifts whether big or small that will help us achieve the goodness inherent in our lives. As such, gratitude can be seen as a relation-ship strengthening emotion as it requires us to appreciate the support that others had extended to our lives. As such, gratitude has three main facets. Intensity is the first facet where an individual who had experienced a positive event feels intensely grateful. Second facet involves frequency where a dispositionally grateful person may exhibit gratitude’s numerous time a day mostly elicited by simple favors or politeness. Span is the third facet referring to number of circumstances for which an individual may feel grateful at a certain point in time. Lastly, density is the facet describing the number of persons to whom one feels grateful for a given positive outcome.
i. Establish how one own feeling of happiness and wellbeing due to gratitude may help us serve others.
ii. Practically realize how to exhibit gratitude while examining the growing body of research into the construct’s contribution into one feeling of happiness and well-being.
iii. Lear how to use our gratitude to increases the wellbeing of others while strengthening civic engagements.
For some individuals, before their family goes to bend, they do a roundtable prayer in which they make a prayer thanking God for what they feel grateful of in life. However, for many, they never feel the need to remove their contentment from the comfort of their pillows and convert it to action. Accordingly, this action plan aims making students learn through direct experience how they can express their gratitude or enhance their feeling of gratification by helping others. The project will entail students working with a local self-help group in serving the less privileged in the local community. In the process, the goal is that students will be able to apply concepts learnt in positive psychology to facilitate their ability to express gratitude while at the same time deepening their understanding on the same. Finally, the project will help students learn how to civically engaged, reduce stereotyping about those living in poverty, strengthen their leadership skills, and contribute to the development of global citizenship.
To implement the plan, students will work with the self-help group to undertake a series of initiatives. The first initiative will be purchasing hygiene kits and accepting donation for the same. Then, we will donate these hygiene kits to the homeless in the society. Such individuals include those living in the streets as well as those living in temporally. In so doing, students will learn to appreciate what they have when they come across those who lack it. Another initiative would conducting a food drive where students will collect canned food and seek for help from others. The students will thereafter donate the food to a children’s home and some to a home for the aged. As such, when students learn that there others to whom affording a daily meal is a hustle, they will learn how to express gratitude for they can afford. Making cards for those suffering from complicated health problems will be another initiative. In the activity, the students will have to make cards with messages to encourage those they know are struggling with their health. In so doing, the students will have learnt to express their gratitude due to their good health by mingling with those who are struggling with theirs. Donating clothes students do not use will be another initiative meant to help them express gratitude for abundance in their lives. Lastly, the students will visit a local nursing home to spend time with those who do not have families. Most of these people include the old people who would like to feel loved and cared for. In so doing, the student will have learnt how to appreciate the fact that they have families and someone who cares about them because of intermingling with those who lacks the privilege.
As a part of the project, students will choose any of the activity in which to participate in. moreover, they will have to keep a reflective journal. The journal entries will be made after completing daily service hours. Other forms documentations such as pictures will also help students document their experiences. Moreover, students will have to evaluate their journal and write a report in which they identify and explain positive psychology constructs and theories that better helped them express their gratitude. Such theories include broaden and build theory, judgement theory, and Associationistic theory. Moreover, the report needs to cover positive and negative emotions felt before and after participating in the initiative. Then, at the end of the activity, students will participate in reflection session where they will share their experiences at the different initiatives they were involved. Moreover, a representative from the self-help group will join the students during the reflective session to discuss the concept of gratitude and other concepts that help us better express our gratitude. Moreover, there will be a play music with pictures and quotes related to the project. The slideshow will help students review the learning activities that they and their classmates undertook total number of hours and comments from those who revived their service.
At the end of the action project, the students are required to have learnt how to use actions to express their gratitude. The hope is that at the end, because of involving oneself in any of the above mentioned, the students are expected to learn ways in which they can express their gratitude via actions. Secondly, the students are supposed to appreciate how various concepts of positive psychology connect with gratitude in enabling us obtain happiness and a sense of well-being. Moreover, at the end of the project the students are expected to be conversant with civic engagement and learn how they can use what they have to register a smile in other people’s lives. Lastly, there is an expectation that at the end of the project students will learn about leadership and how to use the position to achieve positive development for global citizenship.
Due to students having been to choose which initiative they would like to use in learning how to express gratitude in action, they will have easier time learning as the activity is of their interest. As such, they will be able to devote much of their efforts in the activity into the initiative they are pursuing thereby poising them to better learn how to use action to show their gratitude. Secondly, the activities in the project consume less time and the financial obligation students need attainable as they can donate items they already have and not using. As such, the students require little efforts in order to carry out the project. As such, they are less likely to despair giving them ample time to learn. Lastly, the exercise makes use an already established self-help group as a major partner in executing the project. Accordingly, there exist well-established structures on where to work. As such, students will have easier time pinpointing their target group thereby making the exercise less tedious. Moreover, having established structures will help eliminate the fear of being a stranger that first time starters in such experiences face. Consequently, students will have an easier time in carrying their activities thereby being able to achieve the desired outcomes.
After undertaking the action plan, there was an evaluation on the student and the target groups’ responses to evaluate the effectiveness of the action project. There were fifty students participating in the action projects. Responses from forty students indicate that their feeling for gratitude increased significantly after engaging in the action project. Moreover, ninety percent of the students reported to have learnt something new in using actions to enhance their feelings of gratitude. To some, for example, they never conceptualized that their old clothes could make someone else feel happier or enhance their feeling of well-being. All the students responded that they felt to have changed other people’s lives. Each student in all the categories seemed elated that their actions had made other people fell loved and their sense of well-being grows due to their actions. Lastly, most students expressed their optimism on the effectiveness of learning through experience as it leads to a deeper understanding of what they learnt in class regarding gratitude and other positive psychology concepts learnt in class. However, students expressed concern on difficulty associated with scheduling of the activities. Most of the students felt that crashing between other classes and time they ought to be in the filed learning proved challenge them. As such, most of the students never met all the objectives though they met most of the objectives.
Allowing students choose what initiative to use in learning could be the reason as to why most of the objectives were achievable. Secondly, as the tutor, I worked together with the students thereby acting as role model. As such, students had able guidance and could easily seek for clarification where they felt they needed. Lastly, before undertaking the action project, there was an in-class orientation session where the students intermingled with the partners in the self-help group. Accordingly, they were cordial relations between the students and the members. Consequently, students had an easy time working with the member in the organization making them easily meet the set objectives.
If the action project were of choice in the future, I would give the students more autonomy in coming up with the ideas on type of initiatives they would like in the projects. Moreover, I would allow them to develop a framework in which to implement the initiatives. As such, the students will feel they own the project thereby much devotion to learn.
Despite the great role played by learning in classes, much understanding of the concepts may deepen through experience. In positive psychology, a sense of well- being due to gratitude may be achieved by appreciating those whose their action had positive impacts on our lives. However, by using action to express a feeling of gratification may enable us feel happier and enhance our sense of well-being.
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