Whether it’s curling up with a hot cup of tea, the smell of new book pages, the emotions of a joyful ending, or experiencing flow as hours pass while reading, Proof Positive loves the idea of spreading wellbeing to your community through book clubs. Our Summer Learning Series has been reviewing four happiness skills that enhance your wellbeing – Jolts of Joy, Character Strengths, What Went Well, and PERMA+ Snapshot. Here are some ways to integrate these skills of happiness into your next gathering:

  • Start your gathering with a quick YouTube clip that inspires positive emotions. Next time, assign people that are responsible for the Jolt of Joy at each meeting and encourage them to be creative. Learn more about Jolts of Joy.
  • Have each group member take their VIA Character Strengths Survey. Then choose a character from your current book and discuss how their traits may be similar or different from your own.
  • Kick off your meetings with gratitude. Gratitude is a wonderful way to tune a group and get everyone feeling good at the start of a meeting. Ask the group to turn to a partner and share something that went well recently. Once they have a few minutes to chat, you can ask one or two people to share their good news with the group. Remember, What Went Well moments could be clearly positive, a silver-lining moment, or the absence of something negative. Starting meetings with What Went Well is an excellent way to guide your book club to greater cohesiveness, productivity, and creative problem-solving. Our What Went Well Conversation Starters resource has some guidance for meeting kickoffs.
  • Check in on your wellbeing by integrating PERMA+ into your discussions with this activity: Take the PERMA+ framework of wellbeing and apply it to some of the characters. Are they strong in a particular area? Do they completely neglect other areas? In what ways do the PERMA+ elements contribute to the plot or character development? Hosting a movie night is another great option, especially for kids and teens. After the movie, have them give recommendations to each of the characters to improve their PERMA+ elements. If you wrote a PERMA+ Snapshot Blueprint for the characters, what would you include? Applying the PERMA+ framework to a fictional character or historical figure can be a good first step to discussing each of the elements.

Relationships are vital to your wellbeing, and Proof Positive encourages you to engage in meaningful ways with your community, such as book clubs.

Have you tried one of these activities in a group setting? Let us know how it went in the comments. 

Happy reading!

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