This blog was originally shared on on May 8, 2017 as part of the #RoadtoCACUSS 2017 event where a team from across institutions rode their bikes from Toronto to Ottawa to attend CACUSS and raise funds for student mental well-being.

To ground the challenge of participating in #RoadtoCACUSS: The Ride, we are inviting you to participate in our ThriveRU exercises, designed to help you manage challenges and cultivate your well-being.

This week’s blog will focus on the last dimension of the PERMA-V Model of Flourishing: Vitality.

The newest dimension of the PERMA-V model is Vitality. This encompasses a breadth of skills, abilities, attitudes, and behaviours associated with holistic well-being, including physical activity, sleep, and health. Read this article on 7 Tips for Success for a greater understanding of vitality’s role in PERMA-V.

This week’s ThriveRU exercise calls us to consider having a growth mindset. We are prompted to watch Carol Dwek’s TedTalk where she shares research and stories that highlight how a growth mindset can lead to vitality. Core to this research is knowing that our abilities can be developed.

Brain activity for those with a growth mindset shows engagement, processing, and learning that keeps our neurology vital. In fact, in a study students who were taught explicitly about growth mindset and how pushing out of their comfort zone created stronger neural pathways over time, earned significantly better grades than their counterparts who were not taught this lesson.

Perhaps most importantly, she espouses that setting up communities based in a growth mindset is imperative for equity in our education system. Teaching students growth mindset, particularly those from equity seeking groups, can transform how students see effort and difficulty from seeing themselves as dumb to seeing themselves as capable and smart.

As educators for our students she suggests we create a growth mindset in students by praising the process students engage in to learn, their efforts, strategies, focus, and improvements they make. These strategies were found to create resilient students with vitality and energy.

If we are to create environments where students can have a growth mindset, we too have to adopt this way of thinking. Praising ourselves for the process we have engaged in planning this adventure, our efforts to train and develop our cycling skills, and the improvements we have seen so far have increased our vitality!

How are you adopting a growth mindset for yourself and teaching your students to do so as well? We can’t wait to hear at #RoadToCACUSS!

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