Negative attitudes are like colds — they’re infectious. But luckily, so is positive thinking
By choosing to embrace optimism and seeing the best in every situation, your family will feel stronger and more united. Plus, your children will have a greater sense of security and enthusiasm for their future.
It’s still important to teach your little ones to accept negative emotions, such as sadness, anger and disappointment.
But encourage them to process these thoughts positively, instead of throwing tantrums or bottling up their feelings, and they’ll find it easier to overcome problems and challenges later in life.
Getting the whole gang together for a few family activities is a fun way to achieve this.
Kids love learning through play, so insights are more likely to naturally come to them when participating in crafts and games.
Here are five positive thinking exercises to get you started.
1. Loving-Kindness Meditation
Originating from Buddist traditions, Loving-Kindness Meditation is the practice of sending out positive thoughts to yourself and others.
It focuses on nurturing compassion and goodwill and increases your ability for forgiveness and self-acceptance, which are all excellent traits to instill in a family structure.
Start by getting everyone together for quiet time. Sit or lie in a comfortable position, closing your eyes and taking a few deep breaths.
Next, each person must choose someone in their life who fills them with joy and consider the qualities that make them special.
Then, think up four or five kind thoughts and send them out through your mind.
Don’t worry if your youngsters have itchy feet, as it only takes a few minutes, and you can always start slowly by allowing them to pick a toy, stuffed animal or pet if they’re struggling to think of someone.
2. Family Vision Board
This activity is a fantastic way to get your family working together on a shared vision.
Kick things off by discussing what’s most important to each of you and what you hope for in the future.
It may be small goals like spending more time outside in nature or bigger ambitions, such as saving for a dream holiday.
While it’s essential your children contribute, as this is how you make those last-a-lifetime memories, if one of them suggests the impossible — for example, “become a mermaid!” — offer real-life alternatives instead, like “go to the pool once a week.”
Now for the creative part. Gather pens, colouring pencils, crayons, magazines for cutting out images and any other art supplies you can lay your hands on, and put all of your ideas on a big piece of card that you can look back on and remember.
3. The Gratitude Jar
Practising thankfulness is the key to building a positive mindset. To get your family thinking in this manner, set up a gratitude jar.
In the evening, as you’re all winding down for the night, ask every household member to write down on a scrap of paper one moment from their day that puts a smile on their face, then pop it in the pot.
Not only does this boost everyone’s mood before bed, but when times get tough and you’re unable to see the good, you can sit around as a family, open the jar and have an instant reminder of all the things that make life sweet.
4. Inspirational Mantras
Similar to positive affirmations, a family mantra is composed of words that inspire you and your loved ones to stay calm and keep smiling in stressful situations.
It needn’t be poetic or long-winded, as shorter mantras are easier to keep in your head. Instead, make it heartfelt, focused and meaningful.
Try giving these a go:
- Yes, you can.
- The sky’s the limit.
- Try new things.
- Learn from everything.
- Tomorrow is a new day.
5. Self-Esteem Hypnotherapy
As we get older, we tend to forget just how difficult it is being a kid.
What with dealing with bullies, stressing about exams, searching for belonging and a million other worries and concerns, it’s no wonder their confidence can take a hit.
Whether you decide to try an online video or speak with a qualified and professional hypnotherapist, such as at the Hypnosis and Therapy Centre, hypnosis can be a brilliant tool for improving self-esteem in children of all ages.
As youngsters have highly vivid imaginations, it’s much easier to reach into their subconscious and plant feelings of positivity and confidence, helping them unlock the skills they require to cope with whatever life throws at them.