There is an increasing number of youth in America who have poor mental health due to many many factors, including the pandemic, social media, safety in schools, and so much more. These kids and teens have been through A LOT, and we need to equip them with the tools to combat negative emotions and thoughts. In this blog we will provide some tools for you, or a child in your life to use daily, which we hope will help promote positive thinking.
Even for someone who does not enjoy journaling, just writing down three positives each day can be a powerful tool. Making this a habit in your daily routine forces you to think of different experiences that felt good each day, encouraging positive thinking. Positives are moments throughout your day that feel uplifting, or generally good. Some days it may be difficult to come up with something, but finding your positives on those days especially will help you appreciate the small things. You can make it fun by grabbing a journal that makes you smile or making it into a fun gift for someone you know.
This one is simple and can be very influential. Talk positively to yourself if you want to think positively about yourself! It is so easy to fall into the habit of talking down to ourselves and constant exposure to social media makes it even easier. Having a consistent conversation with your kids, or teens about affirmations can help pull them out of a negative slump. REMINDER! You can positively impact the mindset of people around you when you speak positively about yourself. That being said, you can also negatively impact the mindset of people around you when you speak negatively about yourself.
Though this is a simple tool, that does not necessarily mean it is easy. Many times, we do not even realize that what we are saying to ourselves is negative because we’ve said it (or thought it) for so long. Because of this, changing how we think or feel about ourselves can take some intentional effort and some time. In Jon Acuff’s book, Soundtracks, he has three questions you should ask yourself to determine if you have reoccurring thoughts that need to be dropped. Those questions are: 1) Is the thought true, 2) is the thought helpful and 3) is it kind? You could also ask yourself if that is something you would say to your friend? If you answered no to any of those questions, it’s time to drop it and replace the thought with something positive.
Here are some ideas for positive thoughts and affirmations to replace your negative ones with:
I am capable of accomplishing the things I set my mind to.
I am unique and confident, and I define my own value.
I am deserving of love and am capable of showing love to others.
Essentially, just find the opposite truth of whatever the negative mindset is and intentionally remind yourself of it if the negative thought reoccurs. Once you’re ready, you can start saying those same affirmations out loud to yourself in the mirror. It feels goofy but is scientifically proven to improve your mindset.
Gratitude is your affirmations turned outwards. Showing appreciation to the people in your life is another tool to appreciate what you have and continue looking up. You can practice gratitude while you journal by writing a thank you note to one person each day. It doesn’t even have to be sent to them, but again it will help get your brain moving in a positive direction.
Teaching kids and teens self-care creates space for them to learn more about themselves, practice self-love and get into a routine. For example, learning about things like hygiene and sunscreen at a young age will also give them the opportunity to prioritize and take care of their physical health.
Asking for Help:
We all know how hard it is to openly talk about our emotions and how we’re really feeling. First of all, it’s scary to be vulnerable and secondly, technology has physically distanced us. It is time that we start getting closer again and being vulnerable about what we have going on. In our remote world, we intentionally need to start depending on each other again. Especially for our kids who are growing up with all this technology, we must show up for them and lead the way for how we can be vulnerable and reach out when we need help.
We hope that some of these tools will be useful for you, or a kid/teen in your life and that Jam Hops can be a safe space for your family. We want to Inspire Kids to Become LIFE CHAMPIONS and know that it all starts with building our youth up to be mentally strong.
Thank you for reading!