Positive thoughts in First and Second Grades
In a recent two-part counseling lesson in First and Second Grades, we talked about positive and negative thoughts and how powerful our brains are. To demonstrate this power, we closed our eyes and imagined a food that we love. We imagined how the food looks, smells, tastes, and makes us feel. Physically and emotionally, we felt relaxed and happy just thinking about this food! Then we turned our imagination to the appearance, odor, and taste of food we strongly dislike. Yuck! The physical reactions were real. Just by changing our thoughts, our bodies and moods changed.
Negative self-talk can be powerful and extremely detrimental, affecting work performance, self-esteem, and much more. It’s normal to have negative thoughts, but as we talked about in lesson one, it’s important to “shred” our negative thoughts and refuse to give them power.
After “shredding,” we must work hard to reframe the negative thoughts into positive ones. In lesson two, students played a game in which they selected an orange or yellow “negative thought card,” read it aloud to the class, and then found a green “positive thought card” that would be an example of reframing. (See photos below.) Some of the green cards applied to more than one orange/yellow card, and the students enjoyed determining positive thoughts they could generalize to multiple real-life situations. Then, students completed a worksheet to take home and share with family members!