Did you know that tomorrow; September 13; is Positive Thinking Day? What better time to boost our Little One’s love for life, happiness and success, than at the start of the school year!
What is Positive Thinking?
The concept of Positive Thinking isn’t new; if you’re reading this, you’re likely familiar with the impact it can have when actively pursued. So much so, that increasingly it’s now becoming a key part of Child Development too.
Positive Thinking isn’t just the warm and fuzzy feelings you experience when something good happens; closely tied to Outlook and frame-of-mind; it’s how we train our Brain to process the events and circumstances that happen in our life – specifically our emotions - and the resulting physiological and emotional impact this has on us.
Why do we have emotions?
Emotions are the human body’s way of helping us process the world around us. A triggered emotion has the effect of helping our brain identify the best course of action for any given situation, whether that is keeping us safe; or to help us bond with our community.
What impact do emotions have?
Emotions often fall into the categories of positive, or negative. But just because an emotion is negative, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s “bad” - for example; negative emotions (like fear) are useful in situations, which require our mind to be narrowed and our thoughts to be focused – like in a dangerous situation.
Positive emotions help us build trust - necessary to bond with our families; or build confidence – necessary for developing essential skill sets and resources required for life.
However; negative emotions can have undesired impacts on the body when not properly regulated. Being acutely aware of the risks in a dangerous situation keeps us safe, but when our brain continues to follow this programming long after the dangerous situation has dissipated; our emotions work against us by shutting off the outside world and limiting the options around us.
Our inability to properly regulate our emotions can lead to issues with our emotional and physical well-being.
Our brain helps to regulate the production and release of hormones in our body. When negative thoughts overtake us, this can cause an imbalance in our hormones – like the stress hormone Cortisol – which can create physical side effects and often manifest as ill-health.
It can also impact relationships and cause distrust to develop in a relationship, where there is no threat of harm or danger.
How does this link to Positive Thinking?
It is therefore crucial that we help our Children to manage their emotions and in turn, how they perceive the world around them, so that their brains can choose the correct corresponding action.
Our actions often mirror our thoughts; like a self-fulfilling prophecy; we often become what we believe of ourselves. Therefore, mindset is key in empowering children to be confident, build healthy relationships, achieve their goals, have the courage to pursue their greatness and increase self-esteem.
By helping children to properly process their world, we are developing in them a powerful coping tool, which builds resilience. This has the effect of building their confidence and self-esteem, allows them to form healthy relationships, creates a strong bond of love and sets them up with all the tools they need to succeed now, and later on in life.
How can we help children to grow in Positive Thinking?
Children as young as 5 have shown that they are able to connect thought with emotion, and a child’s ability to make these connections and manage these increases as they get older.
There are lots of ways you can help your child manage their emotions and engage with positive thinking so that they (and you) reap the benefits.
Here are six simple ways you can begin developing the power of Positivity in your Little One’s life:
Talk to your Child – allow them to verbally process the events of the day.
Model Positive Thinking – show them what positive thinking and healthy emotional regulation looks like.
Be their Motivator and Encourager – be their biggest Cheerleader.
Record (and celebrate) the good moments – create a scrap-book they can use to write down; or draw; all the good things that happened in their day and then find small, simple ways to celebrate them – this might be as small as doing your own little victory dance.
Practice Positive Affirmations – ‘I am’ is the most powerful statement in your Child’s life, help them focus on all the things they are by coming up with a few daily affirmations to help build their confidence – “I am strong, I am enough, I can do anything I put my mind to”.
Make a Wall of Love – have them add visual reminders to the wall about all the things they like about themselves and their lives; as well as the people around them.
The power of Positivity can have such a huge impact in our lives; if we allow it to.
Albert Einstein once famously said; “If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid”. Each one of us is unique and special in our own way – by teaching our children the power of positivity, we aren’t only teaching them how to manage their emotions – we are teaching them how to live authentically and fully embrace all that they are – the perfect foundation for a happy and fulfilled life. This can only lead to great things.