Focusing on the negative comes far too easily to most of us. It's not necessarily our fault; we were brought up to think that way. Our parents were brought up to think that way. Our caveman ancestors needed to think that way to stay alive! But we don't need to anymore. What we need, is to stop the cycle. Starting with you and your family. Cultivate a positive mindset with one simple nightly ritual.
How often have you asked a friend how they're doing, and they respond with something like, "UGH, I was finishing up at the petrol station today and the IDIOT in front of me just sat there checking his phone for 5 minutes as if he's the oooonly person on Earth..." Or maybe the kids jump in the car after school and you ask how their day was and they reply, "It was the wooooorst day, we had a maths test and my water made my sandwich soggy and Jessica is being mean to me and I don't even know why..."
Yes, their issues are important and shouldn't be down-played or disregarded.
Yes, everyone has difficult situations to deal with and that's normal.
Yes, sometimes things suck.
BUT, do we have to dwell on issues for as long as we do?
Do we have to tell every man and his dog about the jerk at the petrol station?
Do we have to allow small issues to ruin our entire day?
Nope. We need to remember that one or two bad things happening do not amount to a bad day. Are we forgetting about all the great things that happened today? There were probably more good than bad, but we just aren't attuned to noticing all the good stuff!
I traded in my stamp-card for a free coffee.
I keep laughing about what Jo said this morning.
The rain washed my car.
The kids gave me an extra big hug before school.
The traffic was better than usual.
The boss complimented me on my work.
Mum called and we had the best chat.
Leftovers from last night tasted even better today.
We played dodgeball in PE today. My favourite!
We have an assembly this morning - no work!
The teacher let us work in pairs for the Geography assignment.
I aced the spelling test.
We played silent ball because we packed away on time.
Lucy said she loved my bow.
So much good happens every single day, but how often do we really stop to think about it? How often do we hold onto the good thoughts in our mind, so we can share them later with everyone we love?
Can you imagine if everyone shared all the good they experienced, rather than all the bad?
When you ask how your loved ones are at the end of the day, don't you want them to slap a big genuine smile on their face and tell you about all the positive stuff that happened?
Then ask more positive questions.
Three Good Things
When you're all together eating dinner, ask a simple question to each family member: what are three good things that happened today? and give each person time to think about it and answer.
Because you're the role model, you can go first and show them how it's done.
Blueberries were on special today.
The drawing Emma brought home was her best yet! It made me smile.
I ate lunch under the trees today. The weather was perfect.
Feel like your day was awful and there's nothing good to say? Find something anyway. If you want your kids' mindsets to change, then do whatever it takes to change your own first. It's not good enough to say that nothing good happened today. Try harder. Be the example. Prove to the family that no matter what happens, there will always be something positive to pull from your day.
Ask this question every single night. Be consistent.
After a while, your family will begin to notice more of the lovely little things that happen every day. Their awareness of the good will increase. They'll start taking a mental note of all the good stuff that happened, because they know the question will be asked later and they want to be prepared. They're excited to share!
Remember, don't discredit the bad things. The bad things are important. They help us to appreciate the good things more. 'Bad things' and 'failures' are some of the best opportunities we have to teach us valuable lessons, build resilience, and assist personal growth. Absolutely deal with issues as they arrive, but don't forget to simply end the day with that one question:
What are three good things that happened today?
Thank you so much for having a read, and committing to be the change you wish to see in your family. You're making a difference.
Love & Happiness
P.S Do you know someone who could really benefit from reading this? To give them the motivation and push they need to make a difference in their own lives and the lives of the young people around them? Share this post with them. Even if they don't embrace it straight away, you've done your part. Thank you.
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