We all have times in our lives when things seem hard or uncertain. During these difficult moments, we can sometimes get stuck thinking negatively. Affirmations are a valuable tool to help us challenge and overcome unhelpful thoughts. Affirmations are positive thought statements that can help us to think more realistically about ourselves or a situation. Using affirmations has been linked to improved well-being, self-esteem, and creative thinking. When we repeat affirming statements to ourselves, particularly during times of stress, we challenge negative and unhelpful thoughts, training our brains to think in a more supportive way. Focusing on what we CAN do helps us to notice our good qualities and reminds us that we are valued and important.
In today’s Wellness Wednesday, we try affirmations.
As a class, group, or family:
· Talk as a group about affirmations. Affirmations are positive thought statements that can help us to think more realistically or positively about ourselves or a situation. Together, read through some of the affirmations on the “Positive Thought Affirmations” picture.
· Here are some more examples: “I can do this” “God is with me” “My heart is good” “I believe in me” “I’ll try my best” “I matter” “I am growing and learning every day” “My feelings are OK” “I am uniquely me” “I am proud of my effort” “I can do hard things” “I am able to learn something new” “I can do this with help”.
· Next, brainstorm some of your own. Start by individually writing some affirmations. Here are two handouts that could be used to record affirmations: “Positive Affirmations” handout (Youth and Teens/Adults).
· After a few minute, invite people to share their ideas with the group. Add to yours if you hear an affirmation that you like.
· Keep your affirmations list with you and use it when you need a reminder of ways to think more realistically or positively about ourselves or a situation.
Ask yourself, there is no wrong answer:
How might affirmations help in my life?
Is there a time in my day that I could try saying an affirmation?
Connecting to our faith:
Loving oneself is part of being fully alive. By recognizing and appreciating the unique gifts we have been given, we can celebrate and share those gifts.
“...whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” (Philippians 4:8)
CHILDREN’S BOOK: “I Am Enough” by Grace Byers
PODCAST: Big Life Kids https://biglifejournal.com/pages/podcast
AUDIO: SMHO Four Finger Affirmations (elementary) https://smho-smso.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/four-finger-affirmation.mp3 (secondary) https://smho-smso.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/four-finger-affirmations.mp3
POSTER: Four Finger Affirmations (elementary) https://smho-smso.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/SEL-Posters-Four-Finger.pdf (secondary) https://smho-smso.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/SEL-Posters-Secondary-Four-Finger-Affirmations.pdf
CAREGIVER RESOURCE: “Four Finger Affirmations” (6th activity in “Easy and Fun Mental Health Activities for Home”) https://smho-smso.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/EDMH-ParentActivities-FINAL-EN.pdf
PUBLIC HEALTH EDUCATOR TOOL: Coping, Resiliency, and Stress Mental Health Series www.swpublichealth.ca/en/partners-and-professionals/resources/Educators/Curriculum/December-and-January-Mental-Health-Resource-for-Schools-English-Version-16.pdf