Like never before, teens are faced with an onslaught of negative feedback—on social media, in the news (with fears of climate change, political unrest, and economic issues), and with their own personal fears. May’s Mental Health Awareness theme helps us focus on supporting mental health with positive affirmations in a negative world.
Research shows positive affirmations can help change thought patterns and influence different behavioral changes for the better. This can be particularly helpful for those who struggle with anxiety, depression, or self-esteem issues.
Creating Self-Affirmations So, let’s help our teens reaffirm their wonderfulness with this lesson.
Pass out “Words for Thought.” Have students break into small groups and analyze the cards on these pages. What do these affirmations have in common? How do they address negativity? What are they asking of you? How do you feel about them?
Compare Negative/Positive Thoughts. The Internet is full of negativity. TikTok, Instagram, and such glorify the snarky reply. What can you do—for yourself and others—to create a positive energy through affirmations?
Continue to Examine. Next, look at the art on the cards. How does it lend to the thought? Are some more effective than others? Some don’t have art—is it necessary?
Create Your Own. Use the template provided to create your own affirmation cards. What difficulty would you most like to address? Is there a saying online that helps? Is it better to write your own idea?
Share. Allow students to share their finished affirmations. Then post them in the classroom or allow students to keep them at a desk for reference when needed for emotional support.