I think happy thoughts


Leave a comment

Signage With Positive Messages – Can it bring about change?

Sometimes I wonder what it would be like if everyone tried to be kind and positive towards others even for one day.  In some communities people feel scared or unsafe on a daily basis and it often seems there is no hope for change.  Well I was very excited when I stumbled across this article in the news. Signage With Positive Messages Go Up In Newark « CBS New York.

In Newark, NJ there is a history of crime and violence. It is a struggle  for most people living in a community where they don’t feel safe or happy.  The artist Killy Kilford came up the idea and has the help of students and the city.

“People have bad days and people have good days, but what this is about is about triggering moments of joy for people, to look up and be like, yeah that’s good and carry on,” Kilford said.

Seeing what this community is doing to bring about positive changes is very inspiring and will hopefully lead to other communities doing similar projects. As a counselor I talk about positive thinking all the time. This story highlights the unique way this community is trying to bring about change in the community with positive messages. The children involved in helping to make the slogans and signs even stated that they felt good just making the signs. I think this is a step in the right direction. Time will tell if it does bring about change for the community, but even if it makes a change in just one person’s life then they are worth the effort.

 

Advertisements

What is the best way to calm anxiety in children?

Leave a comment

Calming anxiety is not always easy but the first place to start is yourself. Children often pick up on the anxieties of the adults around them.  Children feel uneasy and anxious if the adults around them are anxious, upset, or angry. They often don’t understand what your anxieties are about and generalize it to themselves. This is especially true for very young children who often don’t see themselves as separate from their parents. Any feelings and emotions you display they start to take on as their own.

One way to start curbing this anxiety is to limit your child’s exposure to adult conversations and outside media like the news. Limiting their exposure can drastically cut back on the things that they worry about. It doesn’t happen over night but over time they become less involved in the adult world and start to worry less about those things that were drifting into their consciousness at too early an age.

For children who are by nature worriers, anxiety sneaks up quickly. Acknowledging their worries is important but don’t let them or yourself dwell on it. Address the worry and move on. Don’t let the child get stuck ruminating on the same topic over and over.  If you know that certain things usually cause anxiety for your child, you can also bring up ideas for how to deal with it ahead of time.  Then later that day when you encounter the situation, you can quickly remind your child of how to cope and move them along.

One last thing to keep in mind: always model for your child how you want them to behave. If you see a big bug and start to scream and yell about it, guess what your child will probably develop a fear of bugs. “Teach by example.”  By tackling your own fears you are helping yourself and your child!


Leave a comment

Happiness

Why does happiness seem so difficult to obtain for some people and easier for others? The simple answer is that it’s a state of mind and if you think you are happy then you will be. The people who seem to be happy may just have more practice at focusing on the positive. Why then is is so hard for some people to think positively. Some people say that there are specific characteristics that positive thinkers have in varying degrees.

For the sake of narrowing down some personality characteristics and to make a more precise list, I chose one author’s list of 10.  Scott Ventrella The Power of Positive Thinking in Business: 10 traits for maximum results. The  10 characteristics of a positive thinker are listed by Ventrella as: optimism, enthusiasm, belief, integrity, courage, confidence, determination, patience, calmness, and focus.

The first step to becoming a more positive thinker and leading a more happy life would be to look at each of these traits and determine how strongly they are present in your own life. Finding where you have strength and areas you need to grow in are helpful in creating a plan for yourself.

Once you know the characteristics that you want to work on in your own life, set some goals for yourself on how to do that. Make sure that your goals are realistic. You are on your way to being much happier once you have a plan in place.

Don’t forget to recognize when you are happy. Many people breeze past this and don’t linger on their happy thoughts. We spend so much time thinking about the negative but very little time remembering all the things that did go well and the times we enjoyed. Spend some time each day just thinking about something that you enjoyed about your day or a happy memory.

The best part about wanting to become a more positive thinker is that this is an achievable goal! Just because you don’t feel like a positive thinker or a happy person does not mean that you can’t become one.  Believing in your own power for positive change is a great step in the direction of happiness.

hattie.counseling@gmail.com