Negative thoughts happen to us all. Everybody needs inspiration and encouragement when times get tough, and our learners are no different. How can caring educators fix negative thoughts students think and give them the tools to break through distress?
Student life can be stressful; the expectations students deal with are tremendous, and sometimes the path gets rough. There are course loads, examinations, study schedules, and extra-curricular activities they’re juggling. So often when things don’t go well, negative thinking can take hold. It’s easy to see how their mental and physical energies can be tapped out sometimes. In fact, a teacher understands this better than anyone since they have so much on their own plates. Stress inevitably leads to negative thinking, but thankfully it’s here that educators can act to fix negative thoughts students think. Inspiring students is not always the priority it ought to be, but we can change that starting with the spoken word.
How to Fix Negative Thinking in Learners
You may already know what a “meme” is. It all began with the work of biologist Richard Dawkins in the early 1990s. Originally the concept of the meme was applied to religious faiths in Dawkins’ essay. However, you can apply it to almost any situation in life. Richard Brodie’s Virus of the Mind is another work worth reading on this subject.
Here’s just one simplified explanation. As children, we’re brought up with certain mindsets because when we’re young and impressionable we hear things like:
- Life is difficult and painful
- You can’t trust anyone
- You can’t make it in life on your own
- Money is scarce and hard to come by; you’ll be lucky if you just get by
- You’re not good enough to do that
- You can’t do anything right
As we repeat it to ourselves (or hear it repeatedly), it eventually becomes a belief. It doesn’t matter if it’s true or not because it becomes our truth. This is also what’s called a “mind virus.”
Fix Negative Thoughts Students Think by Uploading New Beliefs
A mind virus is like a piece of software we download into our brains. It takes up space in the operating system of the mind. It uses up our RAM, and our energy. It many cases, bad software or viruses can corrupt our entire system. It’s possible, however, to upload new software that serves us better. Like all viruses, mind viruses can be eradicated. The medicine we use against them is positive reinforcement.
We’ve created an infographic for you that we call 9 Common Mind Viruses. It features some of the most common negative thoughts students can have. You may have heard them say these things below. Use “the medicine” prescribed to get students to look at the statement from a different angle and help them turn it around into something positive. These are all about fostering student inspiration in the toughest of times. This is the medicine to fix negative thoughts students think once and for all.