How does your daughter speak to herself? Or speak about herself to others? Is she constantly putting herself down? Rebuffing compliments with a wave of the hand and a shake of the head?
Low levels of self-esteem are signs that negativity is winning the battle in your teenage daughter’s mind.
Research has found that we have anywhere from 60,000 to 80,000 thoughts a day and 80 per cent of those thoughts are the same as the thoughts we had yesterday and the day before that and so on! If our daughters are speaking to themselves negatively, they’re doing it 80 per cent of the time. And that is simply not healthy for them and their self-worth.
Here’s three things I know about positive thinking.
1. Positive thinking leads to higher levels of happiness
Positive thinking strongly influences a teenager’s ability to thrive physically, mentally and emotionally. The life of a teenage girl is fraught with unexpected change, drama, overwhelming stress and volatile relationships. That’s life, right? But approaching changes and challenges with optimism leads to confidence and higher levels of positivity.
Too many of us associate feelings of happiness only with achieving something or winning something. But research* has shown that happiness is essential to building the skills that allow for success. So, happiness is required for success as well as the result of success. Positive thinking that leads to feelings of joy and contentment ultimately leads to higher levels of achievement and success. What a lovely merry-go-round to jump on!
2. Positive thinking is linked to resilience
We’ve all seen the social media memes and videos about people who have faced the most adverse circumstances, challenging life situations and straight out failure, but keep bouncing back. People like Oprah Winfrey, Richard Branson, The Rock…. the list could go on. These people have all experienced failure and trauma yet have achieved so much.
Is it luck? Maybe a smidge of luck here and there.
Is it hard work? For sure, that has something to do with it.
Is it positive thinking? Bingo!
They don’t label failure as something negative. They see it as an opportunity to learn, move on or try a different strategy. This is resilience in action. People that are resilient often are masters of positive thinking. They THANK the universe for placing such challenges in their path, embracing the opportunity to build resilience and thrive.
3. Positive thinking is a skill that can be learnt and harnessed
If your teenage daughter is focusing on the negatives in her life and has a glass half empty approach to the world she lives in, there is hope. Positive thinking is a skill like any other and can be taught.
Practising mindfulness is the key to positive thinking. Learning the art of mindfulness is something every teenager (and adult) needs to have in their wellbeing toolkit. From affirmations to meditation, scribing and journaling, encouraging your daughter to spend time doing something she really loves – art, dancing, mountain-biking, whatever! – to going back to basics and spending time in nature……mindfulness transforms and positively impacts behaviour and will build resilience in your teenage daughter.
*Open Hearts Build Lives Research Paper: Barbara L Frederickson, Michael A. Cohn, Kimberly A. Coffer, Jolynn Pek and Sandra M. Finkel.