Let Negative Go, Stay Under Control

Each week on the QuaverSEL Blog, we highlight one of the core CASEL competencies and a sub-competency. Today, we’re diving into one of CASEL’s core competencies, self-management, and an activity that focuses on impulse control and controlling our negative thoughts before they build up.

Let’s dig in! 

When have negative thoughts affected the way you feel? How can changing negative thoughts to positive thoughts affect our feelings and actions? 

Take five minutes this week to explore self-management and how controlling our negative thoughts before they build up can help decrease anxiety and keep us feeling calm and under control. 

Don’t Let Thoughts Build Up

You’ll find this song in the SELMusic Library by searching “Don’t Let Thoughts Build Up.” This song reinforces the theme that letting go of negative thoughts can help us stay positive and under control. Ask students the following questions: “When have negative thoughts affected the way you feel? How can changing negative thoughts to positive thoughts affect our feelings and actions?”

After singing through the song a few times as a class, head back to the Song Hub to discover several activities to use with the song. 

Thoughts, Feelings, Actions

This screen reinforces reinforces the theme of exploring the effects that our thoughts have on our feelings and actions.. 

In this activity, students will listen to a situation and how both negative and positive thoughts affect our feelings and action. Explain how our thoughts affect our feelings, our feelings affect our actions, and our actions affect our thoughts. Tell students that this is a cycle, and it is a cycle that we have control over. 

In this situation, Samir’s friend Ron walks past him in the hallway and does not say hi. Samir could either think “Ron does not like me anymore” or “Maybe Ron didn’t see me and we are still great friends!”

Discuss with students that even though the situation is the same, thinking positive thoughts instead of negative ones changes the cycle of how Samir feels and acts. How does this relate to their own lives? Why does changing negative thoughts to positive thoughts change our feelings and actions?

Positive Self-Talk

This screen reinforces positive self-talk.

Read each scenario and discuss what Francesca is anxious about. As a class, discuss what positive words Francesca could say to herself to ease her mind and build her confidence.

Ask students: “What choice would you have made if you were in Francesca’s situation?”

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How do you encourage positive thinking in your classroom?

*Looking to use these activities but aren’t a QuaverSEL user quite yet? Try these activities and hundreds more free for 30 days at QuaverSEL.com/Preview!