How to Pop Negative Thoughts
Updated: Feb 26, 2022
It's October and the weather has been beautiful! One nice days I find myself looking for reasons to take kids outside to enjoy the day and break out of the monotony of everyday life. This week I brought a bubble blower and told my clients to imagine that the bubbles were negative thoughts. They had a great time "popping" negative thoughts and ridding themselves from upsetting feelings.
After a few minutes of popping bubbles, we sat down and made some cards with various thoughts. We wrote things like:
"I can't do anything right."
"I don't have any friends."
"I am great at math."
"I'm going to fail my spelling test."
"I am able to do great things if I try."
I encouraged the children to come up with new ideas to put on the cards. Some children really struggled with this and others were writing down ideas faster that I could! For those who struggled, I took some extra time to help them grasp the concepts.
I made one index card that said "Keep" and one that said "Pop." I had the kids sort through the stack of cards into the two piles. Once they were sorted, we worked on changing the "pop" stack into healthy self-talk. They were able to identify that the best way to get rid of negative thoughts is to fill their minds with positive thoughts. I also had the kids process how they would feel thinking the various thoughts and how the positive thoughts change their mood.
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I love activities like this because children will forget the things I tell them, but when they see bubbles, they will remember to pop negative thoughts! I want to them to always have triggers to carry with them to help them to remember to use the coping skills they have learned in counseling. I hope this intervention works in your practice as well!