The two most powerful words you can say to yourself (or think about yourself) are, “I AM.”
Science suggests that when those two words are followed by positive adjectives such as happy, proud, grateful, encouraged, etc. the body immediately responds by secreting chemicals like dopamine and serotonin to further support those words in becoming true.
Self-talk can also lean in an entirely different direction. Following, “I AM,” with negative words such as stupid, boring, annoying, hopeless, bad, etc. causes the production of chemicals that perpetuate those negative thoughts and feelings.
So why should we notice the thoughts in our head and how our mind speaks to us from the inside?
Self-affirmation activates well-known reward centers in the brain. These circuits increase activity in the brain that act as an emotional buffer to painful, negative, or threatening information. Happy thoughts produce chemicals that preserve and support feeling joyful. Angry and fearful thoughts produce chemicals that ultimately harm every cell in our body, and can create emotional states of anxiety and depression.
To support you in leading a self-affirming practice in your classroom, I am sharing this downloadable PDF that you can hang on the wall and remind you (and your students) of all the possible, positive attributes you have within you.
I am also sharing a video from our classroom video library bundle which provides you with “click-and-play” access to more than 40 breath, movement, and mindfulness practices from our Educate 2B: Mindfulness and Social-Emotional Learning for Educators and Students in the K-5th Grade Classroom manual.
In this video, I lead you and your classroom in a meditation that focuses on stating an affirmation (a positive, “I AM” statement) while applying touch pressure to the pads of each finger. This action stimulates areas of the brain associated with higher thinking, reasoning, and memory. It helps to hold the affirmation in the mind as well as the heart.
I hope you enjoy embedding positivity and compassion into your classroom.