Want a way to have some fun while talking with children about positive thinking? Try out this code and see how it works for you.
Here’s the code:
X= Something I do not like
O=Something I do like
Here’s the daily challenge:
- look for as many O’s as you can find
- pay attention to the O’s
- pick up as many O’s as you can
Kids have loved this analogy! Explain it like this, “We are going to play a little game today. When we think of or encounter something we do not like, we tend to put an imaginary “X” through it. When we find things or thoughts we do like, we circle them. So, we are going to use a code language. For the things we like, we will call them O’s, and the things we do not like, we will call them X’s. It doesn’t mean that any of these things are “wrong or right,” just that we either like them or don’t like them.”
Let’s face it, we feel more relaxed and peaceful when we are feeling good and
focused on finding things we like in our environment. (Like looking on the bright side, or for the bright side). We live in a world where lots of people are constantly picking up X’s. The news broadcasts a new X every hour. We are saturated with an X if we choose to focus on the X’s. And, through our basic conditioning, we have trained our brains to look for things we do not like. Nothing wrong with it, it just doesn’t feel that great. It doesn’t take a lot of talent to pick up the X’s and to share them with others. So, what about challenging ourselves to look for and notice more O’s? It feels great when we are really looking for and paying attention to and picking up the O’s during our day. And, the very looking for the O’s is an O itself, actually. I have made it fun by challenging myself to find an O every hour, sometimes every minute if I am experiencing the day as “challenging.”
For fun, I have students try on big goofy glasses. The green ones have sticky notes on the lenses marked
with X’s. When they put those on, they share everything they do not like and then notice and share
how they feel. Next, they put on the pink ones that have sticky notes with O’s on the lenses. They share
everything do like and then report how they are feeling. Sometimes we use the green glasses to just get
the X’s out of the way so that we can then look for O’s. Remember, there isn’t anything wrong with X’s,
just that we don’t feel as good as we put our attention on them.
At the end of our X’s and O’s discussion, we do the X’s and O’s stretches listed on page 14 from Brain
Breaks for the Classroom: Activate that kinesthetic sense and get the body connected to the mind!
Students love to practice differentiating between their own personal X’s and O’s through stretching.