Thinking positive thoughts and saying positive phrases are great concrete ways to start towards that big, vague goal of positivity. Our thoughts have been shown to change our brains: their structure and how they work; and positive thoughts or affirmations have been shown to increase problem-solving ability and shape positive attitudes!
I was reminded again of the power of a simple positive statement when I came across Rebecca Krusee’s beautiful books, I Like To Eat Vegetables and I Like To Eat Fruit (available in French and Spanish, too!). These books have such simple messages. I love that the language is of liking fruits and vegetables and not just eating them because often kids hear cajoling to eat something more than they hear that it’s beautiful or delicious. I also love that these books take talking positively about food away from the table so the language of liking food becomes part of the whole day.
There are so many ways to incorporate positive phrases into your day. You could focus on a positive phrase at the grocery store and say it over and over, like, ‘what beautiful apples. what beautiful cherries, what beautiful bread.’ Or take a cue from the book and talk about the foods you like or love as you look through a book or look through recipes, “I love tomatoes. I love pasta. I love cream sauces!’
Kids love repetitive phrases and may want to fill in words once you get one going. What a wonderful way to get your kids talking and thinking more positively, too! 🙂
Or you could use a positive phrase for yourself and your own outlook. I like to use the phrase, “I am so thankful for___,’ then fill in the blank over and over every morning. When my mind wanders (which it does again and again) I bring it back to the phrase and keep going. The list gets really long and reminds me of how much I have to be thankful for. I find I come back to what I’m thankful for throughout the day, too, which makes my general outlook a whole lot more positive!
Here is a great link with a simple guide to creating your own mantras, if you need help making your own, or check out Rebecca’s books!
Have fun and happy food play!