We all have unwanted thoughts from time to time, but it is actually quite common and very normal in children and teenagers. Sometimes the just won’t go away - keep going round and round in your head!
Working as an Ollie Coach, when working with children, I teach them about their Superpowers……. their emotions, and about their reactions to them. How they can sometimes get too big and take over!
If a child is having bad thoughts, I might ask them to think about the thought. Then I ask them to blow a bubble with a bubble wand and liquid. As they begin to blow the bubble, I ask them to blow the thought into the bubble.
When the bubble is made, I ask them to release it and blow the bubble away. Then we focus on the bubble, the colours it produces, where it goes. Some children like to pop the bubble. And this often produces excitement and laughter, especially in younger children. This interrupts the pattern of the thought.
It is also great way to introduce mindfulness and calmness to children.
You can do this at home with your children too. Maybe something they didn’t like happened at school. Ask them to think about the thought they don't want, and then blow it away.
If you want to teach your child to how be mindful, then start off by doing this every day for a few seconds, perhaps first thing in the morning or before bed. Both if you can. Then gradually build the time up until your child can do this for a couple of minutes each time.
And of course, you can do it anytime with your own thoughts. After all, a thought is just a thought, it’s not a fact, and you don’t have to act upon it!
You don’t need a bubble wand and liquid! Just use your imagination…..
Take control of that thought, by taking a long, slow, deep breath and focus on your breath, how it makes you feel to breathe in that air. Feel it going down into your lungs. Let the thought flood into your lungs. Maybe imagine your breath as a colour, perhaps the colour you might imagine peace, love or confidence to be, and imagine that colour filling your body. Immerse yourself in it. Then let it out as you breathe out slowly.
Do this several times. Listen to the sounds around you, look at how beautiful your surroundings are so you are in the present moment, notice how you feel, And then slowly let out your breath out and blow the thought away with it.
This will make you feel much calmer and more in control. It can really help with negative thoughts or feelings of anger or frustration. Why not try it, next time you have an unwanted thought or feeling.