3 Positive Thinking Activities for Students in Online

5 min to read
Assisting a student with a positive online thinkig activity

Online learning can provide a number of challenges for students. From dealing with technology, to staying engaged in an at-home school curriculum, to creating connections with teachers and other students virtually, online school can prove stressful and overwhelming for some students who are new to this learning style.

One thing that will always help students, whether they are struggling with the challenges of online learning or any other aspect of education, extracurriculars, athletics, or life in general, is developing a positive mindset. Read on to learn more about how pessimistic thinking can develop in students, the benefits of positive thinking, and ways to help your student learn how to stay positive in school. 

Why Does Negative Thinking Develop in Students?

Students of all ages can experience negative thinking and pessimism when it comes to learning and school. When stress increases, assignments pile up, and overwhelming feelings begin to creep in, it’s easy for students to experience thoughts such as: 

  • I can’t do this
  • I don’t know how to do this
  • I’m not good enough
  • I’m not smart enough
  • This is going to take forever
  • I’ll never finish this
  • I’m bad at _____

These sorts of thoughts, as well as a tendency toward fear of failure can easily lead to chronic pessimism in students. What’s more, according to Kappan Online, students with anxiety are disproportionately prone to, and affected by, negative thinking. And since research has found that nearly one third of students struggle with anxiety, it’s easy to see how negative thinking can become a pervasive problem for today’s students.  

How Positive Thinking Strategies Can Help Students

The great thing about positive thinking is that it is a learned skill. While it’s true that some individuals are naturally optimistic, or “glass-half-full" thinkers, it’s also true that the brain can be trained to lean towards the positive. And, even better, the benefits of developing an optimistic outlook are numerous and proven! Some of the benefits of thinking positively include:

  • Higher energy levels
  • Better stress management
  • Better physical health
  • Lower rate of illness
  • Faster recovery from illness or injury
  • Overall better quality of life

This is all great news, but the question remains: how can students work towards developing a more positive outlook? What are some usable and helpful positive education activities for students?

An online student playing outside to improve her positive thinking strategies.

3 Ways Learning Coaches and Parents Can Help Their Student Stay Positive

As a learning coach or parent of an online student, you can play a pivotal role in helping your student become more optimistic. Here are three great positive activities to help your child develop a more positive way of thinking and of approaching challenges. 

1. Set Specific, Tangible Goals

Most mental health experts agree that being proactive helps people feel more positive about their life. Students of all ages can benefit from the practice of dreaming about the future, setting specific goals that align with their desires, and consistently working towards those goals.

One of the most well-known positive thinking strategies, goal setting, has been called “the master skill of success” by some experts – and with good reason! When we are able to set goals and make plans to achieve them, we are able to approach our future with confidence, clarity, and hope. 

So, help your student get started by setting specific goals that they can feel empowered and excited to work towards. Does your student want to get a certain grade? Do they want to make a sports team? Get into a prestigious college? Work with them to clearly state their goal and create a detailed plan of action for making it happen. Taking action and seeing progress in the pursuit of these goals is a great strategy for how to stay positive in school!

This type of goal setting also works well for personal endeavors. One way to stay positive is to keep dreaming of things we love. Even if now isn’t the right time for kids to travel or visit friends, they can still make plans for the future. Have your online student write down their ideas, start collecting pictures, or make a list of their favorite destinations.

2. Get Involved in the Community

There are proven benefits associated with “giving back” and getting involved in your local community. Doing good for others can spur a natural sense of pride and accomplishment, and volunteering is shown to “provide a healthy boost to your self-confidence, self-esteem, and life satisfaction” overall. 

Volunteering for a neighborhood organization or just helping a friend are great ways to teach your online student that doing good work makes us feel good too. Whether it’s working at a local food pantry or shoveling snow for an elderly neighbor, getting involved in their community is one of the best positive activities to help lift students’ spirits.

3. Learn a New Skill

When it comes to positive thinking activities for students, nothing beats the challenge (and corresponding sense of victory) that accompanies learning a new skill. 

Encourage your online student to learn a new skill while still having fun. Maybe they’re interested in learning to bake bread or performing a magic trick. Maybe they have an interest in learning a new language, or a musical instrument, or a new sport. The sky is the limit! The important thing is to identify an area of interest and give it a try. The feelings of success and achievement associated with trying something new can be an unmatched way to build confidence and positive mental attitude.  

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