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  • Hakima Hafidi

The impact of positive thinking on education

Article“Instead of worrying about what you cannot control, shift your energy to what you can create.” Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart Does our brain have control over us or do we have the ability to control our brain? How you answer this critical question might be a life-changing experience.

Acknowledging that we have the power to train our brain to master positive thinking can have a mind-blowing impact on our physical and mental health; positive thinking is the number one solution to cope with stress, overthinking, and health outcomes. Through this article, we will be approaching positive thinking and cover its impact on students’ learning experience. How can we adopt positive thinking? Does it come from our internal or external environment? How can positive thinking help us learn better? And how can educators contribute to the construction of a positive environment?

Positive thinking is not only settled in the act of smiling and looking happy all the time, it illustrates our perspective of life in general. It shows that we understand that life is not always going to be good for us, but we choose to see all that is good in it. Once we quit assuming that the situations we live through are responsible for our way of thinking and living, and start to take our life in charge by understanding that we have the option to choose to be positive the second we open our eyes in the morning, to believe in ourselves, and to see life from a positive outlook, despite the challenges we endure, we will be responsible for our own happiness and blossom into the best version of ourselves.

In order to build and maintain a positive mindset, we should focus more on our behavior; how do we react in challenging situations? Do we approach projects with a positive outlook? Are we quick to give up or do we try to find solutions instead? … asking ourselves the right questions will drive us into cultivating the right thoughts. And by doing that, we start adopting traits and characteristics of a positive mindset, such as seeing problems as challenges, welcoming new ideas, suggestions, and experiences, expelling negative thoughts as soon as possible, Accepting our mistakes and learn from them, bouncing back from failure and constantly expecting positive results, and most importantly believing in ourselves and building a conscious awareness of our capabilities.

Now we definitely understand that positive thinking is a power that comes from within us. However, Research states that positivity and optimism can be taught, instilled in our brain, and improved through regular practice, which means external factors can also guide us through this journey.

One of the most important external environments that play a huge role in this transformational experience is school. Considering school environments and its significant impact on students’ quality of education is highly essential since it affects not only their academic performance but also their personal development.

A positive school environment is a combination of a positive culture including values and beliefs in a positive climate. By offering such environments, students will feel supported along their educational journey and will perform at their highest potential.

Teaching our students from an early age how to master practical optimism by providing a positive school culture can help them believe in their capabilities more which will encourage them to approach challenges with a positive outlook. They will react to failure and disappointment from a whole different perspective, by looking at it as a learning experience that enables them to learn from their mistakes and make conscious efforts to achieve better results.

Professors and teachers are the most responsible factor here since they have regular contact with students and they have the opportunity to build a strong trust relationship with them. They can inspire students to not just think positively about learning but to also accept their failures and incite them to use it for future success by always keeping a focus on their end goal. Educators have the power to re-shape students’ attitudes during difficult situations of learning, like for instance, students might panic or feel unable to resolve problems when they are having a hard time learning about a specific subject. As a result, they might either seek help or stay quiet because they are thinking negatively about the whole situation, the first thought of “I’m not good enough” or “I can’t do this” that prevents them from learning and progressing. And this is where teachers can perform their magical powers by replacing:

- “you are not good at this” with “what are you missing?”

- “you are wrong” with “try using some of the strategies we learned.”

- “This is too hard” with “this might take some work and effort.”

- “You are making a mistake” with “It is okay to make mistakes, it helps us learn better.”

- “You failed” with “you can always improve, so keep trying until you get there.”

- “It’s good enough” with “Your capabilities are limitless.”

Positive talk can make a massive difference in students’ learning experience, it is important to get students to understand that they have the ability to choose thinking positively and that no one can make them feel less than their potential without their permission. It does not necessarily mean ignoring their negative feelings, instead, trying to see the bright side of each bad situation they will have to confront and shed a positive light on themselves and their abilities to learn and achieve their long-term goals.


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