Being positive 

20 minutes

Create a safe and positive learning environment by agreeing ground rules for the session.

Download the session Being Positive

In this session we will learn:

  • to recognise positive qualities about ourselves
  • how positive talk affects how we feel
  • to turn a negative statement into a positive one



Use this session as a starter for ‘Expressing feelings’, ‘Building resilience’ or ‘Let it out’.



  1. Ask students to select three cards that describe skills or strengths they can say about themselves. You can ask students to share some of these if they feel comfortable to. Ask students to think about how they feel when they are able to say something positive about themselves.
  2. Now choose a card to recognise something positive in the person sitting next to you (everyone should get one comment). Was it easier to see something good in someone else? The students can share these with their partner.
  3. What do they hear others say about themselves that isn’t positive? For example, ‘I’m rubbish at football.’ Ask students what impact thinking negative thoughts has on their feelings. When we think negative thoughts it can cause us stress and impacts on our emotional health. If we are more aware of these thoughts, we can consciously switch them around and turn them into a constructive thought that can help us feel able to cope e.g. ‘I’m rubbish at football’ becomes ‘I tried my best, I can’t be the best at everything, I will practise my shooting skills and see if I improve next time.’
  4. Ask each student to think of three negative statements that they hear someone say and turn them into a realistic or positive statement that would improve how the person feels. Ask students to share what they have done. It’s not always easy. Encourage other students to help. Discuss and share ideas. Record positive statements on post it notes to display around the classroom.



What negative thoughts do I have?

Am I able to change these to positive, helpful thoughts?


Links and Learning Journeys

This session links to: Managing stress

It is also part of 2 suggested learning journeys

Learning journey: learning about me: What is emotional health? | Building resilience | Let it out | Being positive | Barriers to seeking help | Making assumptions (short) | Helping my friends

Learning journey: building resilience: Ups and downs of the day | Expressing feelings | Managing stress making choices | Building resilience | Talking helps | Being positive

Make sure young people know what support is available and how to access this support.