Helping Teens Find Peace In a World Filled With Uncertainty

Is it time to help your teenage daughter make peace with uncertainty?

Perhaps she tends to:

  • Overthink difficult situations
  • Put her bad experiences on repeat
  • Allow her inner critic to take center stage

The first step is to help your daughter understand that it’s NOT HER FAULT when everything feels like a complete and utter disaster.

Let’s introduce her to the theory that’s causing her to ruminate on what’s going wrong for her.

It’s called Negativity Bias.

Think of it this way …

  • 10 things happen during the day
  • 5 of those things are positive
  • 4 are neutral
  • 1 is crappy

What happens in her mind when she puts her head on the pillow at night?

You guessed it!

She starts thinking about the ONE NEGATIVE THING that happened.

The research tells us, “people tend to focus more on the negative as they try to make sense of the world” and it’s “the ‘bad things’ that grab our attention, stick to our memories, and, in many cases, influence the decisions that we make.*

The hard part is when your daughter replays her crappy stories over and over, she starts to feel powerless and stuck.

However, if she practices these Simple Strategies, she’ll likely find some much needed peace of mind.

So, I’d like to invite your daughter to:

Pay attention to the small stuff

At bedtime, rather than allowing the mind to focus on what didn’t go her way, encourage your daughter to:

Recall 5 things (big or little) that were funny, that she’s grateful for, proud of, or happy she tried.

The key: focus on courage over fear.

Take a Snapshot

Next, take a snapshot of that moment in time:

Ask your daughter to hold on to her vision for 5 seconds.

The key: repetition will make this stick.

Chase your WHY

Now, get curious about WHY she’s responding the way she is:

Explore your daughter’s answer these 5 questions …

  1. What are you saying to yourself to create this positive feeling?
  2. Who or what has helped you in this situation?
  3. What else do you want to happen for you?
  4. What skills are helping guide you?
  5. What do you want more of?

The key: understanding your operating system is empowering.

Remember, uncertainty is part of life.

But it doesn’t have to make your daughter feel powerless.

These Simple Strategies are designed to activate her emotional agility and emotional intelligence and the more she practices them, the easier it will be to counteract that pesky bias towards negative thinking.

We’re all in this together – please share this article with someone who might benefit from these tips right now.

We’d love to hear from you  – what helps your daughter stay centered when negative thoughts pop up?


*Source: | Article: What is the Negativity Bias? Written by Kenda Cherry | 4.14.2020





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Posted in: Parenting Tips