Positive Self-Talk Worksheet: Teach Your Students Coping Skills

Diverse group of high school students smiling with each other.

Words matter. And the words that matter most are the ones you say to yourself.

– David Taylor-Klaus

ACTIVITY: Practicing Positive Self Talk

  • Use the following prompt (or something similar) when introducing the activity to your class, or group of students:
    • Today we are going to practice using positive thinking skills. Who knows what self-talk means?
      • Allow time for students to answer
    • (Explanation if/as needed): Self-talk means: Talking to yourself either aloud or silently. Think of it as a little voice inside your head. Sometimes you think good thoughts, and sometimes you think bad thoughts. These thoughts can make us feel upset, or they may make us feel better. For example, if you found out you weren’t invited to a friend’s birthday party how would that make you feel?
      • Allow time for students to answer
    • We have the power to help ourselves feel better by using positive self-talk. For example, you could say to yourself, ‘It’s okay. I know I’m a great friend, and I’ll get invited to other parties.’
  • Hand out the worksheet and explain to your students:
    • On this positive self-talk worksheet, you’ll see a list of phrases on one side, and on the other side are different feelings. Take your time to read each of those feelings and draw a line to the positive phrase you can tell yourself. Everyone may do this a little differently, and that’s okay. Let’s do one together: ‘When I feel nervous’….I can say to myself….’I can get through anything.’
  • This lesson can be extended by layering on other questions such as:
    • What can you learn from that situation?
    • What can you do differently next time?
    • What can you tell yourself to help yourself feel better?

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