Trying to stay positive in today's turbulent world is like trying to keep a grin on your face while stubbing your toe. Life often hurts; you may have the scars to prove it. Building and maintaining a positive attitude through positive thinking games will help buoy resilience during harder times. As Voltaire, an 18th century French writer, said, "Life is a shipwreck but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats."
Recognizing Positive Behavior
One positive-thinking game used as a corporate team-building exercise described by Businessballs has players review a list of a generic individual's positive behaviors, then asks players to express their reactions to those behaviors. The list describes someone who gives credit to others, smiles, says thank you, listens without being judgmental and absorbs negative behavior with tolerance. Once players complete their responses, the responses are discussed to drive home the point that positive thinking and its resulting behavior attract rather than repel co-workers and clients.
The "Glad" Game
The character Pollyanna from the Disney movie of the same name plays a positive thinking game she calls "the glad game." While "Pollyannas" are sometimes viewed as having saccharine personalities, the game helps increase positive thinking habits. One person brings up a negative event, such as losing a job or a bowling league tournament, and starts off saying something like, "I've just lost my job and am trying not to panic." Other players provoke the first player to think positively by starting off a phrase, such as, "But now that I've lost my job, I'll have more time to--blank." The first player fills in the blank with a positive word or phrase, like "take a walk every morning," or "start the novel I've wanted to write." Searching for the silver lining in even a relatively disastrous event is the optimistic basis for the "glad game."
Hunt for Happiness
A positive-thinking scavenger hunt game is suitable for children and adults. Children or adults make a list of things that they feel make life worth living. For children, Fishful Thinking says to have them work up a list of animals, people or places that make them happy or bring smiles to their faces. Parents or teachers then help the children spend about an hour on a scavenger hunt, searching for as many items on the list as possible. Once the child discovers an item, she can place a sticker on or draw a smiley face next to the item.
A potentially messy game that requires plenty of positive thinking is the egg-balancing game, in which an individual has to balance the wider part of a raw egg on a flat, somewhat textured tabletop. Businessballs says the exercise is possible, but requires patience and a positive attitude. Hard-boiled eggs won't work, since they tend to wobble and fall over because of the weight of the cooked yolk at the bottom. If players are unable to stand the egg upright, all is not lost. Sprinkle a small mound of salt on the table and balance the egg in it. Having the person resort to using salt illustrates that many things are possible but may require some outside-the-box thinking to achieve.