The “Feel Good File” is a simple and effective activity that encourages combating negative thinking patterns and boosts self-esteem by providing a physical place for yourself and/or your child to store positive, loving words of encouragement and affirmation. The purpose of creating a feel good file is to practice challenging the negative thoughts that we often have about ourselves throughout all periods of life.
What I love most about this activity? You can do it right at home and will probably have all, if not most of the materials needed to make your very own feel good file. So, lets make one!
- Some sort of folder- I suggest a manila file folder since they are easy to open and keep closed
- Craft supplies to decorate your “feel good file” (glitter, stickers, magazine cut outs, etc.)
- Pencil or pen
After you have acquired your supplies, label your folder. For example, mine would say “Lisa’s Feel Good File”. Next, decorate it! Really customize it and make it your own, so that you “feel good” just by looking at it-before even opening it up! Once the outside of your feel good file is decorated to your liking, take out a blank piece of paper and a writing utensil. In a quiet space, take some time to reflect on and write down ten positive qualities about yourself. After your list is complete, place it in your feel good file.
Next, make a list of at least three people who you feel comfortable approaching about writing a letter of affirmation for you. (Examples of potential people would be: parents, siblings, teachers, extended family, friends, etc.) You should ask them to include five positive qualities they see in you in their letter.
*Note: If you are doing this activity as a family, the letter writing could be completed together at the same time and then distributed out to each family member to put into their feel good file.
Recall past conversations or times when you felt recognized and appreciated. Try to think of at least three different scenarios. Write about them. What happened? What was it, specifically that made you feel this way? Reflect on those things and then add your list to your feel good file.
Ultimately, the contents of your feel good file are completely up to you. Once you have filled your feel good file, I would encourage you to look through the contents of it at least once a week or whenever you become aware of negative self-talk or thinking patterns occurring.
It is important to be mindful of how you are feeling while reflecting and reading the contents of your feel good file. Are you experiencing any physical sensations while reading the contents of your file? Do you notice any negative thoughts, or feelings coming up for you? Allow yourself to become aware of the negative thought and/or feeling, acknowledge it, and then release it. Sometimes, it helps to visual your negative thoughts. When you release a negative thought, picture it as a cloud floating away until the sky is completely clear.
This activity provides individuals with the opportunity to reflect on, identify, and focus on their positive qualities and strengths. This is not always an easy task and it is important to be mindful and take note of what comes up for your when creating your feel good file. As humans, we all struggle with negative thoughts about ourselves. By creating a feel good file, we can challenge these negative thoughts when they occur by showing evidence of the contrary.