With everything constantly going on around us, it's easy to feel overwhelmed, stressed, anxious, and overcome with emotion. These emotions can quickly turn into negative feelings and thoughts, affecting every area of your life. But using positive reinforcement in various aspects of your life will help you be more positive, patient, and happier. I will briefly explain what positive reinforcement is, how you can use it daily, and the benefits and effects of positive reinforcement.
We have all heard of negative reinforcement, which basically alludes to rewarding negative behavior. But what is positive reinforcement? Positive reinforcement is rewarding a particular behavior, making it highly likely that this behavior will happen again. For example, suppose you show up to your class on time every week, and as a reward, your instructor adds 20 points to your grade. As a result, you're more likely to continue showing up on time or even early because you were rewarded positively for this behavior.
Next, how can you use positive reinforcement in your daily life? You can reward yourself. So if you accomplish your 2 biggest tasks for the day, maybe you will buy yourself a new pair of shoes or purchase a new game system you've been saving up for. Since you accomplished them, it is more likely that you will continue to perform more significant tasks because you know there will be some form of a reward. Using positive reinforcement will not always result in physical and tangible rewards, sometimes they can be natural or social reinforcers. Natural reinforcements are a direct result of your behavior, so just accomplishing a task that you have been procrastinating can be positive reinforcement because you have completed the task. Social reinforcements are from people around you, such as family, friends, and teachers who will say "Great Job" or "Keep up the Good Work!"
Lastly, what are some of the benefits and effects of using positive reinforcement in your life? Negative energy will be reduced because your efforts are not being used there. You will feel validated because you did something right, so you want to be rewarded for that behavior, whether verbal or tangible.
In conclusion, positive reinforcement is a great tool to practice creating a healthy and positive change in behavior. It can be yours or your child's, but this is an effective way to promote positive behavior and reduce giving into negative energy. Understanding, implementing, and practicing positive reinforcement can have a wonderful and positive change in your life and future.
A Positive Approach to Teen Health (P.A.T.H) is a 501(c)3 organization that reaches seven counties throughout Northwest Indiana. Since 1993, A Positive Approach to Teen Health has been working to empower teens to make healthy choices regarding drugs, sex, alcohol, and violence.