What are affirmations?
We hear about affirmations but what do we really know about them? Why would we want to know about them or use them? Do they work?
Let’s break it down:
- Root word firm, indicates steady, sturdy, strong, solid.
- Add to that, affirm, to make steady, sturdy, solid, to assert strongly, to strengthen.
- So it makes sense that affirmation is the process of affirming, or confirming, as if the statement is already true.
Here’s an example of an affirmation I love!
“Everything I need is already within me.”
Short and simple, in the present tense, positive, everything needed for a powerful affirmation.
Just words, but it’s the positive belief of actual, current existence that gives affirmations so much energy.
Why think about using affirmations?
Using affirmations is a technique that we can use to help transform our attitudes about our lives and become consciously aware of our thoughts.
We can have massive amounts of thoughts passing through our minds, sometimes we don’t even realize their there. Bad, good, or ugly, our thoughts often influence our attitudes.
Some thoughts are negative, like old tapes stuck in a loop, playing over and over. Negative thoughts that are so engrained, we have to make a conscious effort to recognize and acknowledge them.
For example: As a child you may have been told, often, “You should be more like your sister, she’s got her life together.”
Interpretation, you may grow up believing you just can’t, “get your life together the way you should.”
(By the way, “comparisons and should be” are among my negative old tapes, as I’m sure this may seem familiar to many)
This is where positive affirmations can help. Why not replace those old tapes with new tapes? Start a new loop.
How to use affirmations
Why not make a conscious effort to replace that old tape with something like:
“I love and appreciate myself just as I am.”
Old, negative thoughts are not something that can be changed overnight, it will take a conscious effort. You are in essence, developing a new habit, a new way of thinking. You are replacing an old tape with a new tape.
To start, I like to write my new affirmations down somewhere that I will see them often. I may create art that incorporates affirmations, or use the phrase as a backdrop on my computer.
Most times, I silently say my affirmations quietly to myself, thus beginning a new tape. When feeling particularly stressed or when I’m not able to, “turn my thinker off” or the “chatter”, it helps to say my affirmations out loud.
We may also plan on a certain time of the day to think of our positive affirmations. For example, a specific time we set aside for our quiet time. Even if it’s only ten minutes a day, it’s enough time to make a difference.
I like using my quiet time in combination with breathing and muscle relaxation. This is the best time for my affirmations.
Eventually with persistence and conscious effort, the positive affirmation phrase will become subliminally engrained. Remember, that new thought is competing with years of the old tape, so be patient and kind with yourself.
Remember, for powerful affirmations, keep them short and simple, in the present tense, and positive.
Most importantly, it’s the positive belief of actual, current existence that gives affirmations so much energy.