But first, what are affirmations?
The simplest explanation? Affirmations are positive statements intended to challenge negative beliefs. The concept is that if you repeat positive, self-affirming statements, they will consciously and subconsciously affect our thinking. So, if you have a lot of negative behaviors or thoughts, you can help retrain yourself to think positive thoughts instead of negative.
This sounds pretty out there
It’s not. Think about it like this. When you eat healthy, you’re helping your body perform better. When you think happy and positive thoughts, you’re helping your mind work better. It has been proven that if you focus on your positive qualities before a big meeting, you will perform better. Our minds are very powerful. We actually have a lot more control than we think we do. Learning how to harness that power is a whole different issue.
I know this because I did this
I’ve tried a lot of things over the years to improve my mental health, self-esteem, and bad behaviors. It’s hard to say exactly what helped and when but it all contributed to a real recovery for me. I started saying affirmations for 30 days about three years ago. 30 days turned into a year. In that year, I was meditating, saying affirmations, and doing vision work. It was a transformational year for me in so many ways. My life today looks very much like the vision I had for myself. So, to me, it all works. My self-esteem in general but specifically at work has improved by leaps and bounds and I attribute much of it to affirmations and positive thinking.
How do I even start?
Good question! The first thing to think about is, what are your limiting beliefs? Are you worried about your competency at work? Think you’ll never find love? Stressed about your appearance or weight? First, write down whatever thoughts plague you throughout the day and then write the opposite. So, if it’s, “I don’t have enough talent to write a good book,” replace it with, “I have so much to offer and I know my work will help many people”. Create the vision of what you want and try the following:
- Use the words: I am…
- Be specific
- Always positive statements
- Brief is better
- Use dynamic words or emotions
Don’t forget to practice affirmations
Try starting with stating your affirmations for at least three to five minutes twice a day. I would also recommend saying them everyday for 30 days to get used to the practice. Always be consistent and create a routine around them. For example, start and end your day with them. Or take breaks during the day at times when saying affirmations will be helpful. Most of all, be patient with yourself. This is not an exact process but it does work. Give your brain and heart the time and nurturing they need to heal.
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