A long time ago I read that if a person repeated aloud the same statement each day for thirty days he or she would begin to believe what was said to be true even if the statement was a bold-faced lie. Imagine how much more engrained something can become if it actually is possible or true to start with!
The term ‘affirmation” is thrown around so much today the meaning can be cloudy. A short, but clear definition of affirmation is: to declare or assert.
Emile Coue was a French psychologist who lived from mid 1800’s through the first quarter of the 20 century. He is regarded as the person who introduced the basis of how positve affirmations can have effect through his work in self-improvement and optimistic auto-suggestion. His most famous affirmation is “Every day, in every way, I’m getting better and better”. His method centered on repeating such a statement(s) at the beginning and at the end of each day or more frequently.
Science now knows that every thought we think and every word we say is a stream of affirmations. We are continually affirming subconsciously with our words and thoughts. This flow of affirmations helps to create our life experience. Beliefs are learned thought patterns we have developed since childhood. Many of these thoughts work well for us, but others may now be working against us. Thinking may at times be dysfunctional and may even be sabotaging us. Every affirmation we think or say is a reflection of our inner truth or beliefs.
By choosing to think and say positive affirmations as true, the subconscious is forced into one of two reactions – avoidance or reappraisal. The bigger the issue the bigger the gap between the positive affirmation and the perceived inner truth and the more likely that one is going to experience resistance. This is where the subconscious finds it easier to stay with its perceived inner truth and avoid the challenge using any means at its disposal to keep from examining the issue. One can recognize this reaction by a strong negative feeling inside as positive affirmations are stated. Equally if one experiences a sense of joy and well-being, the mind is instinctively responding to something it believes to be true.
I began using positive affirmations regularly while I spent five weeks at The Meadows in the fall of 2006. I was there learning how to deal with reoccurring moderate depression and related issues. At first my opinion of saying positive things aloud to improve my life was that it had to be BS. Yet, I was determined to change my life for the better and was willing to try most anything to achieve that. So I began the practice of getting up before sunrise and while standing on my dorm balcony I’d watch the sun rise each day over the high Sonora Desert as I read aloud a list of affirmations. Results did not come the first day or even the first week, but within two weeks the affirmations begin to have a positive effect. As time went on I began to look forward to my sunrise time and my belief in affirmations has grown stronger and stronger since.
Here are a few examples of affirmations I like:
Loving my self heals my life.
My body heals quickly and easily.
The more grateful I am, the more reasons I find to be grateful.
I know I deserve Love and accept it now.
I give out Love and it is returned to me multiplied.
When I believe in myself, so do others.
I am my own unique self – special, creative and wonderful.
I am at peace.
I trust in the process of life.
I am proud of myself.
I am whole, complete and perfect just as I am.
I clearly see lots to be grateful for in life.
Through gratitude my world expands.
Happiness exists where I choose to look for it.
I release all negativity and hold joy in my heart.
I accept the good that is flowing into my life.
The warmth of love surrounds me.
I release myself from my anger and let the past go.
I live in the now each moment of each day.
Affirmations are not a magic spell or potion. They are simple exercises for the psyche to improve mental health similar in fashion to how working out at a gym can create better physical health. Affirmations gain their power from repetition in the same manner as repeated physical exercise yields results. The more often I say them, the more they will impact my reality. This morning I am grateful for the power of affirmations. Beyond a shadow of doubt, I know for me they work!
No matter where you go or what you do, you live your entire life within the confines of your head.