Affirmations are statements that, by repeating them over and over again, we convince the mind to adopt and replay them in its chatter
“Hello me, this is Ronit”
Whether we speak out loud or we are in silence, our brain is in continuous chatter. We have thoughts about things to do, feelings, expectations, ideas, reminders, theories and conversations. Here is an example of my mind chatter in the first 30 seconds in the morning. I still had my eyes closed and said nothing at all:
“What’s that noise? … What’s the time? … 6:30 … Oh, no, Noff has swimming today … I wanted to put a bottle in the freezer for her … I forgot … It’s going to be hot today … I should have gone to bed early last night … I talked to my sister … I miss her … Two more seconds … I have to get up now … I’ll go to sleep early tonight … Yes, I said that yesterday too … I’ll meditate … “
Everyone’s brain is full of such talk and the difference between people is the kind of thoughts they have or rather the direction of their thoughts.
A very simple way of categorizing thoughts is to divide them to positive and negative thoughts. Positive is full of hope or love and negative is full of fear or frustration. Hope will increase flow of good chemicals in the body and promote health, while fear will increase the flow of bad chemicals that will promote sickness. It is as simple as that!
A tour guide for the brain
The mind chatter works as a guide to our attitude and behavior. Think of a tour guide sitting in your head and directing your actions to happiness, health, success and achievements or to sadness, sickness, disappointment and failure.
Here is a simple example of how mind chatter can affect someone. Bryan is on his way to a job interview. He is driving his car to the city, where he is supposed to meet the manager and two members of the team he wants to join. The recruitment agent has said there were 5 people applying for the job.
This is a positive Bryan driving his car to the job interview:
“I can do it … I will talk about the project I did last year … I am very good with people … Deep breath … It’ll be fine … I’ll learn from it anyway … I need to stay focused … Five people … That’s not many … I have lots of experience … It’s a good job … I really want it … I’ll do my best”
And this is a negative Bryan on his way to the same job interview:
“I hate interviews … I don’t know what to talk about … I am not so good with people … I can’t breathe … It’ll be a shocker … What if they ask me about my previous boss? … Five others against me … I don’t have a chance … The young candidates always have an advantage … It’s going to be too hard … Why do they have to bring three people for the interview? … It’ll be another disaster”
You can easily predict how the positive Bryan will handle the interview and how the negative Bryan will handle it. In the same way, you can predict Bryan’s relationships, finances and state of health.
Much of our mind chatter is thoughts we have been given by others, thoughts based on past experiences we have had (as kids), things we have seen in the media and interpretations of what has happened around us. The real challenge is to switch from negative thoughts to positive ones. Affirmations are a very good tool to make the change. Affirmations are statements that, by repeating them over and over again, we convince our mind to adopt and replay them in its chatter. If the affirmations are positive, they boost our confidence and help us to bring into our lives the exact things we want and to eliminate the things we wish to avoid.
Affirmations have two major benefits:
- Change a negative thought pattern
- Increase your optimism and positive attitude
In the last 40 years, there has been a lot of research on the effects of positive thinking on people’s life. Positive psychology shifted from being “airy fairy” into a well established, recognized discipline that is available to all who seek it. There is enough research to support links between health and positive thinking, success and positive thinking, wealth and positive thinking, social skills and positive thinking and even creativity and positive thinking.
Just in case you were going to say “It won’t work. It’s my Mom’s/Dad’s fault” or “It’s too hard to change a person. I don’t want a quick fix”, you should know that changing your mind is not hard. Here is what you do:
- Identify what you want to change (I have no friends)
- Decide what to change it to (I want to make friends easily)
- Write down a statement or continuous improvement or a state of being (“I like to be around people and I make friends easily”)
- Post your affirmations somewhere visible or carry them with you and repeat them until you truly believe them (note: write them in your mother tongue)
Tips to using positive affirmations effectively
- Collect quotes you want to believe in and post them in where you will be able to read them often, like mirrors, toilet, office cabinet, diary, window, door…
- Make a list of positive thoughts you want to have. Go to the Internet and pick some related to what you want to change. Listen to people and borrow their ideas (there are plenty to choose from). Complete the list at the bottom of this article and make sure to make each statement positive. If you cannot find a positive affirmation, skip! Feel free to change it to your needs.
- Write down your affirmations. Writing will help you fight the mind chatter. Do not be tempted to say “I will remember”. There is nothing to remember. You are trying to sell your subconscious a new and different thought. You can print it on colorful paper, use special calligraphy or make an artistic canvas with your statement.
- If writing is not your thing, record yourself saying it and listen to it often.
- Use “I” statements. To convince your mind to accept any thought, you have to take full responsibility for them. Statements about other people can work magic too (“People are friendly to me”, “Everyone appreciates me”), but the focus is wrong.
- Use short, simple statements.
- Write statements in Present tense. Instead of “I will be happy” write “I am happy”. The first statement begs the question “When?” while the second gets your mind used to the idea of being happy right now.
- If something needs urgent or a lot of attention, write more than one statement about it.
- Use positive statements (no “pink elephants“). Say “I feel healthy and fit” instead of “I am not sick anymore”. Say “I accept others” instead of ” I do not criticize others”.
- If you are visual, attach a mental image to the statements. For the affirmation “I look great”, look for an event when you felt you looked great. Whenever you repeat your affirmation, the visual memory of the event will strengthen it by bringing up the desired feeling.
- Hang around positive people because their positive statements will rub off on you (at the same time, stay away from complainers, victims, aggressive, frustrated or critical people).
- Whenever you recognize you are having negative mind chatter, pick the statement you need to contradict it.
Wishing you happy, healthy, successful affirmations!
… OK … Was this too long? … No, it was fine … I covered the main points … Maybe I should read it again … Gal will go over it too … Is 12 a good number? … I should add more photos … I love photos … Should I add something in number 6? … No, I should keep it short … It looks good … The main topics are there … Yes … Good … I am happy …
- My childhood was
- A good memory from my childhood is
- The best gift I was given was
- In the past, I used to
- Family for me is
- What I really want is
- I dream that one day I will
- Life will be better when
- The thing that really frightens me is
- I am very special when
- The things I am willing to do to feel good are
- I want people to remember me like
- I believe that one day I will
- My favorite color is
- My greatest strength is
- I want to believe that
- I hope that one day I will
- My favorite song is
- I am focused when
- When I feel happy I am
- My favorite food is
- My best skill is
- My most valuable possession is
- If I die, the thing I would like people to know about me is
- The thing that makes me smile is
- One thing I must do before I die is
- I want to choose friends that make me feel
- I want to choose jobs that make me feel
- The thing that really makes me happy is
- I want my life to be
- What I love about myself is
- I cry from joy when
- I choose to feel good about myself because
- I’m happy when
- Forgiving is
- When I read something, I
- I always
- It’s OK to
- I feel like
- Friends are
- I like it when
- Money is
- I appreciate myself for
- I love myself because
- I trust myself to