In this month’s video, we are speaking about affirmations. The term affirmation, refers to positive statements that can help you challenge yourself and overcome self-sabotaging and negative thoughts. The idea is to repeatedly state them often enough until you believe them, and to push yourself towards those positive changes you are aiming for. Affirmations have been shown to help reduce stress and help those with low self-esteem, depression, and other mental health conditions. They stimulate the areas in our brains that make us more likely to affect positive changes in regard to our health. You can use affirmations for a multitude of reasons: preparing for a big meeting or presentation, improving your self-esteem, motivating yourself to finish a project, improving overall productivity, and even overcoming a bad habit. The goal is to help turn negative self-talk around in your head. It is very easy to just say, “don’t think that any more” and move on with your day, but what we want to do instead is give our brain a positive thought to replace it with.
So how do you use or make an affirmation? First think about what you want to change. I usually develop my affirmations after creating a new goal or reviewing my goals for the year. Next write down behaviors or areas of your life you would like to work on. Make sure they follow your values so you will feel genuinely motivated to achieve them. An affirmation should be in the present tense. We want our brain to think that it is already happening. For example “I will exercise” is in the future. “I exercise” is in the now. It should also be a positive statement. We are trying to teach our brains to think positively so we don’t want the affirmation to be “I am not stupid,” we want “I am brilliant!” Finally, say it with feeling. They are most effective when they carry emotional weight. FEEL what you are trying to teach your brain. So if your affirmation is “I am energetic and joyful” feel those feelings. It is best to repeat your affirmations often in your head but important to say them out loud with feeling in the morning and at night.
Examples of great affirmations:
I am joyful!
I eat healthy and my body is well!
I am a good friend!
I can do it!
An affirmation can be a paragraph or three words, whatever you need to set your thoughts on the right path. Take some time today and take a great step in the right direction!