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The Power of Affirmations - A Beginner's Guide

What are affirmations and why do we need them? In mental wellness, the definition of affirmations is basically asserting that something is true, a state of being. Much like negative and self-limiting statements, affirmations are meant to recircuit the negative voices in our heads. “I am” affirmations are meant for us to relearn habitual negative self-talk and turn that chatter into positive ones. The dangers of negative self-talk are done without thought and are seemingly fluid. It’s an influx of these criticizing thoughts that you don’t even realize and so thus it becomes a habit under the radar. (Sneaky buggers). Positive self talk is an intentional act that changes the flow around your internal voice. We would never talk to our dearest friends or loved ones the way we sometimes talk to ourselves inside our heads. Weird right? 

the definition of affirmations
Image Courtesy of Fuu J

 Affirmations are an easy, sure-fire way to love and to be kind to ourselves. As with all good things that are worth it, it takes time and effort. How do you start?  The first step is just being with yourself. Sit down for a moment, take 2-3 deep breaths and let it all out. Let the current troubles out with each breath. Be still. The hard part comes when you face yourself and ask yourself the hard, cold questions. “Why aren’t I happy?” “I hate where I am with life.” “Why can’t I find someone?”  There’s nowhere to hide from yourself when you’re stripped bare of the noise from the day.  Always start with how you currently feel and work your way backwards. Why do you feel disgruntled right now? You’s because your boss is demon born.  Identify the cause and effect. Then, focus on what you can control. Anytime you’re feeling this or that way because of another person, that is a reaction from yourself that you can control. Your situation or that person may be the most horrible ever, but guess what. You can’t control these things most of the time, so you’re just going to be upset forever?  It’s not them babe, it’s you.  You’re upset with yourself at the very last level (and there are many levels).  Your subconscious ego hates this feeling, and so you’re even more upset. It bothers you sooo much. Your mind is your greatest asset. Unfortunately untamed and untrained, it is also your greatest peril. 

Once you’ve identified the problem, how you feel, the next step is focus on yourself. This is where you come up with your “I am” affirmations.  Coming up with your “I am” affirmations is quite easy once you know the formula. Just say the opposite of how you’re feeling. Put it in another way, say how you want to feel. You are the star of your own movie. You have the starring role. Focus the energy on yourself. The other secret to affirmations working is that you’re going to have to believe in it. The more you say it with each day it gets easier. Your mind will catch up and your whole being will follow. For instance, you’re sad that you can’t find anyone, that special one. Why do you feel that you need to find someone? Let me tell you babe, you are enough. Your affirmation is “I am whole.” Too scared to make the leap at work? Your affirmation is “I am brave.” Lastly, do you think that there’s something wrong with you? Your affirmation is “I am Perfect.” Do you see what we did here? :)

There are so many “I am” affirmations you can tailor to your specific situation and need. Look at yourself in the mirror and say it. Say it as you drift off to sleep. Say it all day and smile.  One day, you’ll wake up and your whole being has caught up and you won’t need to say them anymore. You’ll find that your perspective has changed on the situation. The world didn’t change, you did. It starts and ends with you.

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