This is a continuation of last week’s post “Affirmations: Useful or Hippy-Dippy Nonsense?”. If you didn’t have a chance to view that post, I recommend starting there first.
The goal is to reprogram our thinking patterns so that over time we think differently, then those thoughts turn into action. Next thing you know, it’s not “hard” to get healthy and feel good. It’s a pleasure. It’s something you deserve. It’s a worth-while investment.
Positive thoughts equal positive actions equal positive outcomes. It is crucial that we pay attention to the thoughts sub-consciously running our actions each day.
Going back to last week’s post, a positive affirmation serves as a conscious positive statement that can create an attitude that we carry throughout our life that guides our behaviors in a constructive way. When we talk about holistic health and the connection between our physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and social self, it’s important to note that this connection can display itself as an actualization of our thoughts. So choosing the right mental messaging and words carefully can make real and direct changes in our reality.
How To Use Positive Affirmations
Positive affirmations can help you relax, build confidence, concentrate, relieve stress and anxiety, increase performance, improve relations, and bring your overall level of joy and well-being to a higher state.
The subconscious mind is literal. That’s why using affirmations in a positive way is so important. Using a negative thought like “I hope I don’t blow this interview” won’t be helpful. Reframe that to “I have worked hard and I am well prepared to nail this interview.” Positive affirmations need to be presented in a careful and thoughtful way to be positively effective.
How To Create Effective Affirmations
The first step is to reflect on negative thoughts that keep popping up. This may simply be paying attention, or may take some more intentional work such as journaling to find the negative thoughts that keep coming to the forefront.
The next step is to reframe/rewrite those negative thoughts to be positive affirmations. Here are steps to helping with that:
- Use the present tense. Act as if the positive action is already happening. Instead of “I want to be fit and healthy” use “I am fit and healthy.”
- Use self statements. Begin your positive affirmations with “I”, “I am”, “I choose”, “I love”, etc.
- Use positive words. Don’t include words that are negative in connotation. Instead of saying “I have problems eating well” say “I choose to eat well.”
- Use short statements. Make your phrases short so you can repeat them and memorize them easily.
- Use visuals. Write your positive affirmations down and put them somewhere that will allow you to look at them often. You can use post-its, the background on your smartphone, notes on your refrigerator, car dashboard, bathroom mirror, etc. Put them anywhere and everywhere that will help you see them, say them out loud, and put them in your mind.
- Use positive emotions. Attach positive emotions to the affirmation as a way to allow yourself to think about how good it feels to fulfill this affirmation. Emotion can fuel these affirmations and make them more powerful. Instead of simply repeating your affirmation, concentrate on the emotion behind them. It may take you a little while to reframe your thought process and truly believe the positive things you are saying about yourself, but the more you can work on believing these thoughts the more true they will become. Repetition builds belief and positive belief builds success.
This is a process. The first step is to break the cycle of constantly complaining about yourself. It is easy and natural human instinct to go to a negative, fearful, or anxious thought. The biggest thing is not allowing these negative thoughts to stay. For tips on this, check out our Potential Podcast episode “Cons of Complaining & Steps To Stop.”