Do you believe in affirmations?
When I was younger, I was very sceptical of anything I considered a bit ‘woo woo’ or hippy. Yoga, self help books and especially affirmations.
How on earth could talking to yourself, telling yourself that you are special or loved really make any difference to how you truly feel? My view then was that you were either happy or sad. A few random words weren’t going to change that.
Now I’m much older, I’ve fully embraced yoga. I can also see the value of selective self help books in guiding people through difficult times. But until recently, I still couldn’t get my head around the affirmation thing.
In my teens I struggled with shyness and an acute lack of confidence. There was always that little voice running through my head – “you’re not good enough”, “everyone’s looking at you”, “you’re going to make a fool of yourself if you try something new”. The teenage years can be pretty tough! Over the years I have learnt to take some control over that voice but it can still get the better of me when I’m feeling a bit low.
There is increasing scientific research that’s proving that the way you think has a profound impact on your general well-being. Your mind-set can affect your metabolism and weight, your hormones and your general physical health. It seems your thoughts can actually influence your cellular functions. I was beginning to think that if science could find some positives then perhaps there was more to this affirmation thing.
Then I read a recent blog post by a lady called Kris Carr which began to crystallise my thoughts (you can read it here: http://kriscarr.com/blog/positive-affirmations-how-to-raise-your-vibration/ ).
Part of the blog describes a conversation where Kris explains to her coach, Louise Hay, a problem she was experiencing. Kris states her words were something like “this always happens to me” or “I just can’t do it”. Sound familiar? Words that I think we can all relate to having said at some stage in our life.
Louise Hay pointed out to Kris that these words were actually an affirmation – a negative affirmation.
I found that really enlightening. We all do it – using negative words when we are struggling, with the result that the outcome just becomes worse. Whenever I’ve stopped and looked at a problem with a more optimistic outlook, the problem begins to resolve or improve. That’s exactly the intention of positive affirmations. They should prompt you to stop and look at a problem you are struggling with and then encourage you to see it in a more positive mind-set to help you find solutions.
Of course, affirmations aren’t going to actually solve the problem or make problems go away. But they are going to help you think about things differently, producing a more positive outcome.
Now, I’m not ready yet to embrace the “I love myself” type of affirmations, but I’m certainly going to be arguing with that little voice in my head when it has negative thoughts. I’m also going to find ways to implement and enjoy much more positive vibes in my thought processes.
I’ve decided that my affirmation for the next few months is going to be “let go of the fear”. Increasingly as we age we allow ourselves to stop pushing ourselves outside our comfort zone for fear of something going wrong. I’m going to try to stop myself doing this.
I started whilst on holiday this summer. I made myself swim across a really deep, dark river. I’m not a confident swimmer but it was a beautiful setting and a very hot day. My kids had already gone on ahead of me. In the past, I’ve just sat on the bank and watched but I decided to push myself out of my comfort zone and follow after them.
It gave them quite a shock when I turned up on the bank beside them and it’s a great feeling shocking your kids!
Do you feel inspired to join me in choosing an affirmation to provoke change in your life?
Let me know in the comments below or if you already use affirmations, let me know what your favourite one is.