What is a Positive Affirmation?
A positive affirmation is a thought that can help you with your goals, whatever they may be.
Positive affirmations are based on the idea of auto-suggestion. Because we are repeating something in our mind over and over, we eventually begin to believe it, and act accordingly. The use of positive affirmations underpins Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, which is about challenging our negative thoughts with more positive ones. We know that our Thoughts lead to our Feelings which then lead to our Actions, so if our thoughts are positive so will be our actions.
The idea is to create the thought around how you want to be.
How to create your positive affirmation
- Work in the present tense
- Make your phrase positive
- Target the desire you are trying to achieve
Examples could be:
- I eat well
- I am losing weight
- I exercise every day
- I meditate every morning
Then we repeat the thought as regularly as we can e.g. 20 times when we get up in the morning, and 20 times before bed. You can repeat the thought when standing at a bus station or at a tube stop, when washing your hair, or cooking dinner. Another idea is to draw on the power of the affirmation when you are feeling challenged e.g. when you are standing in line for a coffee and tempted by muffins and biscuits.
The repetition develops new pathways in your brain, helping you to reshape how you think, and your approach to what you are trying to achieve. We learn to think our way to eating better, or being thin.
Fostering a positive mental attitude
Thought For The Day on BBC 4 is a favourite listen of mine. Speakers and thinkers from across the UK discuss current issues or ideas. Dr Kang refers to positive emotions to help us through difficult or challenging times. I consider these emotions useful and supportive of the use of positive affirmations: Patience, Enthusiasm, and Confidence.
For me these attitudes are about reminding myself what I, and my clients need when trying to achieve change in our lives. We need to be enthusiastic and have time and energy to devote to the endeavour. We need to be confident that whomever we are working with, the foods we are consuming, or the steps we are taking, will help us achieve that target. We need to be patient. Sometimes we will lose focus. Sometimes it will not be easy to stick to the task. But with patience, and effort, we will get there.
If you would like my help with your goals please make contact.