Most people experience negative thoughts, often on a regular basis. When we have these thoughts, our confidence, mood and outlook become negative too.
The problem with a negative internal dialogue is that they can be self-fulfilling. Inside our heads, we talk ourselves into believing that we're not good enough. This can have the effect of dragging down our personal lives, our relationships, and our careers. Consciously doing the opposite, using positive affirmations, can be transformative.
Why Use Affirmations?
Affirmations are positive, specific statements that help you to overcome self-sabotaging and negative thoughts. They help you visualize, and believe in, what you're affirming to yourself, enabling you to make positive changes in your life. There is evidence that the use of positive affirmations can successfully treat people with low self-esteem, depression, and other mental health conditions.
For instance, in a study by researchers at Northwestern State University, people who used positive affirmations for two weeks experienced higher self esteem by the end of the study. Also, in a study published in the Journal of American College Health, researchers found that women treated with cognitive behavioural techniques, which included use of positive affirmations, experienced a decrease in depressive symptoms and negative thinking.
Of course, it's important to realise that although some people have successfully used affirmations to overcome depression and negative thinking, the technique may not work for everyone. Some people may view affirmations as "wishful thinking," or simply looking at the world with an unrealistic perspective. Quite a lot can depend on your mindset.
So try looking at positive affirmations this way – many of us do repetitive exercises to improve our body's physical health and condition. Affirmations are like exercises for our mind. These positive mental repetitions can reprogram our thinking patterns so that, over time, we begin to think, and act, in a new way.
How to Use Affirmations
Remember – affirmations are positive statements that help you challenge and overcome negative thinking and self sabotaging behaviours . They're usually short, positive statements that target a specific area, behaviour, or belief that you're struggling with.
Start by thinking of the areas of your life you'd like to change. For instance, do you wish you had more patience? Or a deeper relationships with your friends or colleagues? Or do you want a more productive workday?
It is important that your affirmation is credible, believable, and based on a realistic assessment of fact. For instance, imagine you feel bad about the level of pay you're currently receiving. So you begin to use affirmations to raise your confidence about asking for an increase. However, it probably wouldn't be wise to affirm to yourself that you're going to double your salary: for most people, and most organisations, doubling what you're earning in one go just isn't feasible. Keep it realistic!
If you can't believe the affirmations you're repeating to yourself, it's highly unlikely that they'll have any impact on your life.
- Affirmations should be formed in the present tense, as if they're already happening. This helps you believe that the statement is true right now. For instance, "I am well-prepared and well-rehearsed, and I can give a great presentation" would be a great affirmation to use if you often feel nervous speaking in front of a group.
- The power of affirmations also lies in their repetition. It's useful to recite your affirmations several times a day (have them pop up in your computer diary). You also need to repeat your affirmation as soon as you start to engage in a negative thought or behaviour.
- Affirmations are more effective when they're thought or said with feeling. Every affirmation you choose to repeat should be a phrase that's meaningful to you. You need to want this change to happen.
If you would like me to create a list and CD of positive affirmations for you... get IN TOUCH.