When I think about affirmations, my brain always goes to that SNL skit, of Stuart Smalley's Daily Affirmation.
Because of the silliness of each of these skits, I never really took affirmations seriously until I noticed that people (authors and friends) were mentioning the power affirmations had in their lives.
Of course, I looked more into it, and this article written by Leena S. Guptha DO in Psychology Today, made me a believer.
She says, “Repeated use of affirmations can help to rewrite messages when an individual is ready and willing to manifest positive change. Affirmations have to be properly formed to counteract some of our negative thoughts and habits." Below are her strategies to create your own.
- Place your name or pronoun in the affirmation.
- Phrase the goal in the present tense, to bring it into reality.
- Add a feeling to strengthen the affirmation (I feel, I enjoy etc.,)
- Add a reward to reinforce what we are genuinely working towards.
- Be sure to balance the goal and reward so they are realistic, achievable and meaningful.
She does advise that “The subconscious mind, cannot differentiate between negative and positive, or between what is real and imagined. For example, if we want to be successful, we cannot say things like “I don’t want to be a failure.” The subconscious mind will act upon the word “failure,” ignoring the word “don’t,” and actualizing the undesired result. We must choose what we share with our subconscious mind carefully, and that is why positive affirmations are so critical.”
Taking this advice, I constructed over ten. Here are my top three:
- My family is the most important thing to me. I honor the time we are all together.
- Budgeting is fun and important. It helps me save money for adventures.
- I have a voice that people want to hear. My voice helps people and gives them strength. My voice needs to be heard to bring more positivity into the world.
Though I don’t say my affirmations in the mirror as Stuart Smalley does, I do have them written down in my journal, and I read them before I go to bed every night. I believe affirmations work. How do I know? Because I feel so good when I read them. They calm me, they reassure me. How could they not, when I am left with this last thought:
“I sleep soundly knowing everything is working out in the best way possible.”