What Are Affirmations?
Affirmations are powerful phrases or statements aimed to affect our conscious and subconscious minds with the intention that they can help shift negative thought patterns and promote positive thinking, self-esteem, and motivations. Also, affirmations provide us with emotional support when going through change in life.
How Do Affirmations Work?
Self-affirmation is a psychological technique that requires thinking and writing about your core values. Thanks to neuroscience research, it has been found that certain neural pathways are increased when we practise self-affirmation. Therefore, reinforcing that affirmations are one of the best ways to turn old negative beliefs and thinking into new positive ones. Furthermore, did you know? our minds can’t tell the difference between reality and pretend, which is how affirmations can ‘rewire’ the brain.
Benefits of Affirmations
Affirmations have many benefits, for example when we speak highly of ourselves, we build self-esteem. Therefore when our internal dialogue is positive then we are likely to feel much stronger, resilient, and less threatened by other people’s negativity. As a result, we start to have a much calmer approach to life.
Here are specific benefits of affirmations:
- Increase in self-esteem – Self-love is a key to happiness, and you can cultivate it through positive affirmations. You can program your subconscious mind to believe the positive statements you repeat about yourself which in turn results in boosting your self-esteem.
- Boost Self-Confidence – Self-confidence is developed when you have a high self-esteem because you already believe in yourself and your abilities. Positive affirmations help build confidence by reinforcing positive thoughts about yourself. If you tell yourself that your intelligent, hardworking, and talented, you will start to believe it.
How To Rewire Your Brain
First Step: Identify Negative Beliefs
Negative beliefs can become very powerful and rooted deeply in the mind that it is very difficult to override them with positive affirmations. Which is why the first step to rewiring our brain is to identify these negative beliefs that could potentially stop us from changing our way of thinking.
Here are the following steps to help you identify your negative beliefs:
- The first step is identify one area of your life that you desire to change.
- The second step is to create a list of negative criticism that you have received from others which has affected this area of your life.
- The third step is now to create a second list of negative self-talk or thoughts that you have created around this area of your life.
Once you have written your list out, the next step is to rewrite the ‘script’ (your way of thinking):
- The fourth step is now to take each negative belief, self-talk and criticism and identify their positive counterpart, for example if a negative belief is that ‘you’re a failure’, then the positive belief is ‘you’re a success’.
- The fifth step is now choose one of these positive beliefs that you like, regardless of whether you believe it yet.
- The Sixth step is to create a list of affirmations based on your chosen new positive belief. Write it in as many variations as possible until you feel satisfied.
This is a very self-empowering exercise to do and has potential to totally transform your thinking and input greatly on your life.
Second Step: How To Write Your Affirmations
To write positive affirmations, you will need to be open to the power of suggestion, but most importantly you will only change if you truly desire to change and sometimes it take us giving ourselves permission to do so. It is best to write affirmations when you feeling emotions of joy, gratitude, satisfaction and happiness as this reflect in the affirmations you create.
Also make sure your affirmations is based on your biggest desires and dreams as this can really help reinforce your positive belief. Furthermore, make sure these desires and dreams are for you and not others as that will interfere with changing process. It is important that you write in first person and use two of the most powerful word in the English language, ‘I AM’ as these words can really help define who you are.
Finally use the power of your imagination to visualise your affirmations as if they are already taking place as this can influence mind in believing your affirmations are happening in the present tense.
Third Step: Reprogramming The Subconscious Mind
To reprogramme the subconscious mind, you must remember that it has been built on the thoughts, memories, beliefs, experiences and emotions we have accumulated over years of our life. While change is something you desire, it is a process that will not happen overnight, it will take time. For example, it takes 72 hours for us to create a new neural connection.
It is important to remember that repetition is another key which means we must continuously repeat our affirmations to truly reinforce our positive belief from being a statement into an undeniable belief. Also make sure you give yourself the time to change into what you want to be, which is why during this process of changing we must act like what we’re affirming so that the statements become reality.
When to Use Affirmations
There is two times that are ideal for stating our affirmations, either at night before you are about to fall asleep or in the morning when you are waking up because during these two times your brain is barely in a conscious state which is known as Theta Brain waves. This is a state where our conscious and subconscious minds meet, also during the Theta State, we withdraw from the external world and focus on the internal world. Furthermore during the Theta state, our mind is capable of deep and profound learning as we start to absorb whatever materials we are being presented.
Dr. Bruce Lipton described the subconscious mind as being a tape recorder that records our experiences and then plays them back. Therefore, the more we record (affirm) our new programmes (beliefs), the easier it is to override the old negative programmes (beliefs).