Affirmations- Do They Make A Difference?

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Do affirmations really work?  I have been asked this question many times.  The mind, body,spirit movement has also brought the conversation about affirmations and their overall effectiveness to a new level of debate.  

All I can tell you is, I have been doing affirmations for years. Over time I have done quite a bit of research to determine whether or not affirmations really work. What I have learned based upon my research and also my own experience is that affirmations can work if you already have a proclivity to do whatever it is your are affirming yourself to be able to do. You have to have faith that you can accomplish that goal or task. You must to shut down any negative thought patterns that do not support that affirmation or positive thought. 

I have use the step by step process below. It truly has helped me to reprogram my self-talk. I always start my day with prayer, mediation and affirmations. It is a great way to start the day and positive start to your day. The steps below from the magazine Psychology Today, have also helped me to make affirmations part of my daily routine.

Step 1: Make a list of what you've always thought of as your negative qualities. Include any criticisms others have made of you that you've been holding onto; whether it's something your siblings, parents and peers used to say about you when you were a child, or what your boss told you in your last annual review. Don't judge if they're accurate and remember we all have flaws. This is one of the beauties of being human. Simply make a note of them and look for a common theme, such as "I'm unworthy." This will be a great place to start making a shift in your life. When you write out the recurring belief notice if you holding on to it anywhere in your body? For example, do you feel tightness or dread in your heart or stomach

Step 2: Now write out an affirmation on the positive aspect of your self-judgment. You may want to use a thesaurus to find more powerful words to beef up your statement. For example instead of saying, "I'm worthy." You could say, "I'm remarkable and cherished." After you have written your affirmation then ask a close friend to read it to see if they have any suggestions to make it stronger.

Step 3: Speak the affirmation out loud for about five minutes three times a day - morning, mid day and evening. An ideal time to do this is when you're putting your make up or shaving so that you can look at yourself in the mirror as you repeat the positive statement. Another option that helps to reinforce the new belief and would be easy to do at work is to write out the affirmation several times in a notebook. Notice over time as you write it if your style of writing changes. This could be a clue as to how your mind perceives the new concept. I call this exercise using the mindfulness journal to forward the agenda of the positive affirmation.

Step 4: Anchor the affirmation in your body as you are repeating it by placing your hand on the area that felt uncomfortable when you wrote out the negative belief in Step One. Also "breathe" into the affirmation while you are saying or writing it. As you reprogram your mind you want to move from the concept of the affirmation to a real, positive embodiment of the quality you seek.

Step 5: Get a friend or coach to repeat your affirmation to you. As they are saying for example, "You are remarkable and cherished" identify this statement as 'good mothering' or 'good fathering' messages. If you don't have someone who you feel comfortable asking then use your reflection in the mirror as the person who is reinforcing the healthy message.

Affirmations can be a powerful tool to help you change your mood, state of mind, and manifest the change you desire in your life. But they work best if you can first identify the unwholesome belief that is opposing them. If these suggestions are still not helping then seeing a professional therapist to help you uncover what is buried deep in your unconscious and/or start a mindfulness meditation practice. Mindfulness meditation is a very effective method to help you uncover your unconscious thought patterns and allows you to categorize them identifying what is wholesome, negative and afflicted. Mindfulness is not about change rather it's about the power and ability to accept first what is then to transmute towards what is possible. Try it and see how your life can improve!
Reprint from Psychology Today


I am free to love who I am.
I believe in myself and my abilities.
I deserve good in my life in 2014 and beyond.
I will learn something new every day.
I am in the process of positive change.
I have abundant energy, vitality and health.
I love and approve of myself.
I am willing and ready to change and grow.
I am ready for abundance to flow in every area of my life.
I am healthy, fit and attractive.
I let go of my anger and forgive.
I focus on the present and what I am doing right now.
I know longer judge or criticize myself.
I release all resistance to success, prosperity, and abundance. 

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