A buck-ton of science backs up why and how affirmations work. The trouble I’ve always found is that they feel a bit disingenuous when I listen to them. When I read already-written ones aloud, they’re not written in my tone or sentiment which makes them feel ‘not for me’. I wanted to find a way to tap into that juicy science to quieten that inner troll of mine who can be a bit of a rambunctious so-and-so. You see, that inner troll, gets in my way; makes me hesitate to move forward with ideas, and has me second-guessing myself and feeling less than.
What On Earth Are Affirmations?
Affirmations are short, positive, empowering, impactful and personal sentences which typically start with “I am”, “I can”, or “I will” and are written or said aloud in the present tense. Studies show that when used regularly, these affirmative statements can positively change the way we might interpret self-related information processing. In other words, they can help you overcome (or at the very least, challenge) those pesky negative thoughts.
Do Affirmations Really Work, Though?
Sometimes cast aside as woo-woo nonsense, studies have been able to shed some light on the positive impact affirmations can have on our psychology and neurobiology. Our self-talk – the inner dialogue we have with ourselves – is incredibly powerful and influential in how we see ourselves and how we relate to the world around us. It determines how likely we might be to put ourselves forward for things like promotion at work, how we interpret experiences, and how we interact with others.
With huge relief and thanks to our brain’s neuroplasticity, it’s actually possible to change how we see ourselves by re-wiring and reinforcing neural pathways. How cool is that?!
That’s where affirmations come in. When repeated often, these positive statements can alter our thoughts which then alter our behaviours and even our brain structure. When our thoughts and behaviours change, our lives change.Recording Your Own Affirmation Track Is A Really Good Idea Click To Tweet
Okay, I Get It. Where Do I Start With Affirmations?
The key to affirmations is consistency. You’d ideally want to make it a daily habit. It’s thought that they’re most powerful in the early morning, just before bed or whilst you sleep.
To begin with, I find that they make me feel a bit awkward and I’m guessing that’s because they’re at odds with my inner-talk. They’re literally saying the opposite things to what I’m used to hearing. It’s worth gently pushing through that – I tell myself that they’re growing pains. It didn’t take long at all for me to notice that the way I was seeing different aspects of my life had become less grey and I started to feel less down on myself which means I’m much more likely to send that email, do the thing I’ve been thinking about, and be kinder to myself.
My recommendation is to make your own affirmation track which sounds a bit like diving into the deep end but, bear with me, there’s a good reasoning behind it. You see, affirmations are supposed to be personal and hearing someone else repetitively say “I am” is akin to listening to them tell you how wonderful they are. Here’s an article that explains it really well.
So, onto your own recording. You will need to grab a notebook, and a pen and have your phone to hand.
Write down some affirmations. Remember: these need to be in the present tense and usually start with “I am”, “I can” and “I will”. Have fun with this part and allow your personality to blast through. I write quirkily so I made sure that my affirmations mirrored the way I would speak to someone if I was offering some affirmation their way – what words would I emphasise, for example?
Here are a few I used:
• I am so so so so so enough.
• I am worthy of all that’s great and glorious.
• I am a Sunday Times bestselling author.
(chucked that in because y’know, the dream…)
Write as many as you can think of. The trick is that they resonate with all you’d like to embody.
Next, grab your phone and open up your voice notes or memo app. Take a deep breath and then record yourself reading your affirmations, pausing briefly between each one. A couple of mine made me smile and I can hear that they did on the playback and then it makes me smile all over again! Still recording, read through your list again as many times as you’d like – this makes your recording as long as you want it to be.
Once you’re done, rename it something that makes you smile and listen to it at least once a day.
There’s No Way I’m Recording A Track! What Else Can I Try?
Not ready for the slight cringy feeling that can come with hearing your own voice played back? I totally get it. We all respond differently to different things and if recording your own track isn’t for you, then you might like to try writing your affirmations down, instead.
You could choose one powerful affirmation statement to focus on writing repeatedly such as:
• I am a powerhouse of confidence.
• I love myself, wholly.
• I am allowed to take up space and take up space, I will.
• There’s nothing I can’t overcome.
• I can and will get through this.
• I am deserving of kindness and respect.
• My needs and wants are important.
• I am a vibrant source of warmth and light.
• I am enough, as I am, in the here and now.
Or, you could list a few different ones which are pertinent for you at the moment.
When I write affirmations, I find reading them aloud helps me to feel more bolstered by them. It’s also really useful to repeatedly write the same one over and over if any opposing thoughts and feelings bubble up, write your way through it until those feelings pass. There’s something really fortifying in doing that.
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