Positive affirmation – a form of emotional support or encouragement.
When you are depressed it Is quite common that you can’t help but have a negative mind set. Everything is tinged with an element of grey and the colour drains from your surroundings; how things will ever be ‘normal’ again feels like an impossible dream.
This is where positive affirmations can really begin to change how you think or to use one when you need a boost. But what is a positive affirmation? In this blog post we discuss what they are, how they can benefit your mental health and some of the science behind it so you can choose to start to challenge your own negative thoughts.
What is a positive affirmation ?
An affirmation is a positive, specific statement you read out loud or say in your mind to help you to overcome self-sabotaging, negative thoughts. Basically it is beating negative self-talk with positive self-talk! You may notice that we are constantly speaking to ourselves in our mind, making sense of the world that surrounds us.
By being conscious of the fact we are talking to ourselves we can also pay attention to HOW we talk to ourselves and this is how we can start to use positive affirmations to change our mental health.
Affirmations can help us to visualize, and believe in, what we are saying or thinking to ourselves, helping us to make positive changes to our life and whatever area it is we want to improve on in our life.
Why positive affirmations can improve our mental health
With prolonged practice, positive affirmations can actively ‘trick’ or change our thought process into believing whatever it is we are telling ourselves and change our brains into being positive thinkers rather than negative believers.
If we are aware we are always telling ourselves negative self defeating things like “I am not good enough to do this”, “I don’t have the ability to do it”, “nobody will want to be with me”, “I am lonely”, “I cannot make this work”, “I have no money, only rich people have money”, “the world is full of badness” then yes, you have just created your reality. All those things you have just told yourself you believe 100% ! But you can challenge yourself the complete opposite when those thoughts arise, even if at first you don’t believe it, eventually you will believe it!
So to completely change the above thoughts you would tell yourself “I am good enough and can complete this to a good standard“, “I have the ability to achieve good things“, “the right person will want me as I am a good person“, “I am content in my own company and enjoy being active in my own hobbies and interests“, “I can make it work, I must spend time on it“, “I may not have much money but I am happy with what I do have and will find a job to change the situation” and finally “this world is full of beauty and goodness” it surely will be!
Like Budha stated
“All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think we become.” ~Buddha
How to start practise using positive affirmations
Now you have briefly seen the benefit of positive affirmations here is how to start practising.
- Identify and write down your negative self-talk and beliefs.
- Create affirmations out of those beliefs.
- Begin using the new affirmations.
- See the “magic” gradually unfold.
1. Draw a line down the centre of a piece of paper and then on the left side Write down you negative thoughts and beliefs help you to release it from your mind and does bring a sense of peace by just simply releasing it and organising them on paper.
2. Now on the right side of the line oppose the belief and create the opposite positive statements! So as discussed earlier if your negative thought is “I cannot afford a holiday” change it to “I can afford a holiday”. If it is “I am very unhealthy” to “I am very healthy and live a happy life”. It can be hard at first to try and change the idea or thought but it is possible, make it like you are acting or playing a game rather than being a difficult task. If you need help with this please contact me and I will help you create positive affirmations freely.
3. Now you have actively tried to change your thoughts by looking at what is in your mind and using positive thoughts instead the next stage is to fold the paper down the middle where the line is and leave the new thoughts section folded on top and the negative behind.
4. Now place this piece of paper somewhere you will see it daily, next to your bed, by the kitchen sink, anywhere you can remind yourself to start to practice challenging your negative thoughts. It takes time and results will not be instant but constant practice can benefit your mind.
Need professional help ? A CBT Therapist can help
A similar process to positive affirmations is CBT therapy. In the video this therapist discusses some of the simple science behind how our thoughts affect our reality and how CBT can sometimes help in starting you to change your thoughts from negative to positive and give you a deeper understanding into both positive affirmations and CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy), tools that actively helps you become aware of your self defeating mental thought patterns.
if you have any thoughts or questions about this post then please free to comment. In the future I will be offering free affirmation downloads to use as desktop images for your pc, or background image for your smartphone, or even to print out and keep with you in your wallet or purse to remind you to always challenge your thoughts into positive beliefs.