Today's post is again by Darla Breckenridge, our psychologist-masters at Green Mountain. It's a follow-up to last week's post on turning your bathroom into an affirmation room.
Caught in a cycle of negative self-talk and criticism? Try creating affirmations that allow you to be focused in the present moment, not thinking about the past and lambasting yourself for not doing IT (whether it's managing emotional eating or healthy eating or whatever) right.
Using affirmations in a predictable and repetitive way can move us from negative self-talk to neutral or even positive self-talk. We cannot simultaneously be saying an affirmation and self-criticizing. Plus, the repetitive nature of an affirmation helps it seep down into the deeper layers of our core beliefs. (More on core beliefs in another blog).
So how do we go about writing affirmations that work for us as individuals?
Try these tips:
- Make them succinct and short, so that you can remember them easily.
- Keep them present based, not future oriented.
- They can be neutral, or better still, positive.
- Check with you own internal BS meter to make them believable to you.
Here are a few examples:
- Each day I am getting stronger and clearer.
- I make healthy choices to add balance to my life.
- I am flexible.
- I take time to relax and recharge.
- I appreciate my accomplishments today.
- I enjoy being healthy and listening to my body.
When we are working on changing a behavior, it's easier to add a behavior than to take a behavior away. This is where THE AFFIRMATION ROOM that we talked about last week comes in. Going to the bathroom is something you already and predictably do. Adding an affirmation, along with our three deep breaths helps us make a habit of this bathroom behavior within 28 days. If the idea of doing this in the bathroom doesn't appeal, use any repetitive behavior in which you are currently engaged …getting in and out of the car, walking to the refrig, doing your morning stretch.
How to habituate affirmations into your daily routine
- Create one or two affirmations that you can accept. You don’t have to believe them wholeheartedly when you first start saying them. There will be a trickle down effect and with time you may come to embrace your affirmations wholeheartedly.
- When you have had enough of your current affirmations, change them up. Create two or three more and try them on. Which one feels right at this time?
Keep these points in mind, too:
- Our affirmations counteract the scary stories we tell ourselves about us.
- Affirmations help us feel safer and give us encouragement as we go through our days.
- We have everything we need to include soothing affirmations into our lives.
What affirmation works for you today?