There are so many different techniques out there for achieving personal growth and healing. And while most of us have heard about affirmations, we may not know just how powerful they can be - or what role they really play in our lives.
We’ll explore the definition of affirmations, why we need affirmations and how they benefit us, how positive affirmations work, types of affirmations, the link between affirmations and emotions, and the difference between visualization and affirmations.
What Are Affirmations?
Affirmations are words or phrases that you repeat to yourself at specific times in order to help yourself heal, change, or grow. The idea is that you are constantly bombarded with messages from your environment -- messages about who you are, what you should do, how others perceive you, and so on. And while most of these messages make only a small impression on you, they can instill positive change and influence your behavior and self-esteem.
The problem is that if we don't hone in on the negative self-talk such as thoughts and messages, and correct them, we begin to believe that these negative thoughts are true.
Through affirmations, you take control of your self-image and direct it in a more positive and empowering way. You replace negative thoughts and beliefs with positive ones so that you feel better about yourself and your life, and you behave in ways that will help you achieve a higher self esteem and achieve your goals.
Why Do We Need Affirmations and How Can They Benefit Us?
Some people feel that we don't need to use affirmations and that they are for the weak-minded. Outwardly, this may be true, but when you realize that emotions can control your behavior in a variety of ways, it's easy to see why affirmation magic is powerful. Here are some benefits of affirmations:
1) Make positive statements about ourselves
2) Reinforce the good
3) Support our goals and desires
4) Help us develop a positive self-image
5) Can be used to improve the quality of our lives
6) Can be used at any moment
7) Help us feel better about ourselves; self-confidence
8) Are specific and precise
9) Are designed to address our limiting beliefs
10) Help us replace them with a new belief
11) Can be used to break harmful emotional patterns
How Do Affirmations Work? General & Specific Affirmations
The repetition of an affirmation has a cumulative effect. By repeating an affirmation regularly, you are training your subconscious mind to believe what the affirmation is saying, and therefore changing your thought patterns. This change will have a profound effect on your life, as your negative thoughts are gradually replaced with positive ones.
To affirm something is to give it value or importance; by repeating an affirmation to yourself, you are giving that thought importance and power.
There are two distinct types of affirmation statements: general and specific. General affirmations make broad statements about who we are or what we want in life. Specific affirmations deal with a very specific situation or goal and can be quite powerful.
A general affirmation might be something like: "I am perfect just as I am." A specific affirmation on the other hand might sound like: "I am deeply loved and supported by my family no matter what happens." Neither of them are right or wrong. They are both great affirmations.
The Link Between Affirmations and Emotions
Whether good or bad, emotions tend to create strong beliefs. Anger, for example, might make us believe that we are a victim of the world around us and that everyone is out to get us. In this case, clearly, there would be some serious problems with taking on general affirmations such as "I am loved" or "I am supported." We might start believing that we are completely unlovable and unsupported, rather than acknowledging the anger.
As our emotions affect our beliefs, they also hijack our actions. If we believe that everyone is out to get us then it would be easy to act in ways that confirm that belief (avoiding people, being argumentative, etc.). When this happens, our actions actually tend to reinforce the feelings that caused them in the first place.
Breaking a limiting emotional pattern is most effective when we replace it with a positive, beneficial emotional pattern. And this is where affirmations can really make a difference in our lives and can create a more positive energy.
When we add emotion to an affirmation we are focusing our energy on the very thing we want to achieve and we are pushing ourselves in the direction of success. By including an emotion with our affirmations, we can really give them power and it is like adding gasoline to a fire. You can't blow out a flame that is fueled by gas!
Affirmations vs. Visualization
Another very common practice that's often misunderstood is visualization. Many people assume that what they are visualizing must happen. If they want to be rich, for example, they might visualize their entire life lined with gold.
The difference with affirmation magic is that we specifically say what we want, rather than simply focusing on it. While visualization might lead to results, there is no guarantee. Affirmation magic does come with its own set of challenges, but the rewards are well worth it!
The key to affirmation magic is repetition. We must repeat our affirmations over and over again if we want them to sink in and take root. This may be a little tricky at first, but the more you practice the easier it will become. It's like learning to ride a bike or play an instrument; it takes time and dedication!Let's start the journey of self-development, sign up for our Monday Mantras to receive tips and motivation every Monday!