Recently I decided to revisit affirmation writing as a tool to cope with a bout of the blues. It's a kind of old-school approach, using pen and paper to craft a positive description of a desired state. Generally written in the present declarative "I am...", the idea is that you write the new statement out multiple times over a period of days or weeks, to effectively reprogram an existing negative belief.
Using affirmations as a panacea can be a little dodgy. One of my early mentors used to say bluntly, "Cramming a bunch of positive thinking on top of a big pile of sh*t is pointless. Eventually the sh*t has to explode." Fairly graphic, but to the point. She didn't mince words.
She advocated inner process work, therapy, and a network of conscious support to deal with deep-seated beliefs and clean the psychological house. Then affirmations were introduced as a way of re-framing formerly negative beliefs about ourselves or our experiences. I tend toward this approach myself.
Simply put, it's not enough to just devise positive words, images and phrases, repeat them methodically and expect to manifest massive change.
But does it help? Yes.
Ronald Alexander, PhD in his article 5 Steps to Make Affirmations Work for You says, "Affirmations can be a powerful tool to help you change your mood, state of mind, and manifest the change you desire in your life".
There are many ways to approach affirmations. Here are three in particular that I think are most useful.
An affirmation can act as an anchor, a way of reminding us what is is we are truly after. Repeating them as a kind of a mantra is a way to create and then recreate a specific desired feeling or mood.
Writing or saying my current affirmation: "I am beautiful and everybody loves me" triggers an inner smile, partly because I feel a sort of silly happiness when I do so. This is a positive anchor. If I'm a little down, or overwhelmed, the slightly goofy feeling lightens my state. It creates a sliver of opportunity for perspective to shift.
Equally important is noticing my reaction when I use the statement. If my mood shifts to the negative and the mental response is something like: "No, I'm not and no, they don't", then I need to get at the deeper housecleaning. One technique that helps is to write down both the affirmation and the response. Keep writing the affirmative statement until the response is either neutral or in agreement. Something like this:
I am beautiful and everybody loves me. Ha!
I am beautiful and everybody loves me. No they don't.
I am beautiful and everybody loves me. Bullsh*t
I am beautiful and everybody loves me. No.
I am beautiful and everybody loves me. Hm.
I am beautiful and everybody loves me. Maybe.
I am beautiful and everybody loves me. Yes.
It can take several days or weeks to rinse out the negative thought patterns so that the affirmation can really take hold. The increased awareness becomes a tool for us to use in making choices toward positive change.
Recommended to start: 70 times a day for 7 days. Really.
Amplification works in tandem with awareness. In this case, notice when you are genuinely feeling the desired state or when you experience a sense of the positive change - even if it is only a glimmer. Note the feeling and amplify it. What do I mean by amplify? Make it bigger. Expand into the state and increase it.
Feeling beautiful? Feel gorgeous.
Feeling the love? Enlarge that heart chakra to take in even more.
Amplification increases your energetic vibration in the direction that you desire. It sends a signal to your subconscious that you want more of this. Feeling happy? Aim for joy and extend the feeling a moment or two longer than you think you can. And declare:
I am beautiful and everybody loves me.
You are. They do.
Take it for your very own. Feel free to copy and post at will.
Do you use affirmations to manifest your desires? What has your experience with them been like?