How Can Positive Affirmations Help You Reach Your GoalsLuke Coutinho
If you ever told yourself – “relax”, “focus”, “take it easy”, “I will be fine” – you were using affirmations. Each of us has used affirmations at some point in our lives. The problem is, most of us use affirmations to focus on negative things rather than positive ones. E.g., “I am tired”, “I am useless”, “I feel sick”, and then wonder why they feel that way and continue feeling that way.
According to ancient texts “The power of life and death lies in the tongue”. This means words are so powerful that they can either build you or destroy you. If you think you are ugly– that is how you will be, and if you think you are intelligent and confident, then that is how you will be and exhibit a similar body language. It’s that simple and natural. This is why one must be very careful while speaking to others or themselves. Negative self-talk can be very self-limiting.
The power of positive affirmations is immense, and this isn’t just because of positive statements but also because of the feeling and intention associated with them. It can be used in every area of our life; health, recovery, prevention, personal growth, wealth, relationships, or career.
What are positive affirmations?
Positive affirmations are positive words or sentences said with conviction and deep belief. When repeated persistently, like a mantra, they help reprogram our subconscious mind and trick it into thinking positively, thus resulting in a positive effect on our body as well. This is because our mind and body are connected and constantly communicating with each other. Positive affirmations can be a part of one’s integrative protocol for almost all diseases and conditions ranging from obesity, low immunity, diabetes, poor skin or hair to cancer, autoimmunity, and more.
How does it work?
Each of us has a conscious and a subconscious mind. The subconscious mind, which is also the healing mind, doesn’t operate from reasoning or logic. It works based on what you train it to do. For example, brushing your teeth every morning when you wake up is a subconscious activity. You will never forget to brush your teeth because it has been a part of your upbringing since you were a child.
Similarly, activities like taking the usual route to drive back home from work or cooking your daily meals are handled by our subconscious minds. This is because you have done them every day in your life, and these activities have now become repeated patterns. This is also why teachers encourage kids from 4–7 years to memorize multiplication tables. Children of this age have sponge-like subconscious minds, as they can absorb everything you teach them. Similarly, they’re able to quickly grasp different languages, good habits, and other new skills. After they cross seven years, their logical mind (conscious mind) starts to take over, and reasoning comes into the picture. They begin to communicate with logic.
Almost ninety percent of what we do during the day is through our conscious minds. Why is cancer such a scary word when there are so many successful cases of cancer remission too? The term “cancer” today comes with the fear of death, suffering, pain, expenses, loss of life, and loss of a loved one, among other worries. These fears can throw us into a spiral of negative thoughts and beliefs simply because of what our subconscious mind believes. While it is natural to go through emotions like these, what if one could shift these thoughts to a different way of thinking?
Real or imagined, your subconscious mind doesn’t know the difference! Do you know what this leaves you with? A superpower to use for the benefit of your life and health.
The beauty lies in that your subconscious mind doesn’t understand the difference between reality and the imagined. When it comes to healing, preventing, or managing a disease, we can use this to our advantage. So, one can literally reprogram the subconscious mind the way they want to through imagination and positive affirmations (Remember, the subconscious mind doesn’t need to reason!) While your conscious mind may kick in with the reasoning that “it’s all a lie”, you will still need to continue affirming and trick your subconscious mind into believing your affirmations.
For example, let’s imagine stage 4 cancer. The conscious mind will say that there is no hope, and the condition will only get worse. However, the subconscious mind needs to take over through imagination, affirmations, and a strong belief that cancer doesn’t equal death and that there is life post-cancer too, or that diabetic medications aren’t for a lifetime. So, in this case, you affirm with conviction – “I am healthy” or “I am healing.” Remember, you aren’t lying. You are only tricking your subconscious mind into believing that you will overcome whatever you are going through. Your subconscious mind picks up what you feed it.
Is only affirming enough?
No. Affirmations are not just about reciting positive sentences or writing them down a hundred times. Positive affirmations need two ingredients: thought and feeling.
When a thought comes with a feeling, it is much more powerful. Through this feeling, every cell in our body starts to vibrate at a frequency similar to that of the thought. For example; If you are practicing a positive affirmation for your health and your affirmation is – “I am healthy”, only affirming this is not enough. Attach it with the feeling of being healthy. What would healthy feel like to you? What do you see yourself doing once you are healthy and disease-free? Enact those similar feelings as if it has already occurred and you are living it.
A renowned comedian Jim Carrey, who highly advocates positive affirmations, once said: “If you see it and believe it, it’s easier for you to receive it.”
Conditional Positive Affirmations:
Often, we become our own obstacles when it comes to success, happiness, health, and growth by putting forth certain “conditions.” Something like – “I will be happy when I complete this project.” This is a clear example of putting conditions to your affirmation and thus happiness, which is not an effective way to practice positive affirmations. Similarly, avoid words like – “hope”, “should”, “wish”, and the like. Affirmations are about the present tense. What are you now? It should not be something about you becoming in the future; it should always speak about what you are in the present, like; I am happy now.
A few rules for positive affirmations:
When you recite positive affirmations, it isn’t your concern to worry about how it will happen and when it will happen. Your job is to repeat and simply imagine it happening.
- Write your affirmations in the present tense: Assume that what you desire, you are already receiving. So, instead of saying, “my work-life balance will get better in the years to come”, start staying; “I am pleased with the work-life balance that I have”.
- Always personalize your affirmations: The use of first-person – “I” is essential to personalize the affirmations 100%. While there are several positive affirmation websites and apps available online, try to personalize them for your health and goals.
- Avoid using negative words: While framing your affirmations, avoid using words like never, don’t, not, can’t. So instead of repeating – “I do not want to be sick”, try saying: “I live a healthy life”, or instead of saying: “I’m happy not to get a headache today”, try saying, “I’m happy to have a pain-free day today.”
- Keep them short: Remember to keep your affirmations short and specific, without adding too many details or conditions.
One of the most wholesome, powerful, and holistic affirmations that can cover every aspect of your life and which we often recommend to our patients is: “Every day, and in every way, I am getting better and better.”
It could also be something as simple as:
- I am healthy.
- I am safe.
- I am abundant.
- I am worthy.
- I am loved.
- I am intelligent.
- I can do anything.
Reflect, think, and design one or two affirmations for yourself that you most connect with and keep reciting them again and again, so it gets deeply embedded into your subconscious mind. Merely downloading a list of affirmations from the internet and reading them will not work. You need to make it personal. Make it about yourself. It is an unbelievably simple yet powerful practice.
Many people find positive affirmations to be airy-fairy despite countless medical papers proving the power of the subconscious mind. Well, what do you even lose by thinking positively? What do you lose by imagining that your health is going to get better? What do you lose by telling your subconscious mind that your health, relationships, career, or personal self will improve? Absolutely nothing! We lose nothing by putting pleasant thoughts into our subconscious mind and by changing our belief systems. Try it with faith and belief.
Note: This is not to say that positive affirmations will take away your disease completely and change all other aspects of your life. However, it can help you steer in the direction of improvement and attracting the good in life.
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