Do you remember the Saturday Night Live character Stuart Smalley? He had a talk show called “Daily Affirmations.” Before each show he would look in the mirror and tell himself, “IΓÇÖm good enough, IΓÇÖm smart enough and dog-gone-it people like me.” It was hysterical.
Although Mr. SmalleyΓÇÖs affirmations were meant to be funny, he was right on point. Affirmations are a great way to help you accomplish your goals and feel good about yourself, so they can come in handy.
What are affirmations? Affirmations are positive statements about any area in your life that you want to improve. Why do affirmations help you improve your life? Affirmations program your mind with positive thoughts and help you focus to achieve your goals.
Here are a few rules to follow to create effective affirmations.
1. Affirmations must be in the present tense. DonΓÇÖt focus on your past because it cannot be changed. However, affirmations should not be phrased in the future tense. Why? Because you want the changed behavior to occur now! If you want to start eating healthier, instead of saying ΓÇ£IΓÇÖm going to eat healthier,ΓÇ¥ say, ΓÇ£I only eat healthy foods.ΓÇ¥
LetΓÇÖs say you go to work and someone has baked a beautiful German chocolate cake. You debate getting a piece and this affirmation rings in your head: ΓÇ£IΓÇÖm going to eat healthier.ΓÇ¥ You agree with the affirmation: Yes, one day in the future you will eat healthier — but not today, and you eat the cake.
With the affirmation, “I only eat healthy foods,” your mind is programmed to make healthy choices right now, and eating the cake will contradict what your mind has told the rest of the body. So you don’t eat it. (Or maybe you only have a tiny piece!)
2. Use positive words in your affirmations. Avoid using a negation in your affirmation. If I tell you not to think about the chocolate German cake we discussed earlier what do you think about? That delicious slice of cake… if only for a second. Or “DonΓÇÖt think about your sixth grade teacher,” what did you just think about? Or better yet, ΓÇ£IΓÇÖm not fat.ΓÇ¥ You see yourself weighing more than your current weight! Think instead, “I’m at my ideal weight,” and let your mind start guiding your body to it.
3. Feel your affirmation. You need to feel how good it is to eat healthy food. Imagine the taste and smell of various vegetables and fruits. See yourself at the dinner table or restaurant eating healthy food. Feel your body full of energy from having a balanced diet. Imagine how healthy and happy you will be when you are making and eating the right kinds of foods. DonΓÇÖt just recite your affirmation, feel it!
4. Repeat it often. For an affirmation to work it must get ingrained in your subconscious. For that to happen, you must say the affirmation several times a day and out loud. When you say it out loud in your own voice you lock it into your subconscious. ItΓÇÖs best to say your affirmation right when you wake up before getting out of bed and right before going to sleep. Let it be your first and your last thought of the day.
5. Your first affirmation. Here’s an affirmation to get you started with affirmations: “I am feeling my positive affirmations and saying them several times a day!”
Choose To Be Happy,
photo credit: NBC