I’m going to go right ahead and dedicate this post to Jilly Bean – better known as Jill Therese founder of Heal Your Face With Food. Oh and she’s also my cousin and one of my best friends, no big deal. If you follow HYFWF or if you’ve ever come in contact with Jill, you know she is a highly motivated and positive person. She was the person to introduce me to POSITIVE AFFIRMATIONS. According to FreeAffirmations.org (yes, that’s a site and I suggest you visit it if this topic peeks your interest), positive affirmations are:
- Positive phrases which you repeat to yourself which describe how you want to be.
- The theory is that when you first start saying your positive affirmations, they may not be true, but with repetition they sink into your subconscious mind, you really start to believe them, and eventually they become your reality, they become a self fulfilling prophecy and actually become true.
To a perpetual skeptic (Cynic? Self-critiquer?) like me I initially thought ‘Umm, that’s silly’ and ‘Oh I can’t take myself seriously doing that.’ But over the course of the last few months I’ve had a change of heart.
See, I’ve been trying to do some work on myself. I spend a lot of time and energy on the ‘outside’ when it comes to fitness, skincare, clothes and all that other wonderful, yet mostly superficial stuff. And now I’ve been trying to make small changes from the inside out, starting with a better understanding of my own thought process/patterns.
It started with me reading this book “The Untethered Soul” by Michael A. Singer. In a nutshell, it is about mediation and mindfulness. Now, I’m not saying that I’ve suddenly started meditating everyday (although, that’s a long term goal of mine) – but, I’ve been trying to understand ‘what is mindfulness’ and how can I create space from some of the thought patterns that tend to negatively impact how I perceive and deal with situations, other people, and myself. This book was really soothing to read. It was the one book I’ve read that melted away some of the chaos I often feel during my city-living train commute. That’s a win right there!
- Click here for more Michael Singer quotes from The Untethered Soul
In addition to this book, I’ve also tried something new… ACTIVELY thinking and talking to myself positively… using my own (Beth-designed) positive affirmations. Please note, the site above provides some great suggestions/starting points!
Let me tell you something… it worked. I mean, it didn’t start raining glitter and the world didn’t become rose colored. But, it helped me go into situations with a calmer, more positive outlook. Also, it made me realize something…which I’ve always kinda known about myself but didn’t really expect to change… I often approach situations with thoughts around how things can go wrong and what I could screw up. At times, this critical way of thinking can help me solve problems because I get uber focused. But often it sets me off on a more negative foot…with questions and anxieties running through my mind, clogging up my free flowin’ thought process. When I used positive affirmations (such as before a big meeting, before entering a party full of people, or starting a ‘sensitive’ conversation with someone), I found it helpful and calming. My perspective wasn’t starting off biased with what could go wrong, but what could go RIGHT. Damn, how is that such a crazy thought? It’s really not. It’s just that some of us aren’t conditioned to think that way FIRST. God love you if you’re the rose-colored glasses type, I envy you my friend. For me, its taking some work.
I’m not saying I run around shouting positive affirmations to myself all day (although that sounds kind of amazing). It’s easy to forget about this tool during a busy day or to get caught up in the moment… that’s human nature. BUT, I like knowing it’s there and that it’s something I can use to help myself (kind of like the treat yo’self notion, but in the psychological way) THINK DIFFERENTLY… PERCEIVE DIFFERENTLY.
It’s a simple/easy mind exercise that at the very least might help you take yourself a little less seriously and de-stress you in the moment… and hey, who can’t use a little of that??
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