Research has repeatedly shown the power of positive self-talk, which is what most of us call affirmations. Positive affirmations have been used to: change behavior in under-achieving students; increase nurses’ and doctors’ well-being and lower their stress levels; reduce breast cancer patients’ cortisol levels; and heighten athletic performance. People cope more easily when going into new social situations and are less likely to make downward social comparisons when they practice self-affirmations. Participants in one study that said self-affirmations before a new social encounter reduced their thoughts about being rejected compared with another group that focused on the party and who would be there.
So how do you affirm yourself? You deliberately make positive statements about yourself in your mind and aloud that are inspiring and nourishing. Some examples are: I am lovable; I am a good person; I am a child of God; I am intelligent; I am attractive; I am a great person. Get the engine going until you feel freer and freer to write down whatever comes to mind. If a statement feels scary, that is good-you are pushing the edges of your growth. If it feels great to think an affirmation, then it is right on target. Choosing a thought to put your attention on is generative. I believe that attention is one of the most powerful creative forces at your disposal.
When you make self affirmations, you build on positive experiences from the past and more importantly are programming for new fulfillment in the future. Global or glowing affirmations about yourself don’t necessarily work in the time frame you would like-usually they take much longer. But they do work. Make no mistake about it. The more attention you put on the loving self-declaration, the more quickly it will manifest. But you have to put your attention on it like you would on a mantra-lightly and without attaching to the affirmation too tightly.
When doubts or other negatives arise, treat them as if you were sitting in meditation: observe them without judgment. Notice and acknowledge your self doubts and DO NOT FIGHT THEM. The more you acknowledge the doubts without struggle, the more quickly they will go away. Always return to your affirmation, like you would go back to a mantra after a distracting series of thoughts. Following this method will speed up your progress in creating and living from your loving self-affirmations.