Affirmation, the repetition of a thought over and over again to embed it in the mind, is one of the principal tools of learning. There are two types of affirmations, positive and negative. Negative affirmations can start very young, even in babyhood. A baby or young child responds more openly to love than it does to anger. However, the stresses and strains of current daily life can often prohibit parents, siblings and teachers from always acting with ‘love’.
Part of learning to heal and take responsibility for ourselves starts with positive thinking about who we are. We must start by learning to love ourselves. It may feel strange, perhaps, or even intimidation to some, openly to admit their love for themselves, but it works. The power of positive thought cannot be overestimated. How many times a day do you feel you have a negative thought? Countless times, possibly. ‘I will never get that done in time…’, ‘I’m not capable of doing that…’, ‘I’m useless…’ to name a few possible everyday thoughts. Switch them round. ‘I am capable of achieving all that I wish to…’, ‘There is always enough time…’, ‘I’m able…’ Add ‘I am loving and loved – I love and approve of myself…’ and you are on the way to changing those thought patterns instilled in yourself, or in your mind.
One of the most popular affirmations to offset the negative is to say, ‘I love myself’ – not just once a day, but 100 times or even more a day! Eventually you will feel the power of this statement. Keep it up. Check yourself. Notice any changes in your attitude as your belief in yourself starts to improve.
Catch yourself when you are feeling negative, write down what you’re thinking or feeling. Then write down the affirmative statement. You have to do a great deal of positive affirmation to combat all the negativity that usually clouds our thinking.
It is thought that we can be unwittingly programmed to believe the ‘truth’ of these messages that we receive very early on in our lives. They can be very damaging to us and can form the root of a failure to love ourselves that projects deeply into your teen, adult and elderly years. If we switch the negatives into positives – into the affirmative – we begin to heal ourselves and our lives of all the negatives energy amassed. Such energy is useless, wasted and needs to be releases. Feel the anger, resentment, fear, bitterness and guilt, and let it start to dissipate with constant affirmations.
Much illness and stress are brought on by means of such negative thought patterns. Changing your negative thoughts into positive thoughts can literally improve your health and have a knock-on effect on all those who come into contact with you. A person who truly loves themselves, unconditionally, will express this in all they do.
Can you look in the mirror and say, ‘I love you’? Try it. This too can feel very strange, but it certainly is one of the most empowering ways of making a positive affirmation. Try to do this at least once every day, perhaps when you first wake up. Hear yourself say the words. How do you sound? Genuine? Embarrassed? Insincere? As you practise this affirmation day by day, make a note to yourself about how it feels to do this. It will become easier.
Be mindful to be kind, gentle and patient with yourself while beginning to change your negative thought patterns. If you ‘forget’ one day, then begin again the next day. After many years of negative programming, it may take some time to adopt this new way of being. Encourage and praise yourself as much as you can, and enjoy feeling positive about yourself and those around you.