Have you ever wondered what might happen if you consciously changed your thoughts to change how you experience yourself and your life. The art of using positive affirmations has been around for thousands of years through the use of prayer, mantra, and energy practices. Only recently have these techniques begun to receive scientific validation through clinical studies, giving credence to what many spiritual people already knew: your thoughts are very powerful, and can be used to heal yourself and improve your life.
The Science Of Positive Affirmations
Every thought that you think affects your emotional and physical state in a profound way. Though the emerging science behind this phenomenon is new and often dismissed by the mainstream scientific community, discoveries over the last few decades in the field of quantum physics are uncovering a new dimension to physical matter, changing how scientists are viewing the role of consciousness and intention in shaping reality. Research has shown that by maintaining your attention on specific outcomes, it increases the likelihood of that outcome occurring. You don’t need to wait for conclusive proof of this phenomenon, however, you can try it out for yourself through experimentation.
An Experiment With Positive Affirmations
Notice what happens as you try the following exercise. Find a comfortable place to sit or lie down. Take a few deep slow breathes, releasing any tension or anxiety with your exhalation. Now say to yourself, either out loud or in your head, “I am perfect just the way that I am.” Notice how you feel directly following this statement. What you may notice is a slight sense of relief or relaxation. This is because the words and thoughts associated with this statement triggered feelings in you of self-acceptance from your past. Now try saying something negative about yourself and see how you feel. The difference may be startling.
How Are You Spending Your Thoughts?
If you think of thoughts as a form of currency, and you get to choose how you spend this currency throughout your day, ask yourself, “How am I spending my thoughts?” If you are like most people, you may notice quite a bit of negative self-talk throughout your day. You may find yourself making judgments or comparisons between yourself and others, thinking that you need to be better in some way, perform better, or change something about yourself in order to feel okay (make more money, get a better job, workout more, eat less, or be more likeable). This constant negative chatter can drain your energy, contribute to anxiety and depression, and even make you sick. What would happen if you were to replace all negative self-talk with positive affirmations? Try the following practice for a day and see what happens.
How To Use Positive Affirmations
The most effective way to use positive affirmations is to repeat a positive phrase slowly in your mind, allowing yourself to pause, relax and take a slow deep breath as you say the phrase. Use positive affirmations whenever you have a negative thought about yourself, another person, or a situation. Simply interrupt the negative thought with the positive affirmation, allowing yourself to relax and breath. It may help to have affirmations picked out ahead of time that are appropriate for certain situations. You can also just create one in the moment that fits the circumstances. Examples Of Positive Affirmations There is no single affirmation that is appropriate for everyone. What is important is that you find a phrase, or a few phrases, that feel good to you as you repeat it either out loud, or in your mind. Some examples of postive affirmations are: “I allow myself to relax and feel peace with every breath.” “I give myself permission to be happy, joyful, and enjoy myself in every moment.” “I allow the healing energy of love to fill my body with every breath.” “I can feel myself getting healthier and happier every day.” “I give myself permission to be myself and to follow my heart.” “I am okay just the way that I am.” “I am strong, I am healthy, I am healed, and I am loved.”
Aren’t Positive Affirmations Just a Form Of Repression?
There is a fine line between using affirmations to change outdated thought patterns, and trying to cover over unresolved emotional wounds by pretending to be happy. Luckily, you can tell the difference by how you feel. As you repeat a positive affirmation, notice your emotional response. At first it may feel a little strange to say such positive things when you are accustomed to hearing negative thoughts in your mind. So a certain period of time must elapse in order to establish a baseline for how you feel when doing positive affirmations. Over time, however, you will become aware of what is motivating you to say your affirmation. Meditation, and listening to spiritual teachers, such as Eckhart Tolle, can help to increase your self awareness and sensitivity. You may notice that by saying positive things it feels wrong, creates emotion in you, perhaps making you angry or sad. This is an indication that there is unresolved emotional energy that is making its way to the surface. In this circumstance a positive affirmation may not be sufficient to heal the emotional wound. Instead, a deeper investigation of your emotional history, either through therapy, or your own personal exploration, may be needed. By using positive affirmations you can change how you feel about yourself, how you perceive life, and even your physical health. It can take practice and experimentation to find the types of affirmation that work best for you. Breathing, relaxing, and having fun with the process will create positive changes more quickly. Be patient and forgiving with yourself as you implement this new strategy for health and happiness, as it can take some time to see results. A great practice is to write your affirmations in a journal before going to bed and upon waking in the morning. This ritual will make sure that the intention is in your mind throughout your day, giving you a better chance of seeing positive results.
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