What are affirmations?
An affirmation is a positive statement that you feel as you repeat it to yourself. It invites more joy into your life and inspires you to make a desired change in your beliefs and habits. You are basically re-wiring your brain to change the way you think. Affirmations work because its an effective way to reprogram your subconscious and it is a declaration of your intention to the Universe. Don't be fooled by the simplicity of this practice; affirmations are a powerful way to change yourself or a situation in your life.
Still, if you want to believe in your affirmations but can't quite get to the feeling of it as you say them, then they won't work. Make sure to say or write an affirmation you can believe in and that inspires you. If your inspiration is too specific and doesn't feel good (i.e. if you do not completely believe the new “version” of you or your life, but are working toward that goal), go more general on the topic – until you can feel it as your truth. For example, if you want more money, but that brings up the feeling of lack of money, then think of what having more money will give you.
For some, having more money means financial freedom; more time and resources to travel, garden or start a new business. If lack keeps creeping up in your "money" thoughts, focus on the why of "wanting more money" and what that feels like. An example of an affirmation for more money without using the term money that may trigger a lack feeling is: "I am financially free, I am prosperous and live abundantly”.
What are the benefits of using affirmations?
Psychology Today published interesting research results on using affirmations:
- Affirmations activate the Law of Attraction in your life so that you recognize great opportunities and start taking them.
- They help you boost your self-confidence.
- Using an affirmation helps people solve problems as the statement focuses on an outcome and not the issue.
How do you write affirmations that work?
1.Relax and find the essence/feeling of what you want. Take a couple of deep breaths and be with that feeling. This feeling will be your reference point for the words you choose when you write your affirmation.
- You can start with the words "I am." I am is a very powerful statement and starts immediately rewiring your subconscious mind.
- Sometimes building up a momentum of positive emotion creates the space you need to jump into your new creations. If you need more "umph" in feeling positive, create your first affirmation as a statement of appreciation. For example, "I appreciate ... " and insert anything you love about yourself or your situation right now.
- Once you have created a good feeling, you can create another affirmation about what you want to create - a better version of you or a new position, etc. "I am strong and powerful"
When you repeat your affirmation to yourself, you can look in the mirror or just close your eyes and speak it quietly. Make sure you feel the feeling as you say them.
Here are examples of some simple but powerful affirmations that fights off negative thinking and can make a big impact on how you feel:
"I am love."
"I am confident.”
Be aware of your thoughts and choose them wisely. As Wayne W. Dyer writes in his book "Wishes Fulfilled: Mastering the Art of Manifesting”:
“The words 'I am' are your sacred identification with your highest self. Take care how you use these terms because saying anything after 'I am' that's incongruent with your [God-like nature] is really taking the Lord's name in vain!”
Now what else has the power to help you manifest your perfect life? It's something that's especially fun for the imagination which we like to call “visualizing."
What is visualizing?
Visualizing is a way to harness the creativity of your subconscious mind to make it work in your favor. You can use it in many ways that can make a big impact on how you feel in the moment.
Closing your eyes and imagining yourself experiencing your highest goal is one of the most basic forms of visualization. To take it further, Louise L. Hay has written in her book "You Can Heal Your Life" about how you can use visualization techniques to heal your relationships with others when you aren't able to talk to them in person; which helps release your resentment or negative feeling.
The best times to practice visualization are right after you wake up and at night when you go to bed, but you can visualize any time when you feel relaxed.
Why should you start visualizing?
Some benefits of visualization are:
- It helps you keep aligned emotionally and mentally with your goals.
- Invites into your life synchronizations that bring you the resources, people and situations you desire.
- Generates inspired ideas and action when you are feeling good.
- As Jack Canfield mentions, visualizing also trains the reticular activating system in your brain. This acts like a mental filter for everything you observe and helps you to focus on things that are around you that will help you get closer to your goals.
As William S. Gilbert says, "Losers visualize the penalties of failure. Winners visualize the rewards of success."
Three visualizing techniques that you can use today
The rehearsal technique became popular after the 1960's when we learned how the Russians had been using it effectively in studies. Jack Canfield describes it as creating your own show; watching your life inside your mind as if you're a spectator. Concentrate on seeing all the details in this show, doing what you need to do perfectly. Then you walk up on the stage. Step into your body and see and feel exactly what you're doing as you replay the scene where everything works out the way you want.
Pretend you already reached your goal by making a photo of it. If you want to see the pyramids in Egypt, grab a photo online of them. Then cut out a photo of yourself and stick it in the photo as if it's a selfie you took. Look at it at least twice every day, and you'll always smile when you do.
If your imagination skills aren't so great, try this approach: "Be the movie." Watch a movie where the lead character gets the thing you want most. Then take a screenshot of your favorite moment in the movie. If you've got the Photoshop skills, paste your head in place of theirs as if it's your own best moment. If you're not into Photoshop, then just print it out and tape a photo of yourself over the hero in the photo. Look at this photo before bed. Then watch your favorite scene of that movie in your mind and imagine yourself in the hero's shoes. To really get into it, memorize their best lines in the movie and say them out loud to make it more real.
Ready to take these practices to the next level?
Use affirmations and visualizations together:
The reason you want to use affirmations while visualizing is that using these practices together greatly speeds up the process of manifesting a new reality for yourself. Some say you could get results up to 10 times as fast this way.
Start using these two techniques today to combine your affirmations with visualization:
Act the part like a professional.
Guess how Jim Carey used visualization with affirmations? He practiced "getting into character." Back when he still did only stand-up shows, he wrote a check to himself for $10 million dollars. He carried it with him every day like a good-luck charm. When he was alone, he'd look at the check and repeatedly say to himself, "I am now earning 10 million dollars a year." The key to this practice is to imagine what you'd be doing if you had what you wanted right now. Then make a part of your goal tangible, like the check he wrote to himself.
Play the cue-card game.
On live television, someone always stands behind the cameraman and holds up cue cards with the lines for the speaker to read. Well, this is your life, so now you're writing your own cue cards. Grab about 10 index cards. On each one, write down one of your affirmations about one of your top goals. Then before bed, pick up each card, one at time. Read it out loud. Then close your eyes and see yourself achieving that goal in your mind. Imagine how it feels, smells and what it sounds like. After a minute, open your eyes and repeat the process with the next card.
No matter how you go about it, let yourself have fun with affirmations and visualizations. You can start with one goal, and as the process evolves, tweak it as you go if you find something better. Don't worry about it.
Just start now. Your thoughts are always rolling, so why not direct them and give them a productive focus?
About the Author: Suzanne Leopold started Living Mavens in 2016 to share some of the products and techniques that help her focus inward and transform her life. With over 15 years of exploring energy and manifesting modalities, she is passionate about creating a life she loves and sharing her discoveries with others. To learn more on how to consciously create a life you love, go to www.livingmavens.com