We live in a society where negativity is rampant. While it’s easy to blame the news, social media or our neighbors for the negativity around us all of this insanity is actually not new. The world has always been an inhospitable place for humans. Consider the landscape for early humans who faced weather without shelter, food scarcity and predators. It is not surprising that we naturally live in a state of fear and look for negativity. We are biased toward it because if we weren’t we wouldn’t have survived. In today’s society though we are overwhelmed with negative inputs and in order to function at out best, to live an optimal life, we MUST add positivity where we can. Enter the affirmation.
An affirmation is a tool we can use to reprogram our subconscious mind. By reprogramming our internal super computer we can direct our actions toward change. We can impact our decision making and attract that which we seek. By focusing on what we desire in a particular way we can create a place for it to happen and turn down the noise of negativity. When working with patients on the OHH platform we are ALWAYS making change and supporting growth. There are many tools we use to help with this process BUT one of the most important is starting with a clear goal. With that in mind an affirmation can be applied to help us shape the reality around us every day.
Affirmations are suggested in the personal growth community frequently and sometimes the claims feel unrealistic. Let me reassure though that evidence does support their use. Randomized control trials, peer reviewed expert opinions and large cohort studies all support the idea that affirmations can have measurable impact on behavior and outcomes. My own experience and that of my patients reflects the same but only when constructed appropriately and used daily. They only work when you work them. Remember, we are fighting a wave of negativity EVERY DAY and if you are not actively pushing against it you’re a victim of it. When surrounded by negativity and recirculating it ourselves we will engage in self-sabotaging behaviors.
To create an affirmation we need to follow a few simple rules.
- Decide on your desired outcome
- Write the affirmation in the first person
- Write the statement in the positive as opposed to the negative
- Create something with emotional charge
- Write in the present state
- Write your own!!!!
- Use it EVERY DAY
The outcome should be clear. Consider the SMART rules of goal setting.
An example could be improving body composition to 12% body fat from 18%. It’s specific, measurable, probably attainable, relevant if it matters to you and we can define a time period around it.
The affirmation should be in the first person. “I am fit and lean.”
The affirmation should be positive. “I am fit and lean” versus “I will not be out of shape” or “I will lose these love handles.” A positive statement deflects the negativity around and is supportive of the law of attraction. Negativity only builds on negativity and leads to a negative self image.
To create the emotional charge we need to add more. “I am fit and lean, and it feels great.” Reflect the emotions around your goal. Why do you want to achieve it?
We need to update it to reflect the present state. “Today, I am fit and lean and it feels great!”
So what is it missing? More of our goals. We need to be as specific as possible. “Today I am fit and lean. I have 12% body fat and I feel great.”
Now that is an affirmation!!!! Now use it EVERY DAY. There is no limit to how many times you could say it but you should say it OUT LOUD. Shout it if you can. Physical action will impact your emotional state. Start your day with it. When you are confronted with a decision that may impact this goal say it again. Keep using this affirmation until you achieve your goal. Then pick a new one.
If you’re not growing, you’re dying. What will your affirmation be?