The Power of Positive Affirmations - AP Nutritional Therapy
The Power of Positive Affirmations

It is easy to fall into a pattern of negative thinking which can quickly spiral into negative feelings and actions which affect our mood and our relationships. If you feel you easily get caught up in negative self-talk, daily positive affirmations can change these patterns. Positive affirmations can help you motivate yourself, encourage positive changes in your life, improve your relationships and even boost your self-esteem.

95% of your decision-making begins in the subconscious. Partaking in daily positive affirmations have been proven to create change from within as the subconscious thought becomes reality. Positive affirmations raise the level of feel-good hormones and activate neural pathways for positive and optimistic thinking.

Take a moment and think about how it would affect your life if you started thoughts with “I can’t” or “I’m not good at” rather than “I can” or “I am good at”. Which feelings do you want to foster? Perhaps you are unable to do something now, but if you begin to believe that you can do it, you will work towards achieving that goal, either consciously or subconsciously, rather than accepting you cannot do it and never trying to improve.

There are two main approaches to positive affirmations: the jackhammer approach and hummingbird approach.

  • Jackhammer: create an affirmation you want to integrate into your life and repeat it every day (out loud or in writing if you journal). The more you do this the more you internalise the belief in it. It becomes integrated into your subconscious until it becomes part of your life. The affirmation should be in the present, not future tense. For example, “I love myself and so I nourish my body and mind with healthy food every day”, or “I am a strong and confident speaker and people are interested in what I have to say”, or “I am kind and thoughtful and respectful of the people around me”. Repeat this every day and you will believe it.
  • Hummingbird: With this approach your affirmations change daily depending on your current feelings or plans for the day. For example, if you have a job interview you can say/write “I will present myself and my qualifications with confidence”. If you are home schooling your children during a pandemic lockdown your affirmation can be “I will be patient and understanding with my children and will make time for fun and laughter”.

Affirmations are intended to make you feel positive and motivated. When you write or say them, think about your feelings at the time. Does your affirmation make you feel good (an effective affirmation)? Does it make you feel worse (not an effective affirmation)? Do you feel nothing at all (not effective)? An effective affirmation is one which you believe you can achieve, and which makes you feel good about yourself and your possibilities.

Affirmations should not be too general (“I will be a huge success”) or too lofty and unrealistic (“This year I will quadruple my salary”). Affirmations should also begin with action statements that are positive, such as “I am”, or “I have”, and not negative statements like “I won’t”.

Lastly, your affirmations should not contain any feelings or attributes you are trying to avoid or improve on. For instance, instead of saying, “I am not anxious” – which is both a negative statement as it has the word ‘not’ in it, as well as calling attention to the negative attribute of anxiety – it’s more effective to say, “I am calm”. It is the pink elephant phenomenon – if someone says not to think about a pink elephant, your mind automatically thinks of a pink elephant. You do not want your mind to focus on the word “anxious” but on the word “calm”.

Retrain your thinking by starting with one positive affirmation a day to start with. You have the power to retrain your mind!

Photo by Elena Mozhvilo on Unsplash