How to Use Affirmations to Change the Way You Think
Do you ever find yourself stuck in a negative thought spiral? It can be tough to break out of that mindset, especially if it's been going on for a while. One way to start changing the way you think is by using affirmations. Affirmations are statements that you either repeat to yourself or write. They help to reprogram your brain and change the way you think about yourself and your life. In this blog post, we will discuss how to use affirmations to change the way you think!
Why Affirmations Don't Work
Before we begin I want to say that affirmations are a great tool if used correctly. However, most law of attraction methods are flawed in the way that they recommend using affirmations.
Affirmations only work when you your subconscious believes the affirmation. If your affirmation is not aligned with your unconscious or subconscious mind there is no way that you can make the affirmation work for yourself. When you read or say an affirmation that you do not believe your body responds based off the memories that are stored in your body.
No matter how much your conscious mind wants to believe what you are saying if your body is giving the signal to your subconscious mind then your subconscious will not believe it and will not take action.
All thoughts have two components: emotions and feelings. Emotions are the physical state of your body. Feelings are how we interpret the physical state (emotions). When your emotional state does not match your feelings, the brain knows that there is a disconnect. This disconnect is perceived as uncertainty and your brain is designed to reduce uncertainty.
That means you need to align your emotions and your feelings in order for affirmations to work. Affirmations work when paired with embodiment and neuro reprogramming
5 Steps to Optimize Affirmations
1. Pick affirmations that you resonate with.
If an affirmation sounds like bullshit or wishful thinking, it doesn't do you any good to write or say it. Pick affirmations that are aligned with your values. Don't worry about whether it is stated positively or not. Your mind is smart enough to understand what you are intending.
For example, it is perfectly fine to say "I will not let my clients take advantage of my time" instead of "I will create healthy boundaries with my clients." If you are not very good at creating and upholding boundaries, then repeating an affirmation about boundaries isn't going to work. On the other hand, your mind can get behind the notion of not letting your clients take advantage of your time because you know how valuable your time is.
2. Identify your emotions and feelings about the affirmation.
It's time to do a little embodiment practice. Take a breath (whatever kind is your favorite) then say the affirmation aloud. Notice how your body feels. Do you feel any tightness anywhere or are you relaxed?
If you feel tightness or anxiousness, you can either do some journaling on why you feel this way (which you should do at some point of time) or you should pick another affirmation. Maybe you need to rewrite it so it resonates more deeply with you.
When you breath and notice a relaxed or energized (confident, secure) sensation then you know that the affirmation is aligned with your emotional state attached to the meaning of that affirmation.
3. Think about what thoughts you would need to think if you really believed the affirmation.
The whole point of using affirmations to change the way you think is to create new thoughts. If you don't take the time to think differently, you're going to think the same as you always have. You will take the same actions and fall into the same habits that you are trying to break.
Take a few moments to think about what kinds of thoughts someone would think if they believed the affirmation. For example, let's say your affirmation is "I attract clients easily." You might need to think thoughts such as "There are plenty of people ready to learn how I help them change their lives," or "people are talking about how amazing my program is."
4. What thoughts would you have to give up if you believed the affirmation?
Spend a few moments to identify which thoughts you often have that go against the affirmation. This is an important step because once you become aware of the thoughts that you think that are not aligned with the life you are trying to create, then you will notice them when you have those thoughts.
When you do think one of these thoughts (and you will because it takes time to change your thought patterns) you'll be able to replace it with the new thoughts. You might not catch yourself in the moment, but whenever you do notice the thoughts you want to give up, acknowledge the thought, be kind to yourself, then think about your new thoughts.
5. Think about what actions you would take if you truly believed the affirmation.
Now that you know what thoughts you want to have and which thoughts you don't want to have, it's time to think about the sort of actions that someone would take that believed the affirmation.
How would things be different? What kinds of boundaries are needed? What would you say "yes" to? What would you say "no" to?
Purposeful Affirmations are powerful tools that can change the way you think. They work because they force you to confront your beliefs and root out any unhealthy thoughts or behaviors. The best part is, affirmation statements don't have to be positive in nature- it's what you feel about them personally that matters most. By using affirmations to create new thought patterns, eventually those old negative thoughts will disappear all together!
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