A good affirmation is like a good cup of coffee; a couple of moments for yourself to reenergise and then face the day with renewed purpose. For those of you who haven’t yet tried positively talking to yourself on a regular basis, perhaps it’s time to give it a go.
They say the best things come in small packages and this is true in regards to affirmations. They are short, simple statements which allow them to be easily remembered and easily spoken. A good affirmation should be personal, positive, in the present tense, visual and emotional, (The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – Stephen Covey).
You can create your own affirmations or, to get you started, you can browse through the thousands that are available at the other end of a simple Google search. I like Daily Affirmations (@Life_Affirming) because it always cheers up my Twitter feed.
So, what is the purpose of an affirmation? Well, these simple statements are truly multi-functional, acting as a motivator, a mechanism to cope with difficult situations and even serves the first steps to shifting your mind to an overall more positive space to live in.
Let me demonstrate with three of my own, personal affirmations:
I am loving and I am loved: I used this a lot when I was single and finding my way through the maze that is modern dating. Even now, I use it to motivate myself if I find that I am becoming too inward focused and disconnected from my support network. After repeating this a couple of times, I’m ready to pick up the phone and be part of the world again!
It’s easy work and I’m easy going: Yes, you guessed it, this is my coping affirmation if work gets stressful. I’ve been using this for the last couple of months and call on it during difficult moments. Reminding myself that the work can be completed and that I can choose to relax is – surprise surprise – quite calming. A few moments with this little affirmation and I am back on track
Be kind: This is my longest standing affirmation. It is only two words but its intention is that I will be kind to myself as well as to others. These two words have shifted mountains in my mind over the last number of years and this affirmation is by far my favourite.
For those of you who are trying affirmations for the first time or are trying to make it part of the daily routine, there are a couple of tips that I found really helpful.
Write it down – and take a photo of it
When I first started practicing, I kept forgetting to remember my affirmation. To help with this, I wrote it down on a piece of paper, took a photo and then saved it as my screensaver. This had two benefits; writing it down helped me better connect with the words I had chosen, and having it as my screensaver meant that I read it most times I picked up the phone.
Set a reminder on your phone
Motivational affirmations are most effective when they are repeated regularly and consistently, and I found setting an alarm or reminder on my phone the perfect way to ensure this happened. Twice a day, at 7.30 am and 10.00 pm, the affirmation would pop up on my phone and prompt me to read and repeat it a couple of times. It really is that easy!
Use a Post-It
For those affirmations which supported a specific place, like work or the kitchen, I found having a Post-It note in plain sight to be very effective. The great thing about this is that even when I wasn’t in that physical space, I was easily able to close my eyes and visualise it because it was a familiar place to me. This meant I could see the affirmation whenever I needed to – even if I wasn’t in the kitchen!
Building simple tips like this into your affirmation practice can help ensure that it becomes part of your routine and you begin to reap the benefits of speaking positively to yourself. I would love to hear any affirmations that have worked well for you and any other tips you may have!