Let’s talk about affirmations for a minute. I know, they seem a little strange if you’ve never done them before. I started doing them several years ago, and I remember thinking to myself, “who am I talking to? Am I a crazy person?” The truth is, saying affirmations (whether in your head or out loud) is a VERY powerful way to make changes for the better…in any situation, and in any area of your life.
Here’s an example: affirmations have helped me deal with my anxiety, and over the past year as my youngest daughter, Lia, has struggled with anxiety, they’ve helped her too. It was almost accidental that I decided to try having her do them. One morning in the car, on my way to drop her off at preschool, I was saying some affirmations out loud. She asked who I was talking to (again, you sometimes feel like you’ve lost your mind when you first start doing them), so I explained as simply as I could what affirmations are, and as I was explaining them to her, I realized that she could be doing them too! It became something we did every morning. If you have, or have ever been around, a toddler, you know that the seemingly smallest of things can set them off. My daughter took this role of toddler-hood very seriously. And so, on an almost daily basis, she was in tears by the time we walked out the door. So I googled “affirmations to say with kids,” and got started. Every day they were a little different, but we would say things like, “I am loved, I am kind, I can do this, I am a daughter of God, I am strong, I choose to be happy.” Some days we just focus on gratitude (also extremely powerful), and we’ll take turns listing 2-3 things we’re grateful for. Sometimes she fights me on it, especially if she’s already well into meltdown mode, but most days they’re only a positive experience for both of us.
So today we took our kids on hike. It was steep and challenging (especially for a 4 year old) for about 3/4 mile. She was getting tired and frustrated, and she started saying, “I can’t do this.” I suggested she say out loud, “I can do this” instead. She looked at me and said, “Mom, I’m going to come up with my own “formations”. And for the rest of that stretch she was saying out loud, “I am strong. I can do anything. My legs are strong. My mind is strong. I love these rocks. This is hard for me and I love it.” You guys. I wanted to cry! It was SO powerful to watch my little girl turn her negative self-talk into positive self-talk that literally propelled her up the mountain.
You are beautiful, you are amazing, and you can do anything. And you’ll get there a heck of a lot faster if you believe in, and are kind to yourself along the way. If you’re stuck in a cycle of negative self-talk, CHANGE IT!
Start by paying attention to how you talk to, and about yourself, and then switch it around. For example, if you find yourself constantly saying to yourself, “I hate my body” you could change that to “I love my body” or “I’m grateful for a healthy body” or “I’m grateful to have two feet” or anything else that is positive about your body. As soon as the thought enters your head (about anything!), “I can’t do this” change it to “I can do this!” And apply this in all areas of your life! If you catch yourself saying to yourself something negative about your house or your car, turn it around and say something you love about or are grateful for your house or your car. Replacing the negative with positive will have massive impacts on your life. I promise. You can write these things down, say them in your head, out loud, in front of a mirror (very powerful), naked, in the shower…it doesn’t matter where, when, or how, just do it!