I don't know about you but I love a good affirmation to give me a little grounding when I'm not feeling myself. They are certainly something that I encourage my clients to do too, to help them grow their body positivity and self confidence.
However, with the current universal pandemic of Covid-19 creating such massive tides of change for us all, it's no wonder that we are finding ourselves having to adapt and cope with so many different things at once, which of course can have a significant effect on our mental health and overall well-being.
Therefore, any simple tools we can use to help alleviate any anxiety, stress or challenging emotions has to be a good thing, right?
So, it's important that if we're going to learn a new skill for our mental health tool kit , that we at least start with the correct guidelines from the get-go for maximum effectiveness.
Which is why my lovely friend and colleague. Anna Finn, a fully qualified Hypnotherapist and Psychotherapist, with over 10 years therapeutic experience, is going to give us her professional and practised pointers.
So, are you starting to feel on edge or anxious while self-isolating or working from home with ALL members of your household there ALL AT THE SAME TIME?
Well, there are many useful techniques around and I have used many with my clients, which they have found helpful to feel calmer, more grounded and more able to cope with unexpected challenges of any kind.
My favourite ones are, however, the ones that I can teach you so you can use them independently. I am a great believer in empowering my clients, so I love teaching tools that are easy to learn and are portable to use anywhere.
Affirmations are particularly close to my heart as they are easy to construct as long as you are mindful of how they make you feel. They have existed for a very long time, and yet many people are still either unfamiliar with how they can work, or unclear of how to use them correctly.
Affirmations are basically short and punchy instructions that you give to your mind, and as your mind cannot compute two opposite feelings or states at the same time, you are in fact overriding the existing unwanted feeling or state with a new, more acceptable one.
The one thing to watch out for is to keep the tone of the instruction in a way that your mind is able to at least half-accept it rather than rejecting it outright.
Here are my 5 steps to create Powerful Affirmations more easily:
Think about what change you would like to achieve.
If you are feeling anxious with kids running around the house and not feeling in control, you might want to say something like:
‘I feel calm managing kids when they are bored or restless’
Or if you are struggling with your partner’s way of organising the day while he/ she is working from home, but uneasy about talking to him/ her about it, you might consider an affirmation as follows:
‘I state my personal needs and boundaries to my partner confidently’
Check the affirmation is in present tense
It's important that it sounds like it is happening right now, which will make it more powerful so avoid using words like ‘can’, ‘should’,‘will’ or ‘would like to’.
Check the affirmation does not contain a negative
Our minds ignore negatives, so if you say ‘I don’t worry too much’, your mind hears ‘I worry too much’.
Check how it makes you feel.
This is a big one, and not a lot of people know it. If you feel that the statement you have created seems so direct that you straight away reject it as not true, consider adding one of the following phrases in front of it:
- ‘I am finding ways to…’ - ‘I’m allowing myself to…’ - ‘I’m choosing to…’ Chances are this will change the tone of the affirmation to a softer and more acceptable one. And that in itself can make it more powerful.
Repeat as frequently as you can.
Repetition is the key to creating a new habit!
As for the number of times you have to repeat an affirmation, it’s different for each person.
The idea is that you will get to the point when it becomes something you whole heartedly believe in, so much so, that you let go of it rather than keep checking and looking out for signs that it is working.
I’ve worked with many clients who after saying a relevant and powerful affirmation once during their session, within seconds, were then coming up with others that they had not thought of before. It really can be that amazing!
I hope the above steps have made it really easy for you to start using the Power of Affirmations. Enjoy creating them and reaping the benefits of this amazing technique no matter how stressful the circumstances you are finding yourself in!
If you need a helping hand in order to take full advantage of this or any other technique to stay Calm and Able to Cope, do not hesitate to contact me
Alternatively, I also offer a free 50 Body Positive Affirmations printable too, if you feel that would be more appropriate to you at this time. Just email email@example.com and ask for your copy today.
I'm also going to leave you with a beautiful poem from Rumi that might help give a little clarity on the roller-coaster of emotions that we may experience from time to time , in the hope that you can see them just as they are.... They will come, they may stay a while, but they will ultimately leave.