In the past decade affirmations have become more mainstream. The use of words or phrases to help change your mental outlook has gained a lot of public notice and support in helping people. Truthfully, affirmations are ancient traditions. Spoken word therapy has been around for centuries and it’s helped people and communities across the globe. They can be traced back to ancient eastern religions, and indigenous tribes. Widely known, mantras are phrases, poems or sayings chanted over and over again during meditation. The word “mantra” Sanskrit and is translated to read “that which protects (tra) the mind (man).” They have been used for spiritual connection to the self and the divine. In so many ways they have been used to free one’s mind of all other thoughts.
Most recently you can find people touting the benefits of affirmations on wellness sites like Well + Good, Mind Body Green and from leaders in the New Age movement like Gabby Bernstein and Deepak Chopra. This wave of self-help ideology has created a movement and momentum behind using therapies such as affirmations in channeling and changing your thought process.
I’d say that my way of coming to affirmations was fairly nontraditional as I wasn’t necessarily seeking a more spiritual connection to the Universe, God, the Divine, whatever you choose to call it. My introduction to their power was during a time of deep desire for physical healing of my body.
I was exploring the physical ailments of my body in a much deeper way, which led to uncovering much of the emotional trauma that I’d experienced in life. Through this lens of exploration I discovered the many past experiences, which had left emotional stretch marks on my soul. What I began to realize was how these experiences were shaping my personal inner dialogue. They had been setting the tone and expectations for how I talked and treated myself. I started looking to affirmations to heal some of the physical trauma I was having because I realized that the root of the problem wasn’t the outward symptom itself but instead the way I talked to or about myself. I had to address that before I could even begin to understand myself or more deeply about my physical healing journey.
The first time I started using affirmations was with Louise L. Haye and her book Heal Your Body and You Can Heal Your Life. I looked at the symptoms I was having and then the corresponding affirmations. I started integrating them into my yoga practice, in work with my chiropractor and saying them to myself in the mirror. At the time I was struggling with severe amenorrhea, hypothyroidism, incredibly stagnant and stiff hips. When I first read the affirmation related to amenorrhea I could barely stomach the words. It felt like torture trying to say the words to myself, let alone out loud. The reason it was so difficult is because the words resonated so deeply, and I didn’t believe them. To me, they weren’t true, so how could I say them out loud? But I had to. I had to voice them. Somewhere deep down this truth, these words were stuck in me and I had to get to a point again where I believed them. Where I knew in my bones they were true.
I started integrating them more and more, saying them more often until eventually I really did feel them to be true. They turned into true self-expression instead of forced sentences or repetition. After consistently saying these affirmations and incorporating them into my life in conjunction with other healing modalities, I got my cycle back after being stagnant for 10 months. It was gradual and slow but quickly developed into healthy flow.
Over time I’ve incorporated affirmations and mantras into my life in different ways outside of using them specifically to heal various physical ailments. I use them to help keep my current health and my mental self-awareness. I use them as spoken word because they help to open up the throat chakra through self-expression to manifest what I want in my life. The power of vocalizing is undeniable. Truly whether it’s sounds or formed words it is powerful to use your voice and change your inner dialogue and thought process with yourself. It’s this idea of the law of attraction, that if said to the Universe it will be at work to provide everything you desire.
There’s also some scientific backing to affirmations, for those who are a bit skeptical of this as a pathway to change. Neuro – linguistic programming is a method of communication, personal development, psychotherapy in which behavioral patterns can be changed by the thoughts of the mind. It’s this idea that by affirming certain thoughts, behaviors, fears, phobias and mental challenges can be shifted. Think of it this way, the more positive affirming thoughts you have, the less negative self-defeating one’s exist. It’s that much harder to see the negative ones as reality. Now, don’t get me wrong, they will still exist, after all I do believe it is part of human condition to question ourselves in many respects. But this is a practice, but as you invest in it you have deeper growth and greater reward. You have an even greater ability to converse with yourself to come out of the negative thought loop when it does happen.
It’s the one aspect that helped me truly change so much in my healing journey. It’s the element of undeniable self-love that changed my whole outlook on what it meant to have a relationship with myself. It showed me truly the power of my own thoughts, inner conversations and fundamental beliefs about who I am. It also showed me that this is an active practice. It’s not as though I could do this once and have everything fall perfectly into place. I have to consistently work with reminding myself that all of my thoughts are not the truth. I have to feed more of the good thoughts to out number the negative, because of course they still creep in.
With affirmations you have to realize that the ones that you need the most are often the hardest to say, the ones we think we don’t need. Those are speaking to you, that is what you need.
There’s so much to health that starts with loving ourselves. And starting to love ourselves begins in the conversations we have when no words are spoken, the things you’d likely never say to someone you love.
When we can reevaluate what we say to ourselves and embrace ourselves with more compassion, is when we can mend our personal inner dialogue to ultimately love ourselves wholeheartedly.
I’ve so enjoyed sharing this part of my journey with you all over on Instagram stories the past two months where I have been sharing my own personal daily affirmations that I create. There is an opportunity to get more of these regularly, that I am incredibly passionate and excited to be developing for you all. If you’re interested please sign up for updates here. This will be the first place I will announce how to get more of the affirmations in your daily life.