Hey friends! I hope you are having an awesome day. I started mine off with a cup of coffee, a meditative walk, and a podcast I am OBSESSED with called Finding Body Freedom. My plans for today are to eat some yummy food, catch some rays in the pool, and hit up a yoga class tonight. Ahhh don’t ya just love summer?
So today I wanted to talk to you guys about something that has been SO helpful in my life/recovery. Something that I practice each and every day, and something that consistently reminds me who I am and where I’m going. Drum roll pleaseeeeee….
Positive affirmations are basically positive statements that you tell yourself over and over until you finally start to believe them. The important thing about positive affirmations is speaking as if what you WANT to happen is ALREADY happening. For example:
If you’re struggling with anxiety, instead of hoping that one day you will be brave enough to do xyz…your positive affirmation would be:
I am brave. Today I am brave. I am brave right now.
Get it? So you’re constantly speaking in the present tense, speaking the life and truth that you want for yourself.
There are simple affirmations…
- I am strong.
- I can do this.
- I have a purpose.
…and more specific affirmations to match your current situation/struggle. Here are a few of my favorite affirmations that have helped me tremendously in my eating disorder recovery:
- I am not more valuable if I take up less space.
- I am MORE than my body.
- I am a SOUL with a body, NOT a body with a soul.
- My appearance, weight, etc does not determine my value.
I know at first this may sound a little cheesy and overly-positive but I am telling you, it works. It really does. If you’re new to this, maybe just start out saying a simple affirmation once a day. Anyone can do that, right? Once you start seeing the impact of that affirmation (and you will), increase the amount of times you say it and HOW you say it. One of the coolest ways I’ve learned how to say affirmations is to stand in front of the mirror, look yourself in the eye, and speak your truth. At first, this is hard. Very hard. But the more you do it, the easier it gets and the more you start to believe it. Looking in the mirror every day and telling myself “I am beautiful” has completely changed things for me. Try it for yourself.
Last year, I was in an IOP (intensive outpatient program) where we did this really neat positive affirmation practice. The leader of the group started out by telling us all to go outside, look around, and write about something we thought was beautiful. People wrote about the flowers and the grass, the tall buildings and the butterflies. As for me? I wrote about the sky, of course. (Those who know me know about my weird obsession with the sky). As someone who loves to write and loves the sky, I was all over this. I wrote about how it was open and expansive, beautiful and calming. I wrote and wrote and wrote until the leader called us back in the room.
Once we were inside, she told us all to read what we had written. But then, she pulled a trick on us. Whatever we had written about, we had to cross out that word (“sky”) and put the word “I” instead. Then we had to read it out loud. Mine sounded a little something like this:
“I am open. I am expansive. I am beautiful. I am calm.”
And it went on and on and on. This was such a powerful experience and one that I will never forget. If God spent so much time making a beautiful sky and flowers for us to enjoy, just imagine how much more time he spent on us. His people, his humans, his children. His greatest accomplishment and most prized possession.
How funny it is that it’s so easy to see the beauty in His creation, but so hard to see the beauty in ourselves.
So I know this is more of an extreme example, but learning to view myself in a positive light, an empowered light has changed everything. And know that it’s okay to say affirmations that you may not believe at first. This is TOTALLY normal. When I first started saying “I am brave”, I did not believe it at all. I was at a point where I was crippled with anxiety and tied down by my fears. I was the opposite of brave. But day after day, I filled myself with that truth:
Scared to go on a first date? “I am brave.” And look, now I have Chris ❤
Scared to go to school? “I am brave.” And now I have a degree.
Scared to go to yoga training? “I am brave.” And I completed my first weekend of training. Sore as frick, but I did it.
Trust me, you are these things. You are brave, you are beautiful, you are capable. Your sneaky little mind is the only thing keeping you from believing the truth. Fight against it, would you? Tell your brain to shut up. Tell your brain to quiet down. And tell yourself that YOU are in control, YOU have the power inside of you, and YOU will fulfill the affirmations you set for yourself if only you give it a try.
Love you all!