“Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.” ― Henry Ford
Self-talk is that inner running dialogue we have with ourselves. It’s that voice that says, "You sure are handsome" or "You are going to have a great day". It might say, “You look like crap today" or "You sure have gained a lot of weight”. The voice can be positive and optimistic, or negative and critical. It can exaggerate, discourage, and drain our energy with ruminating thoughts or it can inspire and uplift and strengthen. Which voice will you choose?
Our self-talk has a great influence on our emotions, actions, and ultimately our personality. To change our attitudes we must change the inner dialogue. Positive affirmations are a form of positive self-talk. By saying them repeatedly to yourself, you can make a direct impact on your subconscious mind, which eventually accepts them as reality. Positive affirmations challenge negative beliefs that undermine and replace them with positive self-nurturing beliefs. It is a kind of "brainwashing" only we get to choose which negative beliefs to wash away.
Positive affirmation exercises have been shown to have a broad range of beneficial effects. They can buffer stress by reducing rumination in response to failure and our reactivity to social evaluation. Positive self-affirmation boosts our self-image, increase self-esteem and self-regulatory strength and enables one to transcend self-image concerns. They can help change harmful behaviors or accomplish goals, and they can also help undo the damage caused by negative scripts, those things which we repeatedly tell ourselves that contribute to a negative self-perception.
For an affirmation to be effective, it needs to be present tense, positive, personal and specific. Repetition is also a key tool. To get started:
If you're interested in learning further techniques, check out Shad Helmstetter's book What to Say When you Talk To Yourself.
What are your affirmations? It's a challenge to practice affirmation exercises regularly, but I try. As I just started a new job, one of my current affirmation is"I am strong and intelligent and will succeed at all I attempt". I also enjoys saying "Rejoice evermore", "I choose love here", and "I am at peace". Some great ones for weight loss include: "I accept my body shape and acknowledge the beauty it holds", "I am grateful for the body I own and all it does for me.", and "I love and care for my body".
Remember, the mind is a powerful force: "We do not see things as they are, we see things as we are.” - Anais Nin
Hello and welcome! My name is Andrea Notch Mayzeles. I am a Certified Health Education Specialist, Mom, and Master of Public Health dedicated to the path of well-being. As a wellness professional I am committed to continued learning and am here to share research, recipes and musings on health, psychology, personal development, and parenting. I hope you enjoy!