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Positive Affirmation

Affirmations are spoken imagery from a positive point of view.  The best use of affirmation occurs when we become aware of our ongoing internal dialogue or self-talk.  We have decades of practice with the tendency to engage in judgmental and negative self-talk!  The practice of positive affirmation will shift this internal dialogue into a pleasant, supportive means of nurturing yourself while becoming more familiar with optimism and compassion.

  • Positive affirmation, also known as Cognitive Restructuring,effectively counters the harmful cycle of negative self-talk because of selective awareness—we are really only able to hold one statement at a time in our mind.  Cognitive Restructuring is an acquired skill that requires practice! The primary purpose of affirmations is not to change objective reality, but to change subjective reality.  As you strive to change your mind, feelings and behavior, you can design affirmations to offset the negative self-talk statements.  Positive affirmations are even more powerful when used together during the relaxation response practice.
  • Choose a Goal for your affirmations.

Choose something that you deeply desire, a state of being or a behavior that you wish to enjoy on a regular basis, involving your mind, body or emotions.  Replace a negative behavior that you want to be rid of with a positive behavior.  An example of a positive affirmation to support behavior change for a sedentary lifestyle would be to say, “I enjoy feeling energetic”.  “I feel engaged in my physical health when I take a walk”.  “I like feeling more relaxed after I walk”.

  • Keep your affirmations completely positive.

Avoid the use of words such as no and not, and contractions such as don’t, shouldn’t, and wasn’t.  Instead of  “I will not feel anxious about this test”, consider, “I am fully prepared for the examination.  I feel calm, relaxed, and confident in my ability to perform.  The answers to all the test questions are available in my mind and I can produce them at a moment’s notice.”

  • Make your affirmations personal.

More personal expressions motivate the deeper mind. Instead of “I will have an effective talk with my boss” or “My boss is going to understand my point of view” consider, “I am prepared for this meeting.  I have the ability to communicate my point of view so that my boss will understand.”

  • Use powerful affirmation words and vivid, enriching adjectives.

Consider, “I feel a deep, rich, soothing feeling of peace” as opposed to “I feel relaxed”; or “My mind is crystal-clear and alert, and the answers I need are available for instant recall” as opposed to “I know the answers”.

  • State your affirmations in the present tense.

We may be waiting for the “someday” when we are going to start a business or lose weight.  We all possess the potential to procrastinate and intend to do something “one of these days”. Consider, “This morning I will take 3 minutes to listen to the birds sing before I leave for work” as opposed to “I am going to start taking quiet time before work”; or “I forgive myself completely and thoroughly” as opposed to “Now I know how to do it better next time”.

  • Keep your statements simple.

Use a subject (generally the subject of the sentence is you), a powerful verb, an object, and some adjective or adverbs to enrich your affirmation giving it a visual or otherwise sensual aspect.

  • Detached observation.

Take time to pay attention to the self-talk patterns you have become used to.  If you run out of the house in the morning to go to work, realizing that you left your lunch on the kitchen counter, instead of saying to yourself “You dufus!  You forgot your lunch”, consider “Hmmm, how interesting.  I was moving quickly this morning and in a hurry, so I left my lunch on the counter.  I can slow down just a moment and breathe, then go back into the house to grab my lunch”.

As you begin to enjoy a heightened awareness of the words you choose in your self-talk, you will be creating new language patterns that will be kind, compassionate, and accepting of yourself. This then will be subtly transferred to the words you use when communicating with others.

Robin Mallery

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The best thing I did when I discovered I had Type 2 Diabetes was to call Robin Mallery. She coached me to craft a plan to turn this condition around, and the encouragement to believe that I can.  Instead of feeling overwhelmed, I am managing well, using Robin’s program of small steps, achievable goals, and positive reinforcement.  She’s not only a fountain of knowledge and experience, but a loving teacher and motivator.  For the first time in years, I don’t feel helpless about eating and weight gain.  Thank you, Robin!

—GC, Austin

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