Zion Nat'l Park, Columbine

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

Robin Mallery

Robin Mallery is passionate about food! Starting from where and how it's grown, to how far that food travels to the dinner table, to how it is prepared and savored...Robin blends shopping, cooking, and eating tips with her unique Kitchen Zen and mindful meals approach to enjoying real food.

While you are waiting for her to finish the upcoming book, "Kitchen Zen: The Journey to Nourish Body and Soul in Our Changing World", you can find Robin's sporadic blog posts here or on FaceBook.
Robin Mallery

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge

"After thirty years of eating healthy foods and participating in regular, vigorous exercise, I was astounded to discover I have Coronary Artery Disease. In March of 2010, I had two stents placed in my Left Anterior Descending Artery- this was big. I consulted Robin Mallery, RN, knowing she is a local expert on Cardiac Rehabilitation. I especially respected her lifestyle of nutrition and physical fitness. Robin’s reassurance that I was doing many things correctly, and her instructions on how to fine-tune my program to deal with this life-threatening disease, was invaluable. Robin’s exquisite grasp of balancing traditional medicine with diet, exercise, relaxation and fun has helped me through this medical crisis". --Maiya Gralia, Licensed Clinical Social Worker and cross-country ski instructor and coach

Blog Categories