Everyone needs a safe space and healthy way to process feelings. Life will never be without challenges or obstacles, and it’s incredibly important to process your emotions as they arise instead of ignoring & suppressing them, which can lead to all sorts of internal build up / unwanted side effects (both mentally and physically). While there are so many ways to do this, and so many different positive coping mechanisms out there, I have personally found affirmations to be incredibly helpful and healing when it comes to processing feelings.
Affirmations to Process Your Feelings
It is infinitely safe and good for me to feel my feelings. It is natural, normal, and healthy for me to feel the full spectrum of human emotions. Feeling is healing! I give myself permission to feel any and all emotions that arise. I’m not talking about acting on those feelings, or impulsively REacting to emotions. I’m talking about learning how to be comfortable and sit with my feelings… WITH compassion, and withOUT judgement. Because emotions are a part of everyday life. They deserve to be understood and processed in a healthy way. If I ever find myself wanting to numb or tune out any emotion, I gently remind myself that suppression, leads to depression. Emotions that aren’t allowed to express themselves can get stuck in the mind or the body. So starting now, I am committed to developing a positive relationship with my feelings. My feelings are here to be listened to and heard – not judged or condemned. Every feeling and emotion I have carries with it a special message. It simply arrives to tell me something, and once it’s been expressed, it can go about its merry way. I empower myself by learning how to understand and navigate my feelings with confidence and ease. It is a life skill I am learning to master – and I am getting better at it every day. Each day presents me plenty of opportunities to practice and refine this skill, and all of my relationships benefit from it. I am no longer afraid of emotions, I no longer hide from my feelings – I have infinite love and respect for them. I allow myself to experience them fully. I do not ignore, store, or bottle them up, because that doesn’t make them go away and it doesn’t serve me. I am brave enough to face any feeling, and I am strong enough to release them with love when it’s time. I am finding positive and meaningful ways to channel big emotions. There are so many coping mechanisms and constructive outlets available to me. I have an open mind and an open heart. I am surrounded by love and resources. I am in tune, I am in touch, I am aware, brave, and true to myself. I treat myself with kindness, patience, and compassion as I navigate the journey of life. I show up for myself throughout all of the highs and lows – both of which are part of this human experience. Whenever I am overwhelmed, I remind myself that every difficult feeling WILL pass, and every problem has a solution. I am empowered. I am resourceful. I am capable. I am free, and no matter what, I love me.
So WTF Are Affirmations?
Affirmations have changed my life, and because of that I wanted to being the magical world of Affirmations into the blog.
But first, let’s talk about what are affirmations ANYWAYS!!
If you opened this post, it’s because you’re wondering what in the world affirmations are, how they work, and why they matter, you have come to the right place!
Affirmations are for you if:
- You’re ready to bridge the gap between who you are and who you want to be
- You’re ready to bridge the gap between what you have and what you want to have
- You’re ready to level up and take ownership over the results in your life
- Or, you’re obsessed with personal development (like me!) and just love learning new ways to optimize and better yourself
Let’s start with:
WHAT AFFIRMATIONS ARE
In the most condensed, bite-sized definition: affirmations are thoughts you consciously choose to think. They are written or spoken as positive “I am” statements that you repeat to yourself daily, such as:
I am energetic! I am confident! I am full of happiness!
Affirmation statements aren’t about what you already believe…
If you’re already a confident person, you don’t need to tell yourself every day, “I am a confident AF.”
Affirmations are positive statements that, when thought over and over again, end up overriding the limiting beliefs that are holding you back, or the negative thought patterns that make you feel like sh*t. How often have you said or heard someone say something negative about themselves? For example: “I am not smart. I’m fat. I can’t make money.” These are usually unconscious thoughts or knee-jerk reactions that get stuck on a loop. Indulging in them once in a while might seem harmless, but these thoughts on repeat (over weeks, months, even years…) can turn into REAL self-limiting beliefs with real world consequences.
Would you agree that replacing your negative phrases with positive ones would be beneficial?
There are only positives that can come from using affirmations!
Now you might be wondering, is it really that simple? Is something as basic as a positive statement really that effective, and will it actually make a difference in my day to day life?
The answer is HELL. YES.
The key is to use affirmations that are relevant to who you want to become (qualities), how you want to act (habits and behaviors), in order to get all the results you want in life (goals, aspirations, dreams, etc.).
THOUGHTS become –> BELIEFS
Beliefs influence –> BEHAVIOR
Repeated behavior becomes –> HABITS
And habits lead to all –> RESULTS & OUTCOMES
Thoughts eventually become real, tangible things! And the most exciting, empowering moment is when you realize that your thoughts are the one thing you have complete, 100% control over. IF… you’re conscious enough to pay attention and choose them with intention. That’s where affirmations come in. If you want different results in any area of your life (personal or professional, internal or external), you have to go back to square one: your thoughts. Affirmation statements create the positive new thought patterns that are in alignment with the positive new outcomes you want to see.
How Affirmations Reprogram Your Subconscious Mind
Did you know that 95% of your cognitive activities (decisions, emotions, actions, and behavior) are generated in a non-conscious manner? You don’t have to be a neuroscientist to realize what this means. What this tells us is that a majority of our days are run on autopilot. It means that more often than not, we are reacting to what happens in life, instead of consciously choosing the direction of our lives. And it is SO easy to slip into this way of operating. Days and weeks blur together, we focus on what’s urgent and forget to think about what’s really important to us. Years, even decades pass and we look back only to realize that all of those things we wanted to accomplish and experience just… never happened. The person we dreamed of becoming.. Never materialized. What happened? Where did the time go?
We all have the same amount of hours in the day. We have the same 24 as Elon Musk, Kylie Jenner, Richard Branson, and Beyonce. The difference between GETTING what you want and WISHING for what you want lies in your level of consciousness. And I mean that in a very scientific way. Let me explain.
Being conscious is choosing, with intention, how exactly your time is spent. More specifically, where you allocate your energy, effort, and attention. The most successful and fulfilled people are those who make sure their thoughts, decisions, and actions are in alignment with the life they want to be living. Their focus isn’t diluted by daily distractions. It’s directed ON purpose and WITH purpose. Their attention is driven by their values, priorities, goals, and desires- until their visions manifest.
Where you focus your mind is where you focus your life.
So that all sounds fine and dandy, but hold up. If 95% of our cognitive activities are in fact run by our subconscious mind, how do we override this default mechanism? How do we go from autopilot to captain of our own damn ship?
It all starts with becoming aware of- and taking control over- your thoughts. THIS IS EXCITING because out of all the crap you CAN’T control in life, your thoughts are 100% within your personal realm of power. Affirmations are thoughts you CHOOSE to think. Repeating affirmations on a daily basis is basically using your conscious mind to reprogram your subconscious mind until you get the results you want. We know this is possible because of neuroplasticity. This is a really exciting topic for self improvement buffs because it’s PROVEN that our brains are capable of being rewired and reprogrammed at any age!
One of the functions of your subconscious mind is to store virtually everything that happens to you. Think of it as your personal hard drive, constantly saving and processing data. While it all runs rather inconspicuously behind the scenes, your subconscious mind plays a BIG role in how you feel, behave, and experience reality. And the crazy part is that it doesn’t actually distinguish fact from fiction. It remembers what it’s told, good or bad, true or false. That’s why, if you were lovingly teased about your weight growing up, it can lead to negative, self-critical thinking as an adult. You might have been too young to consciously remember those little pokes and jabs- but your subconscious does. Which explains how people who are in great shape, even peak physical condition, can still struggle with insecurity issues. Seeds were planted in the fertile soil of their subconscious mind, those seeds took root, and over time, sprouted negative thought patterns. And the more thoughts are repeated, the more reinforced they become. The deeper the roots grow. This quote really helps paint a picture, and I’m pretty sure this glorious line came from Louise Hay:
Your mind is the garden, your thoughts are the seeds. You can grow flowers, or you can grow weeds.
I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that a majority of us have some weeds we’d like to pull. Do you have any thoughts that aren’t serving you? That aren’t in alignment with your most elevated, highest and happiest self? If you’re not sure, start by examining an area of your life that you aren’t toooooo thrilled about. It’s just not quite where you want it to be. It could be personal, professional, social, health oriented, you get the idea. Start at the end result and work backwards. What actions, behavior, and decisions led you to this point? What beliefs may have contributed to you making those choices that led to this outcome?
As Bob Proctor says, “every thought you think, and every word you speak is an affirmation. If you affirm something often enough- whether it’s positive or negative, it will show up in your life.”
Is there any thought pattern you can identify that may be holding you back from feeling your best and living your best life?
If so, affirmations can do two things for you. 1) Uproot the weeds that are weighing you down, and 2) Plant seeds of positivity that will help you and your life to flourish.
That’s a flowery way of saying that affirmations are an effective form of cognitive restructuring.
Here’s how: Thoughts contain energy in the form of electrochemical reactions. Every thought you think strengthens the circuitry in your brain known as your neural pathways (I picture these neural pathways as deep grooves or smooth roads in your brain). The more you think a thought, the easier and more automatic it becomes to think that thought.
Your mind shapes the structure of your brain, and the structure of your brain influences your mind.
Translation: YOU CAN USE YOUR MIND TO CHANGE YOUR BRAIN!
TRIPPY RIGHT?! Feeling empowered and optimistic AF?! Because I am!
By consciously focusing your thoughts on uplifting statements and success oriented soundbites (AKA- AFFIRMATIONS), you’ll create new patterns and pathways designed to work for you instead of against you.
I hope you found this post helpful and insightful! Love you. Xx Ash.
PS – if you want to boost your affirmation practice & create a powerful daily habit that will have you feeling better than ever before, you HAVE to try the Affirmation Babe You Can Have It All Journal. This journal is your new morning bestie! She’s here to help you use the power of affirmations to create a life you love, inside & out. It’s everything I personally wanted in a journal, so I got it custom made and designed.