Fall in love with the power of words and affirmations to boost your relationship with yourself
Words: Claire Munnings
It may be hard to believe that a humble sentence or two can have a real, long-lasting impact on your life, but it’s true. In fact, words are some of the most powerful tools that we have at our fingertips. They can start wars, create friendships and illuminate our minds – and they can also hugely influence the way we see ourselves and help boost our self-confidence.
It’s little wonder then, that so many experts extoll the virtues of positive affirmations. Today start to look in the mirror a little kindlier with this advice for using powerful words of affirmation!
Make self-talk positive
For those that aren’t familiar with the concept, affirmations are essentially the words we speak and think to ourselves. A lot of our internal dialogue can be negative (we’re all guilty of telling ourselves ‘I can’t do that’, or berating ourselves for a mistake by saying ‘I’m a failure’) but positive affirmations are short uplifting phrases geared to turn that self-talk on its head.
“Positive affirmations can challenge negative thoughts and beliefs,” explains Mel Collins, a Psychotherapeutic Counsellor, Spiritual Healer and Author of Positive Affirmations for Sensitive People. “And through repetition, over time, they embed into the subconscious mind and become more believable and authentic. As a result, this changes the way a person thinks and feels about themself, which in turn increases self-love, self-acceptance and self-confidence.”
Change the way you think
Science backs this up, too. The idea of neuroplasticity focuses on the fact that repeated thoughts and actions can quite literally change the way our brain is wired and the way we approach certain events. Studies have shown that those who use positive affirmations react to life’s challenges in a more optimistic and resilient way than those who don’t.
“Write affirmations down as there’s power in the written word, particularly when they are handwritten”
For advanced Law of Attraction – the universal law behind manifestation – Coach Carolyne Bennett (carolynebennett.com), these phrases can be incredibly powerful on many levels. “From a Law of Attraction perspective, a thought attracts another thought and positive attracts positive, so if you are saying kind, uplifting words about yourself, you will have a happier, more fulfilling relationship with yourself,” she says. “And the relationship you have with yourself sets the precedent for relationships with other people.”
Choose your words wisely
So, how do you go about using positive affirmations yourself? The first step is to choose the words you want to use. Luckily there are lots of positive affirmation toolkits at our disposal and plenty of books, cards and websites designed to help you find meaningful phrases that resonate with you, including Mel’s book mentioned above.
You can also come up with your own. “If you want to write your own, start by listening to your inner critic,” Mel advises. “It will tell you what negative thoughts or beliefs you have about yourself. If your inner critic is always telling you that you are not good enough, you could write an empowering affirmation that counteracts that thought. You can do this by starting the affirmation with the words ‘I am’. So: ‘I am choosing to feel good about myself’ or ‘I am learning to speak more kindly to myself’.”
Feel the power
Now it’s time to allow the affirmation to resonate deep inside. Experts advise either writing down or saying the words for maximum impact. “I am a big advocate for writing affirmations down as there’s power in the written word, particularly when they are handwritten, as this channels your own personal energy into creation,” Carolyne says. “I also like saying affirmations out loud, in a really matter-of-fact way, as opposed to a chant. These types of affirmation are more powerful and embody the affirmations as a truth and you can talk about it as if it is already your reality.”
To really allow positive affirmations to do their job, you should try to repeat them regularly – the more, the better, say our experts. On top of this, Mel says that where you repeat your affirmations can also have an impact on their value. “Some people find that looking in a mirror while saying the affirmation makes a difference to how effective the affirmation feels,” she explains. “The added benefit of doing mirror work is that it can help to heal self-love issues.”
Of course, using positive affirmations doesn’t come naturally to everyone. “Affirmations may feel a little awkward at first,” says Carolyne. “You might feel self-conscious at the onset, but with practice you will soon be in flow state. Simply acknowledging the awkwardness and accepting that this is all part of your journey towards great, impactful change will help you stay on track. Tell yourself simply that it’s okay,” Carolyne advises. “It’s okay to believe in yourself, it’s okay to voice what you want for yourself in life.”
“Others may feel like the words don’t ring true,” she adds. “A way to get over this from the onset is to say: ‘I am willing to believe that I am’. This bridges the gap between the manifest and the non-manifest to make the affirmation much more believable.”
A sense of self-love may not develop overnight, but once you feel comfortable repeating inspiring and compassionate phrases to yourself, you’ll find that your relationship with yourself grows over time. And in turn, your connections with others will become stronger and more joyful, and your life more full of love.
So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to stop negative self-talk in its tracks and instead welcome kindness into your mind.
Highly Sensitive People (HSPs) can find their journey to self-love particularly challenging. Mel Collins shares how affirmations can help…
In order for HSPs to embrace who they are, they need to understand their trait and develop a strong sense of self-love. They can start this self-love journey by embracing the amazing gifts, qualities and abilities associated with sensitivity and by using the seven easy affirmations below:
1 My sensitivity is my greatest strength.
2 I love and accept myself exactly as I am.
3 I am highly empathic and deeply compassionate, and these are beautiful qualities to have.
4 I am worthy of love. As I learn to love myself more, I attract more loving people into my life.
5 I am making my own needs and self-care a priority – because I can’t give from an empty cup.
6 I am choosing new positive beliefs about sensitivity.
7 I am a sensitive soul with innate spiritual gifts and abilities.
Mel Collins is a qualified Psychotherapeutic Counsellor, Spiritual Healer, Past-Life Regression Therapist, Intuitive and Angelic Channel, a far cry from her former career as a Prison Governor. She is Author of Positive Affirmations for Sensitive People (£9.99, Welbeck Balance) out 3rd March, pre-order at amazon.co.uk. For more visit melcollins.co.uk