Hi dear friend:
As someone who struggled with negative Self-Talk while growing up and until recently, using affirmations has been part of my healing process. Therefore, I want to share with you a proven way to use them in order to change your inner critical voice and start to heal.
Did you know that we have approximately 90.000 thoughts each day and that from them 75.000 are the same ones we had the day before? Affirmations help change the old beliefs and thoughts that have been shaping your life, blocking what you really want from life. Moreover, the unconscious mind stores all these past experiences and thoughts of what you saw, heard and were taught while growing up. This is what is now getting you stuck in some areas of your life.2
What is negative self-talk
This negative self-talk or our inner critical voice is, according to many psychologists, an echo of our parents’ voice. While other researchers claim that this inner critical voice is also an effect of the voices of our teachers and of all the people that surrounds us. Furthermore, what is even more interesting is that research shows that children who more often heard uplifting words from the people they cared about, would tend to be more tolerant towards themselves and others.1
How to change this inner voice from a critical to an encouraging one?
Affirmations come from the belief that the key to changing what we attract in our life lies in changing our thoughts. Using affirmations like "I am good enough just as I am" would be ideal to improve self-esteem and repeating them as often as possible would change our mind and therefore our life.
How effective are Affirmations?
To find out how effective affirmations really are a group of scientists conducted an experiment with a group of people who were asked to repeat the sentence "I am lovable" during a day. The results showed that this had a positive effect but only in the persons who already had a high self-esteem. For the ones who really needed the affirmations to work due to the lack of self-esteem, the effect was the opposite. How can this be explained?
According to research this affirmation was not believable when the person had low self-esteem. The affirmation was trying to convince them of having qualities which they believed they were lacking. This has a counterproductive effect.1
How to use affirmations if one has low self-esteem?
Researchers found that the key to using affirmations in these cases was about creating a psychological distance to our emotions by modifying the way we do the affirmations.1 Instead of talking to ourselves in first person, we need to talk to ourselves as if we were talking to a friend. I have personally found that if we do affirmations looking at ourselves in the mirror the effect is even more powerful. Instead of saying "I am lovable" change the affirmation to "[Your name], you are lovable"
My personal experience with affirmations
For many years I would subconsciously repeat demands or criticism from some people in my family. Due to this I turned harsh on myself, believing that I was not good enough until I had achieved something or been more like what they expected me to be. In addition, I also had bullying at school and was compared to another person whom I then felt inferior to.
It was not until I became aware of how my past had affected me that my healing process really started. I have used several techniques to change my programming, including EFT and using affirmations. In addition, my healing process included forgiving all these persons, and for this I found it really useful using this forgiveness ritual.
In conclusion, next time you start any negative self-talk, pay attention to it. When do you tend to use self-talk more? What are you telling to yourself? Start using affirmations that counteract your inner critical voice and instead start to help you, build you up. Remember that you are your best friend and give yourself love. Use kind words with yourself! You deserve it!
There are many additional ways for you to work in your self-esteem, I give you some here:
- Practice meditation every day. It allows you to manage better stress and improve focus. Heal and release negative emotions, among other benefits. You can use binaural beat brainwaves to help you enter deep meditative states reliably and easily, reduce stress and to increase concentration.
One of the most amazing and inspiring persons and authors in the holistic healing realm is Louise Hay. Her books are exceedingly inspirational, including her personal story of healing cancer using the power of thoughts. Read her wonderful book: You Can Heal Your Life, published by Hay House. This is one of the books that has inspired me and helped me understand the body - mind connection.
To help you live life more fully, I recommend that you read Live This Book by Tom Chatfield. Live This Book is full of inspiring content, enriching ideas and exercises. Chatfield asks the right questions to help you learn more about yourself and what you enjoy doing.
I hope these words of my personal experience with affirmations will inspire you and that you find this post useful.
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Want to share some affirmations or ways to deal with negative self-talk that have worked for you, or ask Cristina some questions below?