Affirmation of the Week
Introduction to Affirmations
The Engine of Growth
What Affirmations Do
Why Affirmations Work
Affirmations as Power
Discovering What to Say
Creating Your Own Practice
Creating an Affirmation Journal
My Journey with Affirmations
Advanced Techniques
Guidelines for Affirmations
An Invitation
Weekly Affirmation Archive
Resources and Links
Creating Your Own Affirmation Practice

First, just doing affirmations, in any way possible, will be of benefit.

Saying an affirmation silently to yourself, is the simplest (and most quiet) way of doing an affirmation.

Doing affirmations, in any way possible, will be of benefit.

More effective is to say an affirmation out loud to yourself. This adds an auditory component to the affirmation, speaking and hearing it at the same time. The act of hearing the affirmation, in some cases mimics the way the negative thought and feeling you are trying to replace was most likely internalized in the first place. For example, a negative feeling given by what a parent said to you as a child.

More effective still is adding emotion to the affirmation you are saying. If a parent yelled at you saying you were stupid, saying to yourself "I am smart" in a strong, loud voice would be more effective, while feeling very genius-like. If you are saying "I am happy," make yourself feel happy as you say that affirmation. While creating the emotion may seem forced, it's also an indication of where you are at in your resistance to an affirmation. As the negative emotion or thought gets replaced by the affirmation, it becomes easier to create the emotion that goes along with the affirmation. Remember the goal is to change how you feel. Making that change happens more quickly if you practice feeling the way you wish to feel.

Most effective is feeling the emotion while visualizing yourself in some way. Using the example above, saying "I am happy" while feeling happy and seeing yourself in your mind being happy is very effective. A more complicated one would be for an affirmation such as "When someone I love gets angry at me, I remain calm." For this affirmation you would imagine the angry person, and imagine yourself in a calm state with the person.

Repetition: The Key to an Effective Practice

In all cases, the number of times you say an affirmation is extremely important. Simply saying the affirmation a few times is not enough. I spend at least two minutes saying one affirmation, repeating it over and over before moving on to a new one. Sometimes I will spend even longer amounts of time, repeating one affirmation five to ten minutes. The use of repetition is the most important aspect to an effective affirmation practice.

No one has the potential to affect change in yourself more than you.

Repeating one affirmation many times is necessary because of the way we learn and internalize much of how we think and feel. Think of some negative statement your parent said to you growing up. Think of how many times that parent made that statement, maybe hundreds of times. Think of how many times that parent gave you a look or in some non-verbal way communicated that same negative feeling. Think of how many times you made that statement to yourself. Think then of how much time you've spent feeling badly about yourself because of that statement and what it meant. All told, you've probably heard that one negative statement hundreds, maybe thousands of times. Thus saying an affirmation one or two times a day won't have the same emotional impact that your parent had when you were a child.

As an adult, you have enormous power, and that power is based in your ability to say the affirmation over and over, as many times as needed to erase the negative thoughts and feelings created by others. If a parent said you were bad a hundred times, then you tell yourself you are good two hundred times and feel that you are good. You internalized the negative statement as a child, and now you will internalize a new one. The feelings you create with your affirmations will become second nature just as the feelings created by your parent's statements did. Your parents conceived and raised you. That doesn't make them the final authority on who you are and who you can be.

No one has the potential to affect change in yourself more than you. You are the most powerful person in the world with your thoughts and emotions. What you say to yourself and how much you say it will have a tremendous impact on your feelings. By sheer repetition the affirmation will take hold. Two minutes on one affirmation is good, longer is better. I have said some affirmations for even longer periods of time because of the sense of relief I feel when saying them. Ultimately, the idea is to completely fill yourself with the positive intent, the positive feeling, to purposely fill your energy with the sound, image and feeling that you wish to have. Like learning a piece of music, the more you practice each day, the quicker you learn that piece of music. When you say an affirmation, you are learning a new way of thinking, feeling and behaving. The more you say the affirmation, the quicker you learn the new way of thinking, feeling and behaving, and the quicker you internalize it.

When To Do Your Affirmations

It is your time to practice feeling good.

While there are some that believe that affirmations are only effective when done at specific times, when a person is in a quiet meditative state, I don't agree with that. I think while it may be more helpful to some, just doing them will be useful. As an example, let's say you feel you are stupid because your father told you were stupid when you were a child. Were you in a meditative state when he told you you were stupid? A meditative state wasn't needed to instill that feeling, why should one be needed to instill a different feeling?

Having said that, doing affirmations while in a quiet meditative state can assist in creating an awareness of any thoughts or emotions that come up during the process. I have had insights into new affirmations, or more effective ways of phrasing an affirmation while saying them. Being in a meditative state helps in this process. When emotions come up, you can more completely feel the emotion, and feel the release of the emotion as it moves through and out you. There are many ways to achieve a quiet state of mind, the simplest involving breathing techniques. Simply taking purposeful deep breaths will calm your mind.

If you can set up a daily ritual for yourself that can be helpful. I personally wake in the morning, then do a short yoga routine, meditate, then do affirmations after that. I find this practice very comforting to me. You may choose to do something different. The idea is to make it your time to heal and nurture yourself emotionally. It is your time to practice feeling good.

Automotive Affirmations

I have found it enjoyable doing affirmations in the car. When I've taken trips that involved driving for long periods on the highway, I have made a list of affirmations to say and brought it with me. It's a little difficult to visual and drive ( nor would I recommend it ) but saying them, and having to say them loudly to hear yourself over the sound of the engine is good practice. As always, remember, drive responsibly and safely. If you can't concentrate on the road, then don't do affirmations while driving.

Breathing and Affirmations

Your mind belongs to you and not some mysterious force.

Another technique while saying your affirmations is to pay attention to your breath from time to time. With longer affirmations, it is helpful to take a deep breath and then say the affirmation, letting all the air out of your lungs. If you finish saying the affirmation before all of the air is out of your lungs, just let the rest of the air out. There is no rush to say them, just say them at an a comfortable pace. This technique helps release any tension that you feel while saying the affirmation.

Tuning In

Listen to your internal voice while saying an affirmation. Is it quiet, or is there something fighting back? For example, if you are saying "I am happy", can you hear a voice inside you saying "no you're not, you're sad?" It's okay if your mind fights back. Just notice it, and keep saying the affirmation. Remember, you are in control. Your mind belongs to you and not some mysterious force. You are in the process or creating a new feeling inside yourself, and there may be some resistance, maybe great, to the change. You may be changing a feeling you've had for many years and it doesn't happen right away. Just notice the negative feeling or thought, breath deeply and focus on saying and feeling the new affirmation. When the mind fights back, it's a good thing, because it means you've found an affirmation that is addressing a core issue for you, something very meaningful and deep in your life. Sometimes saying affirmations will make you cry because a feeling or belief is rooted deep inside you, and yet, somewhere inside you are wanting to hear the affirmation. Sometimes, in the course of creating an affirmation, you will notice a strong emotional reaction the first time you say the affirmation. Again that's also a good sign that you've found an affirmation that is powerful for you. I have cried, laughed and gotten angry upon writing down then saying an affirmation for the first time. It's a good sign that you've come across an important issue for yourself. Don't be afraid of these reactions, you're on the right track.

Tuning in means also paying attention to the wording you use by. Pick words that have the strongest emotional impact for you; that mean the most to you. For example, perhaps you were always told you were stupid by a parent, and so you felt stupid. An affirmation "I am smart" would be helpful for that. But perhaps you associated the word "intelligent" with someone you admired, so the word "intelligent" just goes deeper emotionally for you. Then use "I am intelligent" instead. As you gain more experience creating and using affirmations you will become more attuned to what is most effective for you.

Listen to how your body feels as you say the affirmation. Are you tensing up? As you practice a affirmation you may notice your shoulders hunched up, maybe your fists are tight, your jaw is clenched. Take a breath and remind yourself to relax. Focus on the feeling you wish to create as you say the affirmation.

Practice Feeling Good

In the end, everyone wants to be happy, but it's difficult with so many responsibilities and stresses in life. Which is why, the most important affirmation for everyone is the simplest:

I feel happy

Say that ten times everyday, and see if something changes in you. It's silly to say something so obvious, isn't it? But why shouldn't you be happy? You've chosen to feel tired, stressed, hurt, angry, upset, frustrated, annoyed and a whole host of other emotions. Why not tell yourself that you feel happy? Your fatigue, stress, hurt, anger, upset, frustration and annoyance will still be there. But so will a little bit of happiness, and given enough time and saying the affirmation enough, you will feel happy more than not. Happiness will be the norm in your life.

copyright 2004 affirming love