Positive Affirmations are common right now. Many people preach affirmations and swear by their effectiveness to support overall self-esteem. However, more times than not when I sit across from a client they tell me a secret: “I try those affirmations, but they don’t really seem to make a difference”. People also struggle with affirmations feeling cheesy, dis-ingenuine or “woo-woo”.
See my youtube video below for a brief introduction on what 3 things to keep in mind when working on affirmations.
Three ways to make positive affirmations work for you
- Put affirmations into action: Ask yourself – if I believed this affirmation how would I act today. If you are using the affirmation of “Today, I am enough as I am”, ask yourself – if you acted as if you were enough. This could mean that taking breaks instead of pushing to get more done for the benefit of others. Setting boundaries and expectations of what you can vs cannot do – based on what you know is too much for you. And engaging in healthy practices like eating more balanced, getting movement in and doing some mindfulness practice.
- Embodiment of the affirmation: Work on breathing into a place in your body that you can feel the truth of the affirmation you are using. This anchoring technique can help you really connect into the affirmation. Including the body in this practice supports the brain in truly feeling this affirmation instead of simply stating it.
- Working through your barriers: A big concept that affirmation work misses is that we all have barriers towards these affirmations. “I am enough” affirmation – if you have experiences that show you something different it is hard to believe. If you grew up having to earn love through actions this is hard to believe. There are many past influences that can make this statement challenging. This is where therapy comes in. Working through these barrier so that you are truly able to embrace yourself and these affirmations is important.
In my own work I utilize Brainspotting to support affirmation work. We can put you on a brainspot where you can feel that affirmation and we start to clear some of the things that come up that get in the way. Or we can put you on a Brainspot around feeling the opposite of that affirmation. Working on understanding what is barrier so that you move through it, is the way to be able to take in those affirmations.
If you struggle with this practice you are not alone. Reach out for additional support,
Patrice Flanagan-Morris, LCSW
Empowerment WIthin LLC