Updated: Jul 5, 2020
Having a mental illness can rob you of so many things, including self-confidence which is the ability to trust in your abilities. If you're like me, negative self talk gets loud and drowns out any trust I had in my abilities. I hate that! Sadly, the negative thoughts we think can become a reality if we let it, but when you struggle with a mental illness it seems that fighting them off takes extra effort. Furthermore, we can lack self confidence because of our mental illness. So what can we do to fight back so that we don't let the self-doubt win? Practice saying positive daily affirmations!
What Are Affirmations
To state something positively, to assert something as valid or confirmed or to show/express a strong belief in or dedication to something are all the different ways to define the term affirmation. What should you take from this definition?
Affirmations are to be positive consistent beliefs that you should dedicate yourself to believing.
According to successconsciousness.com, affirmations should do 5 things:
Keep the mind focused on the goal
Influence the subconscious mind and activate its powers
Change the way you think and behave, and this can bring you into contact with new people, who can help you with your goals
Make you feel positive, energetic and active
Put you in a better position to transform your inner and external worlds
A word of caution: Although research proves that affirmations can help with boosting your self-esteem, they can work against you if you already have low self- esteem. Remember that loud negative self talk I mentioned earlier, it can work against the positivity you trying to create and make you feel worse. In other words, the loud voice wins (insert shrug emoji).
Benefits of Affirmations
If you've come this far in your mental health journey, you want to make sure that the help you seek is worth your time. Looking at the benefits of practicing positive affirmations daily, I think it's worth a try:
You become more self aware of your thoughts, feelings and actions
You are present in the moment
You focus more on your goal(s)
The more positive you are the more grateful you can become
Thinking positively is good for your health
How To Write Affirmation Statements
Now that we know what affirmations do and how they help, let's talk about creating your own!
Before you start, keep in mind that positive affirmation statements should target a specific area, behavior or belief you want to change.
Mindtools.com gives 5 guidelines that can help you create personal affirmations:
What areas in your life to do you want to change
Is your affirmation realistic and achievable
Turn negatives into positives
Write and say your affirmations in the present tense
Sat them with feeling
Let The Work Begin
If you've made it this far in the blog, then you're interested in participating in practicing daily affirmations, especially if you want to overcome something dealing with your mental health. Here are my suggestions:
As with anything new, start off slow. Find an affirmation that resonates with you and repeat to yourself throughout the day
Write it down and place it in areas that you frequent, look at it and repeat it every time you see it
As you get used to seeing and repeating it, try and pick a time where you can focus on saying that one affirmation for a few minutes each day at a time and place where you feel relaxed and comfortable
After a few days/weeks it should become a habit and you may be ready to move on to changing your affirmation or adding more to what you already have
Be patient with yourself and know change and healing take time. Celebrate the small victories when you have been consistent in participating in your affirmations and don’t beat yourself up if you miss a tie or a day.
A List to Start
I came across this article that gives you 9 affirmations from everydayfeminism.com. I’m not going to go into explaining them all because I feel that that’s some you should, because you know what you need to get from these particular affirmations:
I am worthy of love
I am enough
I am strong, even when I don’t feel like it
I am not damaged goods
I don’t need to run away
I didn’t do anything to deserve this
I can do something nice for myself
I don’t have to pretend to be okay
I am doing a good job
I don't know about you, but reading those helped boost my mood!
If you are serious about practicing daily positive affirmations, I created a worksheet, Affirmation for Beginners, that gives you space to write down your goal(s) and the affirmation to support it. Click the link to find out more details!
My 2 Cents
What can it hurt you to try and repeat something positive? Try it and if it works for you great, if not that’s fine too. However, you do need to do something in your journey that will help you see the positive side of things
Again, be patient with yourself, change and healing take time and are not linear
If you don’t like the affirmations that were given, find ones that resonate with you and that falls in line with what you are trying to heal
I really hope this blog has helped you, if it did email me so I know how - (bloggers need encouragement too ;)
Did you know that I now have a podcast? It's called, For My BrownGirls! Podcast and you can listen to it HERE!
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*I am not a licensed therapist. This post does not serve as a form of therapy or diagnosis. If you are experiencing an emergency, please call 911 or your doctor.