... which work for you!
You may have heard the term 'positive affirmations' which can feel like somewhat of a buzz word at the moment. What this simply refers to is simple short statements that we can use in different situations to help us feel calmer, less anxious, happier, more positive etc. I wanted to break down how we can create our own versions of these based on what you specifically may struggle with and how we can believe in them. Often we may feel a pressure to simply tell ourselves 'everything is going to be okay' and that is it. We then notice the frustration of when people say that to us, or we say those things to ourselves, no positive outcome occurs.
To begin with creating our own positive affirmations I want to share some more common examples that we can then adapt.
I will be okay
I am worthy
Things will get better
The above are examples of often what you may say to a friend who is struggling or try to say to yourself too. They are designed to be reassuring, to try and help you to see a different perspective or simply shift the focus your thoughts to a more helpful, positive place.
The problem we can face is 'toxic positivity', which refers to the belief/pressure that no matter what is going on in our life we should maintain a positive attitude. But the difference with what I wanted to share on this blog is that we are taking into account the situation we are in, but we are reminding ourselves fundamentally why we are safe for example, to then allow our thoughts to not progress into a difficult downward spiral.
The three examples I've shared above can be helpful, however when we are in difficult emotional turmoil you may simply not be able to believe and listen to those positive affirmations. Therefore they may not work in that exact moment.
What we can then do is start to add evidence to those affirmations to back up what we are trying to tell ourselves. Adding evidence helps our mind to shift away from being governed by emotion, to starting to think more logically, rationally and therefore more clearly.
Let's apply such affirmations to specific emotions / situations below
If we are feeling anxious the underlying thoughts/feelings in our mind and body is that we are under threat from danger. The affirmation I would use in this case would be:
I am okay because ... I am safe, I am not in danger, nothing is going to harm me. This is simply my anxiety telling me a different story.
If we are feeling anxious/insecure in a relationship and feeling the need for reassurance from that individual:
I am lovable and they want me in their life because ... they tell me how they feel about me, they show it in non verbal ways such as hugging me and caring for me, they talk about our future, they tell me stories they know I enjoy hearing about etc.
If we are doubting our abilities in life:
I am not a failure because ... I have achieved (A, B and C) in the last 12 months.
If we are struggling with dips in our mood:
Life will get better/easier because ... I always struggle with this time of year, my track record is that my mood peaks and troughs, I have planned things to look forward to once restrictions ease to improve my mental health.
If you are struggling with comparing yourself to other people and their successes:
I am worthy because ... I too have something to offer
I matter because ... I am my own person separate to them. We are simply on different paths.
I deserve my successes because ... I worked hard to get where I am today.
If you are struggling with making mistakes
I am not a failure when I make a mistake because... I can learn from this for next time, I am human it is normal to make mistakes, 1 mistake does not define me as a whole person, I am more than my mistakes.
If you are struggling to step outside your comfort zone:
I am capable because... last time I took a step outside my comfort I survived and gained confidence in doing so.
If you are questioning your existence in the world:
My life matters because ... I have so much to give, I just need support to get better first.
And adding to that I will get through this because... I have the love and support of those around me'
What situation do you find yourself currently that you could then create your own unique affirmation for? Write this down and stick it up at home, make it your lock screen on your phone and say it to yourself everyday. The more we can remind ourselves we are just human and show ourselves kindness and compassion, the more we can nurture and support ourselves in difficult periods of our mental health.
Look after yourself today,