I've been dealing with emotional difficulty for many years. It started when I had surgery for the epilepsy I was dealing, and quite literally, dying with. Since the surgery on March 28, 1990 I have had no seizures, but I have had plenty of emotional difficulty. Along with that, surviving some traumatic events has added some emotional baggage...in other words struggling...along the way.
I've tried many things to help me get through it all. I have all the coping techniques. I've been told I could give seminars on coping techniques and make money at it because I know them all. But I don't do that. What I will do is share a few things that may help you that I have found helped me over the years.
Affirmations are a topic of controversy. Some professionals believe in them and recommend them highly and others pass them off as no use. I think it is a personal preference of the patient myself and that theraptists should at least offer the idea to clients.
What is an affirmation? According to www.dictionary.com an affirmation is:
the act or an instance of affirming; state of being affirmed
the assertion that something exists or is true
something that is affirmed; a statement or proposition that is declared to be true
confirmation or ratification of the truth or validity of a prior judgment, decision, etc
It is the 2nd and 3rd definitions I am going to use here. Most professionals who suggest using affirmations use it for the purpose of changing the way people think. Most of us have been programmed with negative thinking:
I can't do ___________
I am no good
I am not good looking
I'm not smart
The idea of an affirmation is to change the way we think over a period of time. Remember that it took however many years old you are to get you to think the way you do. It is going to take time to reprogram your mind to think positive things about yourself and then believe them. The important thing is to find out what you think negative about yourself and then rewrite it so it is in the form of a positive statement instead of a negative one.
I've learned many things about affirmations over the years. These are the top things to remember:
Personalize your affirmations. Start with or use the words: "I," "me," and "my." You are focusing on YOU and not other people so make it personal to YOU.
Write your affirmations in the PRESENT tense. In other words use the beginnings such as I CAN, I AM, I HAVE. To use the statement I WILL is future and you may not think of it very often so stick to the basics until you get more advanced in using affirmations.
Make your affirmations realistic. Don't be gradious in your thinking. For example, saying something like "I am in control of my life," is not true. Nobody is ever in perfect control of their life all the time. Instead say something like, "I have control over my decisions, actions and words most of the time."
Be positive! Remember, you are trying to turn the NEGATIVE into POSITIVE. One idea is to write down your negative thought and then write the complete opposite using the above guidelines as you do. Retraining your brain or your body is not easy, but keep it positive. It's not important if you dont' believe it right away. It's not likely you will, but over time it will begin to replace the negative tape that runs through your mind. Be positive.
Make your affirmations short and easy.s Long and winded ones will bore you and you are unlikely to remember them. Short and sweet as the old saying goes. You're not writing a poem, you're writing an affirmation. Keep it to one sentence.
When using your affirmations, here is how to use them:
Write each affirmation out 10 times each day.
Say each affirmation out loud 10 times eacy day. For a better effect, say it while looking in the mirror.
Visualize each affirmation. Visualize you as the person you are affirming to be.
The above 3 techniques are ones I learned from a psychiatrist who was not only a doctor but became a mentor and is the reason I am now past my past and offering the hope of complete and full recovery, if one is willing to do the work.
The more you actually DO of Number 6, the more you will see and feel results. Trust me. I didn't believe it at first, but now, 10+ years after learning them, I understand them and I teach people about them. I will share some of my affirmations with you so you can get an idea of how to write them. I hope you find this helpful and that over time you can pass on your positive experience with affirmations with others who may need the help.
My Examples of Affirmations
I am loveable.
I deserve to be happy.
I care about my body and my mind.
I love my life.
I am a positive person.
I am a fun person to be with.
I look for the good in life.
I am a good (you fill in the blank).
People enjoy my company.
I am smart.
I am enthusiastic.
I express myself well.
One really powerful way to make a workable, true and powerful affirmation specifically for your life is to write out all the negative thoughts that run through your mind – which is constantly running, even if you are only doing the dishes – and write the opposite for each negative statement. You make two columns or use two pages in a journal. On the left side, you write down all the negative things that come to your mind. On the right side, you write the COMPLETE OPPOSITE in Present Tense, using I AM to begin with. It might look something like this:
NEGATIVE THOUGHT POSITIVE AFFIRMATION
I am no good at anything. I can crochet and do other crafts very well.
I have a variety of very useful skills.
Each day I become better at (fill in the blank).
I will never succeed. My efforts will pay off in the end.
I learn from the mistakes I make.
My skills are refined and become better the more I use them.
Success is possible because I am patient and persevering.
I am ugly. I am beautiful in the eyes of people I love.
I am graceful and beautiful without the need of being air-brushed.
I am unique and beautiful.
I enjoy being me.
I believe in myself, just as I am.
I'm worthless. I am useful to many people.
I have skills other people do not have.
I was born worthy.
I honour and appreciate my worth.
I am important to many people.
Nobody can replace me and my worth to the world.
Everybody hates me. I have friends who like me.
I am loved by (put name(s) here).
I love myself.
God loves me.
I am not affected by negative people and negative attitudes.
I attract positive people.
I believe in me.
I can't do anything right. I have valuable talents and skills used daily.
I do my best always.
I am self-disciplined.
I am constantly improving on my talents.
I am reliable.
I hate my life. My life is full and complete.
I love myself.
I accept myself.
My life is worth living.
Today I love myself.
I am blessed to be alive.
I am grateful for the life I have.
I am grateful for all I am blessed with.
Throughout my years of recovery, I struggled a lot. One of my worst thoughts was that I was never going to be happy. So I wrote a few affirmations for that very thought:
-I am a happy person.
-I enjoy my life.
-I have fun with friends often.
Another biggie for me was that I could never make any friends who were real friends. Here are my examples:
-I am a likeable person.
-I have good qualities to offer people.
-I can overcome my fear of people.
-I have friends who call me daily.
And the last one for an example would be that I had very low self-esteem. This was a big one for me.
-My happiness comes from within me.
-I am free to choose the life I want.
-I deserve to be happy.
-I love and accept myself unconditionally. (from my former psychiatrist)
-I love myself, I like myself, I respect myself. (also from my former psychiatrist)
The doctor I mentioned earlier told me the first affirmations to use for any recovery were the following:
I love myself.
I like myself.
I accept myself just as I am.
Sounds simple, doesn't it? It is not! But it is well worth the effort. I went for months without trying these affirmations, but after researching affirmations in the internet, I saw how popular they were and the many testimonies of people who had used them and changed their life by using them in their daily life.
I keep an Affirmations Journal. In fact, I have a journal for almost every topic there is. I add to the journal when I think of a new situation I am facing, or having come past an obstacle that was new to me. Affirmations can be fun, and they are most definitely worth the while if you are truly wanting to overcome shyness, low self-esteem, depression and so on. But the key is to say and write them even if you don't believe them. It is said that it takes 40 days to create a new habit. Stick to the above instructions for 40+ days and in time you will see a change in your attitude, your mood and essentially, your life.
So now you have the idea of affirmations. Words are powerful. They will either harm or heal, help or hinder. I hope you learn to choose your words wisely when dealing with people in life, especially yourself. You DO deserve to be happy, but it is up to YOU if you are going to get there. I believe in you. Do you believe in you?
If you are short on ideas for "action" words or "moods" to use, these lists should give you some ideas as they did with me when I first started. You will note that there are NO NEGATIVE categories in these lists. As stated earlier, affirmations are POSITIVE and emphasize what you CAN do, not what you cannot.
elated, jubilant, expectant, eager, enthusiastic, lively, hopeful, anticipating, giddy, aroused, confident, looking forward to, adventurous, curious, hyper, thrilled, invigorated, energized, joyful, delirious, determined, confident, searching, sure, perky, bouncy, zestful, vibrant, vivacious
pleased, elated, overjoyed, contented, glad, blissful, high, bubbly, satisfied, triumphant, delighted, carefree, cheerful, bouncy, radiant, ecstatic, on top of the world, proud, merry, pleased, fantastic, terrific, exuberant, great, light, full of fun, confident, secure, uplifted, good, thankful, wonderful, exalted, bright, cheerful, lighthearted
Feelings we may experience when our needs are being met.
OTHER WORDS YOU MAY FIND USEFUL
Absolutely, Absorbing, Abundance, Ace, Active, Admirable, Adore, Agree, Alert, A1, Alive, Amazing, Appealing, Approval, Aroma, Attraction, Award
Bargain, Beaming, Beats, Beautiful, Best, Better, Bits, Boost, Bounce, Breakthrough, Breezy, Brief, Bright, Brilliant, Brimming, Buy
Care, Certain, Charming, Chic, Choice, Clean, Clear, Colourful, Comfy, Compliment, Confidence, Connoisseur, Cool, Courteous, Coy, Creamy, Crisp, Cuddly
Dazzling, Debonair, Delicate, Delicious, Delightful, Deluxe, Dependable, Desire, Diamond, Difference, Dimple, Discerning, Distinctive, Divine, Dreamy, Drool, Dynamic
Easy, Economy, Ecstatic, Effervescent, Efficient, Endless, Energy, Enhance, Enjoy, Enormous, Ensure, Enticing, Essence, Essential, Exactly, Excellent, Exceptional, Exciting, Exclusive, Exhilaration, Exotic, Expert, Exquisite, Extol, Extra, Eye-catching
Fabled, Fair, Famous, Fantastic, Fashionable, Fascinating, Fab, Fast, Favourite, Fetching, Finest, Finesse, First, Fizz, Flair, Flattering, Flip, Flourishing, Foolproof, Forever, Fragrance, Free, Freshness, Friendly, Full, Fun
Galore, Generous, Genius, Gentle, Giggle, Glamorous, Glitter, Glorious, Glowing, Go-ahead, Golden, Goodness, Gorgeous, Graceful, Grand, Great, Guaranteed
Happy, Healthy, Heartwarming, Heavenly
Ideal, Immaculate, Impressive, Incredible, Inspire, Instant, Interesting, Invigorating, Invincible, Inviting, Irresistible
Jewel, Joy, Juicy
Keenest, Kind, Kissable, K.O.,Know-how
Leads, Legend, Leisure, Light, Lingering, Logical, Longest, Lovely, Lucky, Luscious, Luxurious
Magic, Matchless, Magnifies it, Maxi, Memorable, Mighty, Miracle, Modern, More, Mouthwatering, Multi, Munchy
Natural, Need, New, Nice, Nutritious
O.K., Opulent, Outlasts, Outrageous, Outstanding
Palate, Palatial, Paradise, Pamper, Passionate, Peak, Pearl, Perfect, Pick-me-up, Pleasure, Pleases, Plenty, Plum, Plump, Plus, Popular, Positive, Power, Precious, Prefer, Prestige, Priceless, Pride, Prime, Prize, Protection, Proud, Pure
Quality, Quantity, Quenching, Quick, Quiet
Radiant, Ravishing, Real, Reap, Recommendation, Refined, Refreshing, Relax, Reliable, Renowned, Reputation, Rest, Rewarding, Rich, Right, Rosy, Royal
Safety, Save, Satisfaction, Scores, Seductive, Select, Sensitive, Sensational, Serene, Service, Sexy, Shapely, Share, Sheer, Shy, Silent, Silver, Simple, Singular, Sizzling, Skilful, Slick, Smashing, Smiles, Solar, Smooth, Soft, Sound, Sparkling, Special, Spectacular, Speed, Spicy, Splendid, Spice, Spotless, Spruce, Star, Strong, Stunning, Stylish, Subtle, Success, Succulent, Sun, Superb, Superlative, Supersonic, Supreme, Sure, Sweet, Swell, Symphony
Tan, Tangy, Tasty, Tempting, Terrific, Thoroughbred, Thrilling, Thriving, Timeless, Tingle, Tiny, Top, Totally, Traditional, Transformation, Treat, Treasure, Trendy, True, Trust
Ultimate, Ultra, Unbeatable, Unblemished, Undeniably, Undoubtedly, Unique, Unquestionably, Unrivaled, Unsurpassed
Valued, Valuable, Vanish, Varied, Versatile, Victor, Vigorous, Vintage, V.I.P., Vital, Vivacious
Warm, Wealth, Wee, Whiz, Whole, Whopper, Winner, Wise, Wonderful, Worthy, Wow!
Youthful, Yule, Young
Zap, Zeal, Zest, Zip
Things do not change; we change.
-Henry David Thoreau