What was the last thing you said thank you for? Your coffee this morning? Your colleague opening the door?
Now think about a time when you said thank you to yourself or the universe. Have you ever?
I set myself the challenge of reciting daily affirmations – aloud – when I wake each morning. I've always been a believer that positive thinking attracts positive actions. Often, I would mentally will the universe to give me the things I desire most (no, not new shoes or wealth, but health and vitality). Saying positive affirmations out loud gave me peace of mind, helped me to visualise my goals and to feel more zen each day. For me, that makes it worth a try. Even if the internet says that affirmations aren't conducive to daily life and generally don't work.
Affirmations, in essence, help us see things differently so that we truly begin to think that nothing is impossible. The word affirmation comes from the Latin affirmare, originally meaning “to make steady, strengthen.” Affirmations strengthen our minds by helping to manifest our thoughts into something tangible. For this reason, the words we choose to verse are important: there is no such thing as empty words. Much like exercise and yoga, it's thought that affirmations can re-wire our brains at a cellular level. In other words, what you think about matters – a lot.
For seven consecutive days, I repeated a number of affirmations (most days it was seven for no particular reason), and they went something like this:
I'm going to get that job
I'm thankful I have air in my lungs
My mind is healthy and my body is happy
I feel confident in myself and my abilities
I have control over my future
I'm thankful for my friends and family
I'm thankful for the opportunities I'm given
...and so on. Even typing those little affirmations ('mini-mations') leaves me feeling uplifted. I was astonished at how zen I began to feel after only a few days of positive affirming. I also felt more productive during work but that could also be down to the sunshine and an extra few hours of sleep. I'll have to report back on that one.
The art of appreciation is something that can't be mastered in days, weeks or even months, but this small step has already helped to clear my brain fog. You don't need to be spiritual or religious to try daily affirmations but instead, think of them as a mood-boosting tool for better mental health. Interpret your own affirmations to suit your needs and personal wishes and remember to say them with conviction and make them happen.