We can all agree that we’ve heard the term “affirmations” many times in the past few years. They’re those “I am statements” that go something like I am grateful. I am lovable. I am open. They’re told to release years of pent-up fear, pain and shame. But when I first began doing affirmations, I wanted to look into the science of them, are these statements really re-wiring my brain? Yes. Yes they are.
These affirmations, if consistent, actually change the brain on a cellular level – in other words, what you think about matters a lot. Thoughts make a chemical – if you have happy thoughts, then you’re producing chemicals that make you feel happy. Negative angry thoughts and fearful thoughts also produce chemicals to make you feel how you’re thinking.
Neurons connect in your brain by attaching to thoughts and memories. Thoughts then become organized into a ‘pattern’ or ‘neuro-net’. For example: the feeling of love is stored in a very large neuro-net. Each person builds his or her concept of love from many different ideas and experiences. So some people have connected love to disappointment. So when they think of love, they INSTANTLY experience the memory of pain or anger. These feelings can be linked to a specific person, which then is connected with love.
You can say, brain cells that ‘fire together, wire together. And the more you FEEL a certain way the more these nerve cells develop a long-term relationship.
Affirmations INTERRUPT your neuro-nets. And the more you use affirmations, the more those nerve cells that are connected to each other (firing together) start breaking the long-term relationship with your negative thoughts, literally RE-WIRING to your NEW affirmation beliefs. This is called neuroplasticity. So that’s science.
Think about it… if you believe the phrase “you are what you think” then life truly stems from YOUR thoughts. But we cannot rely purely on thoughts, we must translate thoughts into words and eventually into actions in order to manifest our intentions of who we want to be and how we want to feel. This means we have to be very careful with our words, choosing to speak only those which work TOWARDS our benefit and cultivate our highest good.
I firmly believe that we influence the universe word by word. If we dictate to it our wishes, it WILL respond. When we utter a sound, we put out a sound wave into the universe. This sound wave becomes a real object, in the sense. It therefore then exists in our world, intangible and invisible.
It’s important to realize that no words are empty words. as every syllable we speak whips around energy towards or against us. If you are constantly saying “I can’t..” the energy of your words will then be around and within you, and against you…. But if you say “I CAN!” or for affirmations sake “I AM…!” the energy you put out with that will work FOR you.
So when you speak or think negative thoughts about yourself and what you are NOT capable of… then guess what? Your brain will keep telling you that you’re right.. you can’t do that.. because it as no other choice. But if you tell it what it CAN do and what you ARE (even if it feels like a “lie” – which is normal to feel) your brain will believe you, and over time it will naturally and automatically CHOOSE to the I AM!
Different ways to get started:
- At the end of your gratitude journal, each morning, write down 3 affirmations. Three things you WANT to SEE and ALLOW yourself more of.
- I am beautiful (because you ARE!!!)
- I am confident (it’s in there!!)
- I am able to trust others (you can!)
Doing these after your gratitudes allows you to FEEL them because you’re already on a ‘high’ and feeling full of love and inspiration from your gratitudes, so being able to speak on who you WANT to be in such a vulnerable moment is key. Feel the affirmations. SEE yourself BEING the affirmations.
Then throughout the day, remember those three affirmations. When you find yourself in a situation where you all of a sudden feel a lack of confidence or ‘small’… in your head repeat “ I AM confident… I AM confident…” FEEL the words throughout your body. Because you ARE them.
When you are able to repeat those affirmations in times when you want to instead think a negative thought, that’s when you’re going against the science. Allow yourself to literally rewire itself for it’s own GOOD! You have the power to completely change the way you think (and at some point you’ll think so ‘I am’ clearly without even having to ‘do’ it) and view yourself, who wouldn’t want to at least try it?
I can say from experience since writing down affirmations in my gratitude journal I have grown confidence. Yes, other factors have played a part… but I AM my affirmations, and I’ve rewired my brain to SEE the beauty I have within and the confidence I can exude.
Allow yourself to do the same.
- Write a new affirmation each morning on your bathroom mirror with a bar of soap or dry erase marker. Have fun with it! wake up and be EXCITED to erase yesterdays and think of a NEW way to improve yourself! It can be one off the 3 in your journal, one that you want to really work on. Write it, read it out loud. And throughout the day or in the evening when you come back home from work, you’ll be reminded of what you ARE.
- On your car’s rear view mirror. This can be a weekly one. With a dry erase pen, each Monday write a short and sweet affirmation. You’ll see it constantly (and subconsciously) while you’re driving. You will also see your eyes reflecting in the rear view mirror, and you can say the affirmation aloud or to yourself WHILE looking at yourself – a very powerful technique. It may be uncomfortable at first, but do it. trust me.
- Record a voice memo with your phone, containing your list of affirmations, lots of them. Say them slowly, repeating each affirmation twice. Then with that database, you can listen to this recording of your own voice while jogging, working out, walking to work, grocery shopping. As you listen, repeat the affirmation in your head or out loud.
- Do you deal with anxiety while in public settings? Like the grocery store? As you approach the check-out line, a place I know I used to get anxiety’ pop one head phone in and HEAR yourself “I am confident”. Do this for any scenario!
- Create a repeating calendar event (at a random time each day) with your affirmation. You can do this on a Sunday evening, scheduling in ahead of time for the week. You can choose one word to pop up at different times of the day throughout the week or do a different affirmation each ‘time’. So when that time (“scheduled appointment”) hits it will pop up on your phone’s screen or computer and remind you of what you ARE. Changing your brain. Continuously.
- Write out a list of affirmations, take a photo of it with your phone and set it as your lock or home screen. Or even write them in the notepad on your phone and screenshot that to use.
- Write an affirmation on a note card of small piece of paper and stick in your wallet, so when you pull it out throughout the day you’ll be reminded.
The important thing to remember is that there is no right or wrong way to do it. it’s all about consistency, and getting into the HABIT of quickly reminding yourself of y9our affirmation when the time is appropriate.
With time, your brain will change. You’ll feel more YOU. More confident. More beautiful. Whatever it is you want to be and FEEL but your past, limiting beliefs, old situations that are holding you back… can be rewired, for life.
Examples of Affirmations:
- I AM full of joy
- I AM the architect of my life, I build it’s foundation and choose its contents
- My body IS healthy, I AM healthy
- I AM superior to negative thoughts
- I AM full of endless talents and gifts that I will begin to use today
- I AM forgiving of those who have hurt me
- I AM confident when I speak to others
- I AM a positive and valuable contributor to my relationships
- I AM always feeling great about myself and the choices I make
- I AM successful and attract other successful people into my life
- I AM capable of being a great wife (daughter, sister.. etc)
- I have the qualities I need to be successful
- I AM happy with how my morning has already begun
- I AM courageous and I stand up for myself
- I AM able to voice my opinion in EVERY situation
- I AM admired by those who look up to me
- I AM always radiating beauty and grace
- I AM the creator of my life. Only me.
The list can go on and on… you get the point.
Because your experience will create the conditions that allow affirmations to manifest and re-wire your brain, word the affirmations carefully to make them crystal-clear. State your real, innermost desires and articulate them so you FEEL the meaning behind it without having to be distracted on what else the affirmation could mean.
I will be talking more about Affirmations and so much more to help give you the correct tools to become a happier and healthier person, while gaining more self-love than ever, during my 2017 Happiness Tour!