• Gemma Tighe

Affirmations and there power

I've been using affirmations for a number of years now, most significantly over the past 12 years, after coming out of a particularly challenging relationship were I lost a lot of who I was as a person.

The most significant affirmation for me, which has had the greatest impact was "This too shall pass." from a German philosopher Eckhart Tolle and his book "The Power of Now". The quote is all about whatever the moment we are in, we must embrace it, as it will pass, whether it is good or bad. During difficult times I used to scroll this on my hand to look at and remind me regularly that everything would be ok.

What is an affirmation?

Affirmations are thoughts, which we intentionally and unintentionally at times use to support, encourage and calm our mind and body, they can be positive statements, which we use to challenge our internal monologue which at times can be quite negative. Affirmations can impact our behaviour patterns, habits, health and moods.

The brain works to a degree in visual images, utilising words can therefore act as a trigger of a mental images, so practising visualisations alongside the affirmations can be incredibly impactful. When we add the practise of gratitude along with the above, well the difference can be quite phenomenal, with a surge of dopamine being released into our bodies uplifting the mindset.

When I teach I regularly mention about how we talk to ourselves on the mat as ultimately this usually transcends from the mat into our everyday self talk. If being unkind or tough on yourself through you're own inner monologue is the norm then bringing in affirmations can make a big difference. Research shows us that how you think, visualize, and what you say to yourself can change your body, brain, and life.

Another amazing gift, which has been evidenced from using positive affirmations and visualisations is that we actually become more mentally resilient we become to negative comments made to us. If that isn't enough to get you on the affirmation band wagon, I'm not sure what is?!

When we are thinking the brain is firing out signals and releasing neurotransmitters and these pretty much control all of the bodies functions, including our moods and feelings. They say we have around 60,000 thoughts per day and 59,000 of these are the same thoughts as yesterday, so it makes sense that if you begin to have good thoughts that there is going to be a change in your everyday thoughts and in turn your brain chemistry.

So what are the benefits, not including the above from using affirmations...

The daily use of affirmations can decrease stress levels

Increase our physical energy levels (this is something I definitely need)

We're more open to looking after our health and making changes

It can boost our academic achievement

Regular practise can effect lowering stress levels and rumination both factors in depression and anxiety.

Increase feelings of hope and self confidence.

Increase work performance

Quitting a bad habit.

I am a firm believer that most of the time we have everything within us to help ourselves, the use of affirmations, visualisation and gratitude can give us a positive power and tool in our everyday life and as I'm always saying to my 5 year old who is learning to read and write... "Practise makes perfect." So take time daily to practise affirmations, make them part of your everyday routine, routine becomes habit and habit becomes the norm.

We talk to ourselves all day long through our inner monologue, so why not use it to help you?

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