How has your year been so far? What was last year like? Do you need an extra dose of positivity?
Last year was a hard year for a lot of people. Political and religious tension is everywhere. An environment like that can make it so hard to maintain a positive outlook on life.
This year has been infinitely harder. Personally, I have been tired, struggling to find motivation, and unhappy with many aspects of my life.
I feel like the majority of my Facebook news feed all year long was filled with people struggling. They were sick, they were stressed, they hated their boss, they hated their body, they hated their ex, they hated hate. I sent more virtual hugs than I can even count.
I was right there in the mix, struggling alongside so many loved ones and Facebook acquaintances. So many times, I tried to only share positivity in my posts, in the hopes of brightening someone’s day, but I wonder how effective that actually is. Does it make you feel better to see someone else’s lollipops and rainbows when you are suffering a deluge of problems on a daily basis?
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This is something I think about a lot (authenticity vs. an attempt to be positive.) Are my positive posts actually helping people? Or do they only serve as a reminder of things someone lacks?
Anyway, there is a practice I started in 2018 that I think really helped, and I know can help whoever reads this. It is a little unorthodox, so be forewarned: People too cool for believing in the abundance of the universe and the law of attraction, now is the time to skedaddle.
Why positive affirmations work
Every day, I use 3 resources to ingrain some positivity into my brain which I will detail in a bit. Did you know that your brain is so amazingly powerful, but also incredibly fragile? It has the power to believe whatever you tell it, which is a bad thing and a good thing depending on how you look at it. The great thing about that is that you can feed it the information you want it to have, and over time it will believe you.
Science nut? Check out this cool article about the power of our brain. To sum up:
You can’t tell yourself that you believe in your abilities just one or two times and expect it to make a real difference; you have got to affirm your belief in yourself day after day, month after month, until it becomes an unbreakable habit.’(Huffington Post)
When you reach the point of having complete faith in yourself you will know it. There is a noticeable rush of positive energy throughout the entire body that lets you know that in this moment, you do in fact believe in yourself. Use this knowledge of the positive emotion to gauge whether or not you believe in yourself at any moment in time.
What do we need to do?
Be patient with ourselves.
Our thought are not going to change overnight. We have to make it a priority daily to watch the sorts of thoughts we allow to take up residence in our brains.
Now, I don’t think it’s possible to never have a negative thought. We have thousands of thoughts a day and we simply cannot police them all.
What we can do is try our hardest to cancel them out when they come up.
This is a method I really like for cancelling out negative thoughts. When you feel yourself thinking negatively, this is what you do:
•Negative thought: I am such a failure.
•Think: Cancel-cancel, delete-delete. (Literally, those words.)
•Positive thought: I am constantly trying to improve and doing the best that I can.
Find an accountability partner
Find someone who spends a lot of time with you and ask them to hold you accountable for the way that you think.
If they hear you say something negative about yourself, or just negative in general, have them flick you on the arm or tell you a pre-determined phrase. This will help retrain your brain, and gear it toward positivity.
Resources to check out
- First, I use an app called Affirmations. Every day, it gives you a randomly generated phrase to say to yourself. For instance, today’s was: “I am constantly learning about people and how I can better relate to them.”
- Next, I use an app called HayHouse VB. It allows you to create a virtual vision board. You can include meaningful phrases, images, or progress charts for whatever your goals may be.
- Lastly, I use the Notes app on my phone to read phrases to myself. These are going to be unique to you, so make sure to come up with something that carries meaning. One of mine is: “I am capable of giving and receiving love.”
The positive affirmations will be difficult at first, because you will not believe the things you are reading. They will seem contrived and false and full of impossible hope. But that big beautiful brain of yours just needs time to heal and learn just how true they are.
Try it out for 90 days! I guarantee your brain will thank you.
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