Creating Affirmations That Work

Imagine that you’re holding a perfect, bright yellow lemon in your hand. Feel the cool, smooth skin of the fruit, then sniff it, and inhale the tangy aroma. Now imagine taking a huge bite. Chances are you puckered up and triggered a saliva flow just thinking about the overwhelmingly sour taste of that lemon.

You just experienced a very physical example of how the brain can’t easily distinguish between what’s real, and what’s imagined.

To a great extent, that’s exactly why thoughtfully worded affirmations can be so effective in helping us change nonproductive behaviors, and achieve important goals.

It’s essential to understand that for an affirmation to work, we need to feel an authentic connection to what we desire to bring into our life. The same way that we visualized holding, sniffing and biting into that imaginary lemon, whatever we’re affirming needs to be grounded in authenticity. For instance, declaring, “I will create symphonic masterpieces that are more respected and loved than Beethoven’s” isn’t an affirmation – it’s a lie. You consciously realize it’s not true, and there’s little to no chance it could ever become reality.

If music is your passion, gently build on what you can already do. “I love practicing the piano, and I’m starting to hear beautiful songs in my head that I can write down and play” speaks to a strength you already have – practicing – and elevates you to the next level – composing – in a logical and credible progression.

Acknowledging any challenges in your affirmations also keeps you rooted in reality and sets you up for progress and new success. “While I’m nervous about starting to date again, I’m also excited about sharing quality time with like-minded people, and enjoying new adventures” honestly confronts your initial hesitation, but gently guides you towards creating positive new connections.

When you’re writing your affirmations, be mindful of the words you choose. Empowering, positive statements “stick.” For example, instead of the tentative, “I’ll try,” use the more assertive, “I WILL.” Instead of “I want,” which implies a lack, substitute “I create,” which implies specific action. Instead of “I should,” use “I choose to.”

Visualize yourself actually doing the action spelled out in the affirmation, and feel the emotional excitement and connection to that image. Repetition is also key to keep your affirmation achievable.

Keep in mind that affirmations aren’t about what’s ‘wrong’ with you. Trash-talking yourself, say psychologists, is not a good motivator. Rather, affirmations that have the power to encourage you to embrace new possibilities are rooted in celebrating the best parts of who you are. Acknowledging past achievements, and visualizing exciting new possibilities creates the fertile environment for growth and realizing your dreams.

Realize positive, powerful and lasting changes when you embark on a life-affirming visit to the Optimum Health Institute in San Diego or Austin, Texas. Our caring team can help you achieve your mental, physical, emotional and spiritual goals for optimal health. Visit our website at www.optimumhealth.org , and call us at (800) 993-4325 to make your reservation.

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