I wrote a Facebook post last week about the ‘affirmations’ I am practicing at the moment to help me get through a tough time. I just would like to say a thank you Stephie at colitistoostomy for persuading me to write a proper post about what affirmations are, the science behind them and how they can help people with chronic illness.
Many of you may know that I have done a lot of self-development on myself in the last 2 years and in October I will be having specialist councilling to push that development further. Two years ago my life got very painful. Not accepting the bags I became very bitter about my diagnosis, prognosis and I just exuded self pity. I am so far removed from that person today and I truly believe that self-affirmations have helped me get over that barrier. I have found some gratitude for my illness, stoma bags and I can truly see what a miracle it is that I am still here, fighting and seeing the magic in the world being unleashed. I do not deny that at times my health is not great but I do not ponder on it and try to embrace life...one day at a time...
So what are affirmations?
Affirmations are positive, specific statements that help you to overcome self-sabotaging negative thoughts. Positive changes can be made by believing, visualising and affirming yourself. They are simple statements that are designed to create self-change by using them and are simple reminders that serve as an inspiration to achieve goals for that day.
In other words affirmations are used to reprogram the subconscious mind, to encourage us to believe certain things about ourselves. Help us create the reality we want.
Our subconscious mind plays a major role in the actualisation of our lives and the manifestation of our desires.
Have you noticed that when you feel good about yourself and have a positive attitude your life tends to run smoothly?
This is not a coincidence but ‘Law of attraction’ at work. Raising our vibration so when our vibration is positive, positive things are magnetically drawn to us. Subsequently we tend to engage in self-defeating behaviours resulting in negative outcomes when we feel bad about ourselves and have a negative attitude. I am a big believer in ‘law of attraction’ and the synchronicity of the universe and using that regarding my health.
Dealing with chronic illness is difficult especially when it means your life is not how you want it to be. Take back your independence by doing affirmations!
The Science Behind Affirmations
Some people may read this and scoff at the word ‘affirmations’ and assume that it is pointless but unless you try it regularly, how do you know?
In Neuroscience there have been many research studies involving self-affirmations and the brain and have proven that they can have a measurably positive effect on people’s lives. If you tell yourself something for long enough, your brain will start to believe it. Evidence based research shows that affirmations can change the brain on a cellular level. In other words thoughts can have a direct connection to your health.
Neurons connect in your brain by authenticity to thoughts and memories. Reciting these beliefs is said to work because of the increased repetition of certain thought patterns (neural pathways) is said to condition our brains to begin thinking in these new ways like a muscle.
Thoughts then become organised into a ‘pattern’ or ‘neuro-net’ In other words 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 the net and the ‘neural pathways’. So the more you use affirmations the more these nerve cells that are connected together start breaking the long term relationship with your negative thoughts. Rewiring your new affirming beliefs otherwise known as neuroplascitiy.
How do you use affirmations
Today is a new day. Today is a day for you to begin to create a joyous, fulfilling life with Chronic illness and chronic pain. You can change your life for the better and you already have the tools within you to do so...your thoughts and your beliefs!
The affirmations that I personally use have come from the book “You can heal your life” by Louise Hay (I will be reviewing this at some point). This book was such a game changer for me 2 years ago. However at the time I was very reluctant to read it and pessimistic of it working. I guess on some level I wanted to still stay the ‘ill girl’ and that I had felt comfortable in that role. Things have changed so much since then and the affirmations have definitely helped. Louise Hay also has a daily affirmation website which again is very useful and aspiring. Below are a few pictures of the affirmations I use.
Another great source of affirmations that I found was Dr David Hamilton. They really resonated with me and I would like to share them with you:
- I am grateful for all that I am, for all that I have, and for all that I experience.
- I live each day with happiness and joy, trusting that only good things come to me.
- I love and accept myself just as I am.
- I love to cultivate thoughts that enrich my life and my relationships.
- I let go of blame and I speak my truth authentically – without judging myself or others.
- I love to focus on the good things in my life and I love that doing this brings me more blessings.
- I have the inner strength to handle any situation that I find myself in.
- My mind and body are healthy and strong and I nourish them with my spirit, which is infinite.
- I am flexible. I welcome changes in my life and adapt with courage and ease.
- I allow myself to feel happiness and joy for no reason at all. Simply because I deserve it.
I believe that Self-affirmations can help people with chronic pain both mentally and physically however for it to work you really must be open to try it and preserve for at least every day for a few weeks before you see results.
Personally it has offered me potential relief during flares and many sepsis and operation visits. Without the affirmations I would have entered a spiral of negative thought that once starts can infiltrate every aspect of my life and soul. They have also been a relief through ‘personal struggles’ and are a form of comfort and support.
I totally understand that this may not be for everybody however try not to knock it until you have tried it! It is a very self-healing and self-nurturing practice to do. They have helped me make it through another moment, another day....one day at a time through adversity.
I would love to hear your experiences of affirmations!