If we’re not careful, we can be our own worst enemy. Learn how to become your own support with affirmations and visualizations.
The Meaning of a Word
What are words? When you break them down into their parts, words are just combinations of meaningless sounds. Even when written, words are made of the thinnest layers of ink or graphite or simple, transitory pixels on your screen that represent those meaningless sounds. It doesn’t get much more insubstantial than that. No wonder people claim that words will never hurt us, but that old adage is wrong, so very wrong.
Despite appearing frail and intangible, words may be more solid than we ever imagined. Think about it. Words are everything we know. We use them to define our reality and color our perspectives. We hammer meaning into those sounds with such force that we cannot remove them. We cannot experience our stunning universe without them swimming in our head, helping us to understand what we are seeing, feeling, hearing, smelling, and tasting. They give meaning to the emotions burning in our chests. Life would be a dead vacuum without the ability to define it. Words hold power.
The Danger of Words
This means they can hurt, they can cut deep and leave emotional scars, but they can also heal, comfort, build up, and inspire. The right words in the right moment can bring us to tears, change minds, or even stir up revolution. The pen truly is mightier than the sword, because we use words in more ways than we can ever use a weapon. Never let someone tell you that your words don’t matter, that your voice cannot change the world, or that something someone said couldn’t possibly have hurt you. They are using their own words to lie.
Unfortunately we hurt ourselves far more often than we should with the words we allow to enter our heads and run out our mouths. Negative self-talk is an act of violence against yourself, whether spoken or unspoken. Letting the negative voice in your head rule your thoughts is a path to unhappiness, depression, self-loathing, pain, and more suffering than anyone should dump on themselves. Self-fulfilling prophesies are real, and the mind is a powerful machine capable of shaping our reality. Quantum physics shows that expectation and observation do affect the universe. The placebo effect is a prime example of what belief can do for good.
So silence that voice and feed yourself only the best words with positive affirmations and visualizations. You may feel a little odd at first and you may not even believe that saying something positive can change your life, but if you’re tired of feeling exhausted, dejected, alone, sad, weak, or useless, these techniques are well worth a shot.
What Are Affirmations?
Affirmations are simply positive phrases you say to yourself, out loud or internally, that help you silence the negative voices. You repeat them as often as you need to. They also consciously tap into the power of the placebo effect to influence health, or into the power of our quantum world to influence other aspects of our lives.
What Are Visualizations?
Visualizations are similar to affirmations, but, as the name denotes, you visual a positive outcome. Our brains have a hard time distinguishing between something that is actually happening and something we imagine happening. It means reading stories builds empathy, works the brain, and safely exposes us to stress and then releases that stress.
Visualizations are miniature stories we create in our minds. We can see ourselves making the basket, standing in front of admiring friends after losing that extra weight, crossing a finish line, or winning an award. Our brains see them as real and release beneficial neurotransmitters and even prepare muscles to respond the way we see them responding in our heads. This is why many athletes use visualizations to improve their performance under pressure.
7 Tips for Affirmations and Visualizations
Always use affirmations and visualizations that are positive in nature. Avoid words like no, can’t, won’t, don’t, never and focus on words like yes, can, always, am. I am strong. I can handle anything they throw at me at work today. I give generously. I love freely. I am rocking my interview. Confidence is simply a part of me. Keep them in present tense. Present tense is the now we experience and the words are more powerful and affect your subconscious more deeply. Your visualizations should also be of success, health, and happiness and experienced in that moment of triumph.
Don’t go too elaborate with your affirmations or visualizations. They should be concentrated and powerful. You want to be able to pull them up any time your negative side shows up, and the short ones are easier to remember and put to use.
Don’t let the affirmations become a mindless mantra you just say. Pay attention to the words. Feel them. Believe them. Once again, your body and the quantum world respond to what you believe, expect, and observe to be true.
Affirmations and visualizations are not an overnight fix. They are just two tools of many you can use to influence your life. Exercise, eating well, good friends, sunlight, nature, and professional help are things you may need too and they all take time. Stressing when things don’t go as well as you hoped, or beating yourself up when you fail to do as well as visualized doesn’t help you any. Relax and do better next time. Don’t try to force it and forgive yourself when you slip.
Say Them Anyway
Even if you don’t believe, say it anyway. It will still have some effect on your life and will silence the negativity that increases stress hormones and chips away at your health and well-being.
You didn’t learn all the words you know with first contact. You need these words to sink in and become a part of who you are. Repeat them often with a sense of purpose. Put a little willpower behind them.
Notice the Change
Change comes slowly and subtlety. Notice these tiny steps forward and celebrate them no matter how small they seem. Progress is still progress and it takes a lot of work to alter ourselves even an inch.
You are amazing, unique, strong, beautiful, and more important than you know. Don’t let yourself ever forget it. Take control of your internal dialogue and show the world how special you are. I believe in you.