Imagine that you could stretch out your billions of neurons – brain cells – into a unified, flat surface. Imagine your brain as a vast field, ready to receive whatever seeds you plant for future harvest. Affirmations are those seeds, planted in fertile ground, that will soon grow and blossom into qualities of your future self. Inspired by an image of the better youthat you seek to be, those seeds are what I’m calling affirmations: positive statements you repeat to yourself about yourself and the type of person you want to become.
Or imagine your brain as a machine: the most exquisite, complex system in the world. Dynamic and flexible, it’s constantly shifting from a slower activityto a high-speed performance – from one thought to the next, from daydream to memory, from an emotion to a task, back and forth, on and on.
Unfortunately, much of the time we’re not aware of the half-thoughts and judgments swooshing through our minds – including those bearing negative emotional content. If you stand in front of a mirror and half-consciously think or tell yourself “I’m old and ugly,” your brain will employ thousands of neurons to raise this judgment to conscious awareness. If you repeat this thought enough, you’ll be forming a pathway(a neuronet) that will solidify thataspect of your self-image. The more you repeat the negative judgment, the more you reinforce it, until it becomes a convincing belief about yourself.
Here’s where positive affirmations come in. You can choose your thoughts in a deliberate manner. You can teach your brain to engage and connect millions of neurons in a way that advances your life rather than holding you back.
Simply put, affirmations are every positive thought you think and every positive word you speak. These thoughts and statements are a way of consciously sending messages to your brain. They are a form of neurofeedback whereby you persistently train your brain to create new pathways that will lead to a new self-image. You train your brain so it will create the desired attitude by default.
So if you regularly say to yourself – out loud, or even quietly but deliberately– “I’m strong, healthy, and disciplined” or “I’m patient, focused, and persistent,” over time you’ll create an image of yourself as patient, strong, healthy, and disciplined. In time, through regular, repeated, daily affirmations, you can change your entire belief system about yourself and create a much more promising future for yourself. I’ve seen this change take place over and over with my patients, and in a relatively short time – usually just a few weeks, if that long.
Why not try affirmations for yourself? Start planting some of those seeds today. Let your positive thoughts and spoken words about yourself and your life begin to grow into your own reality – your blossoming new truth about yourself.