Even if you have no idea what affirmations are, you’ve probably heard or seen them in one form or another. You’ve probably seen people take sticky notes and write things like “I am smart” and put them all over their house or seen videos all over social media of little kids repeatedly saying things such as “ I can accomplish all my goals” on their walk to school, or you may have even double tapped on a post that said something like “I am brave.” All of those are affirmations. Affirmations are short statements we say and repeat to ourselves, whether that be out loud or simply in our minds. You may or may not realize this, but words are powerful and whatever you say or think to yourself becomes embedded in your brain.
You see our brain has this thing called the Reticular Activating System (RAS) and it connects the conscious part of the brain to the subconscious. In other words, it filters out all of the unnecessary information so all of the important stuff gets through. For instance, when someone calls your name in a crowd, you are able to tune everyone else out and solely focus on the person addressing you. Another example is when you’re looking around and wanting to find objects that are the shade of pink, you are able to focus on a pink phone case and a pink notebook. Although the pink notebook and pink phone case may have always been there, it wasn’t until you started scoping them out that they became visible to you. That is the job of the RAS, to make us aware of what we’re looking for. It basically takes what you’re focusing on, and then searches the database that is your subconscious mind, and presents you with the information you’re searching for. All of this happens without you being consciously aware. Pretty awesome, right?
How does this relate to affirmations? Well in the same way that the RAS passes information from your subconscious to your conscious mind, it is also responsible for the opposite. It takes information from your conscious mind and passes it on to your subconscious mind. Over time this information is stored and turns into your beliefs. So if you were to take something and repeat it to yourself on a constant basis, whether it be positive or negative, that thing would go on to become one of your beliefs. Repeating something to yourself can be thought of as watering seeds. If you were to go and water a specific spot in your backyard daily, whatever is there would grow, whether it be flowers or weeds. That’s exactly how the subconscious mind works, whatever seeds (thoughts) you water (affirm repeatedly) constantly will grow and turn into flowers or weeds (beliefs.)
This is where affirmations come in! Affirmations are short, positive statements that you continuously repeat to yourself. The purpose is to get them into our subconscious mind so that they can help us change our underlying beliefs or develop new ones. It is important to say the affirmations in present tense (I am) , so your subconscious mind gets to work on them right away and believes they are true right now, rather than some vague future (I will.) Some examples of affirmations are : I am healthy, I deserve the best, I am positive, etc. You can use affirmations for anything, it’s completely up to you. Using affirmations is very simple, all you need to do is pick a phrase and repeat it to yourself on a daily basis until it becomes embedded in your brain and turns into a belief.