Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Self Affirmations Work!
"Being happy doesn't mean that everything is perfect. It means that you've decided to look beyond the imperfections."
We could all take a page out of Jessica's book.... Learning to love yourself is hard. We are all our own harshest critics. Somehow society teaches us that it is unacceptable to love ourselves and to shout it from the rooftops like this cute little one. Children always remind me of the way life is supposed to be. Most of us walk around with negative ideas floating around in our heads all day long, clouding our logical thought process. "I'm fat... I'm ugly... I'm not good enough... I'm stupid..." all things that clients, friends, and family have said to me without blinking an eye. Yet for some reason proclaiming how smart, beautiful, funny, or charming we are is as challenging as climbing Mount Everest.
There are plenty of self help books and gimmicks out there that seem silly. However, learning how to positive self-talk is a major part of the widely used practice of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). Basically, in layman's terms, CBT argues that the way we think alters the way we feel ... and the way we feel affects the way we behave. Therefore, if we begin to change our thinking about ourselves (even if we don't believe our affirmations at first), eventually we will feel and behave in ways that allign with our thoughts.
Thought stopping is one major way that CBT addresses negative self-talk and intrusive thoughts. Essentially, thought stopping is exactly what it sounds like. When you begin to notice negative thoughts, you give yourself a sudden trigger to stop yourself (including saying "stop" in your head to yourself, clapping your hands, snapping a rubber band on your wrist... anything that works) and then force yourself to replace the negative thought with a happy thought or positive thought about yourself. It seems so simple.... but I've seen this work if it's practiced! Make the choice to replace all the negativity in your life with positivity and see where it leads you...
Here are some positive self-talk phrases that you can look into the mirror and say... just like Jessica did!
- I am beautiful
- I can do anything I put my mind to
- I am lovable
- I am confident in my ability to get through this hard time
- I can focus on the things I like about myself
Be good to yourself and be your own best friend.... after all who else knows you better?