- Thinking about where you are and what you are doing at this very moment
- Closing your eyes
- Allowing thoughts about what already or will happen move in an out of your consciousness with your non-judging mind and gentle persuasion
- Focusing on the sensations of breathing each breath and noticing what that does to your belly, nostrils and lungs
- Making note of every thought and feeling that comes up and then returning to your breathing to further anchor your attention
- Observing your mind but, not getting stuck on any one particular thought or feeling as your breathing becomes more natural, full and steady
- Opening your eyes and looking at something you have seen before with a fresh perspective.
What are Affirmations?
Affirmations are declarative statements about something you now know, did, or intend to do. When you use an Affirmation you are not only being aware of your thoughts, but you are taking conscious control of them. When you say, write, read or even think of an Affirmation, you are, in effect, taking steps to acknowledge what is worthwhile about you.
Studies have shown that most of our daily thoughts are negative. Working with Affirmations makes you aware of how self-defeating thoughts chip away at your creativity. Affirmations help you create a new reality and visualize what you essentially want out of life.
Negativity can threaten your health and happiness. In fact, when you are not paying attention to your thinking, you are more liable to pessimistic and not realistic or optimistic. The more you are aware of what you are actually telling yourself, the more upbeat you will sound. Using command based phraseology, keeping the Affirmation in the present tense and making it reality based offers you more reinforcement. Repeatedly telling yourself that you are, or will be, deserving, healthy, and successful, the more your positive determination will flow. You’re more likely to see a bounce in your step and a lift in your life by using daily Affirmations.
What are Mindful Affirmations?
” Mindful Affirmations ” are not just inspirational sayings. We use the term as thought provoking phrases that loosely derive from Mindfulness ideas of Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn, who founded the medical and meditative models of Mindfulness. He came up with Eight Stations of Mindful Meditation:
- Find the essence
- Slow down
- See things with a new perspective
Mindful Affirmations incorporate one or more of these active stations into each passage in order to support the Mindful notion of keeping an “open mind,” where possibilities have no limits. They are not meditations as used by Dr Zinn and others. Mindful Affirmations take ordinary Affirmations like “Your self-confidence will carry you on,” and make them more reality based so the reader can gradually acknowledge and accept the truth about their life. An example of expanding the above Affirmation into a Mindful Affirmation would be “I barely thought of my own self-worth until I saw myself going backwards in life. Letting myself go and losing all I had gained made me feel stuck and dependent. I now see how harnessing my self-esteem can help me not only find my way but, carry me through life.”
This phraseology helps to evoke not only the reader’s subconscious mind, but keeps the reader focused on the key of Mindfulness, just being in the moment.
Pain is about growth and is inevitable. Unfortunately, too many of us have become addicted to suffering… but suffering is optional! Mindful Affirmations make our conscious and subconscious minds look at our pain and release our fears about the unknown. Our inner subconscious mind has the desire for change but doesn’t know just what to change or how to do it. Our outer conscious mind desires to be relaxed, in balance and accept our state of affairs. When working in concert our two minds remove expectations/accusations and allow us to gently examine our feelings, thoughts and behaviors about the past without dwelling or being judgmental.
When Mindful Affirmations are written in the first person they can help the reader not only empathize with the writer, but slowly begin to accept and validate their own pain, saying inside themselves, “I guess I am not alone.” Mindful Affirmations not only break down the reader’s self-imposed isolation but offer them options for change such as in the passage, “I now see that responding rather than reacting will build a healthy interpersonal world for myself.”
It has been my clinical experience that each time I ask a patient to read a Mindful Affirmation, they mention to me that they now see their old problem in a different way. One of the core values of Mindfulness is to be able to see yourself and the world around you with a “new set of eyes.”
The focus is on accepting, commitment and learning (refers to “ACT” therapy) a new way of living or looking at life. Mindful Affirmations help the reader’s mind stay engaged while supporting the surrender of old baggage and unfulfilled expectations.
Mindful Affirmations use positive assertions like “I feel happy,” but allow our present awareness to reinforce our declaration giving us clarity of thought to see our options. It is a coping strategy. For example, the statement “When I am stressed I make myself sit and take notice of my surroundings,” supports your inner desire to stay calm and centered rather than be overwhelmed and scattered.
The book takes Affirmations to the next level by first talking about how “I” (the reader) arrived at the state of not being able to take control, what resulted, and how “I” plan to take command of my life in the future.
Using these three components to the Affirmation not only supports the drive to do better, but plants the seed more firmly that “I” will make progress and “I” can learn from my past. Mindful Affirmations are cyclical in nature. Each time a negative feeling comes up the reader has a choice to make good or bad decisions. The truth is that we are more likely to accomplish what we set out to do, if we are keenly aware of how the past made us feel and what consequences may lie ahead.
Mindful Affirmations help you not only face reality, but look beyond it by challenging your old mental dialogue with a new perspective. Mindful Affirmations allow you to step back from life enough to examine regrets and embrace new options. Mindful Affirmations help you discover that who you really are is what keeps you alive, vital and present.
Dr Unger’s new book “Presence of Mind – Mindful Affirmations” is available at the website Store.
Real Psych Solutions ( http://www.realpsychsolutions.com ) provides Real Psychology Solutions: Practical Self-Help Materials for Mental Health and Living Well and is physically located at The Center for Empowerment in Dana Point, CA, but has a global online following. It was founded by Arlene Unger, PhD (PSY) and Stefan Unger, PhD in 2009.
Real Psych Solutions aims to provide useful and practical self-help materials based on the work of licensed mental health and medical professionals, certified lifestyle and wellness coaches and other recognized experts. We have lots of Free Materials and Resources from many Authors, as well as an online Store with valuable and insightful, but economically priced, items.
? 2010 Arlene Unger, PhD. All rights reserved. This article may be reproduced “as is”, i.e. without change or fees.