Affirmations – Negative and Positive

THE STUFF WE TELL OURSELVES – 

CREATIVE, OBSERVATIONAL, OR WHAT?

 

Have you ever repeated “negative affirmations” like these (to yourself or out loud)?

I don’t deserve to succeed.

The world is against me.

Miracles don’t happen, I never get a break.

I am conflicted about most everything, I can’t make any decisions.

I am a disappointment.

I lead a life of self-deception and sheer stupidity.

I cannot be happy. Ever.

I have absolutely no love in my life. None.

I must play the part of a tragic figure.

I must act sad and moody most all of the time.

I am never really good enough.

My timing is pathetically awful.

Most anything makes me angry, then I feel guilty, then I feel ashamed, then I feel angrier.

Let’s stop right here. Do these words help to create negative conditions, or are they simply a sad commentary on what is?  These examples are meant to be somewhat irrational, absolutist, all-or-nothing assumptions, ’cause that’s how we sometimes (or all too often) think.

It’s true that words have power and that thoughts trigger feelings.  Obviously, some emotions can be motivating … and others make us want to get back to bed, pull the covers over our heads, and have a personal (possibly perpetual) pity-party (not pretty)!

Our thoughts … the words we tell ourselves … might or might not be true or helpful. Yet, often by habit, we have been known to focus our thinking on negative, false, (definitely not helpful) words —negative affirmations, so to speak.

Do negative affirmations work as well as positive ones? Or, perhaps a better question is: do affirmations “work” at all?

How did you feel when you read the set of negative affirmations? Read the next bunch slowly and carefully, savor the phrases, and notice the effect.

I can make my choices based on the outcomes I most desire.

I am loved and appreciated.

I value and appreciate my life.

I have tremendous potential.

I am allowed to pursue my best goals.

I can find out whatever I need to know.

I am fortunate, thankful, grateful.

I am perpetually inspired.

I’m open and receptive to miracles in my life.

I deserve to succeed. I am allowed to succeed.

I can make the choices that make me happy.

I can do what I love.

I have great timing (after all, I AM reading this!)

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For me, some kind of affirmation practice is useful in managing thoughts, and the results that follow. Importantly, they have to be worded in such a way that we can accept them as statements of truth.  I think an “affirmation” that is clearly bogus (inflated, unrealistic, irrational, inappropriate) is more like wishful thinking than a practical tool. Nonetheless, sometimes miracles DO happen, and working with positive affirmations could be a catalyst.

What do you think?

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The Grati-Tools

Practicing the Practical Power of Gratitude

(This is a repeat of earlier material … but you can’t have enough gratitude, I think!)

Intentional gratitude practices – “Grati-Tools”
* to experience more of the positive feelings, moods, emotions associated with gratitude.
* to encourage sincere expressions of gratitude, appreciation, thankfulness.
* to gain new perspectives that could create or catalyze improvements in multiple areas of life.
• to literally increase happiness and well-being; short and long term.

Grati-Tool #1: Gratitude For Those Who Touched My Life
List ten people (or animal companions) from your past or present, who have positively contributed to your life. Those you love, who’ve helped you in some way, mentors, teachers … those who deserve your thanks and appreciation. Once a week, read your list and add ten more names. Think about what you would write to them in a thank-you note. And, maybe … write that note!

Grati-Tool #2: The Gratitude Walk
Take a walk (short or long), and notice all the things that you could conceivably be grateful for.
Such as: life itself, pavement, electricity, trees, traffic lights, cars, sky, eyesight … the things that work.
Consider how your life, and everything in it, might be seen as gifts.

Grati-Tool #3: Liberally and Sincerely EXPRESS Appreciation To Those Who Surely Deserve It
• Say “thank you,” “I appreciate you and what you did,” “good job!” … etc.
• Tell the people you love that you love them.
• Send thank-you notes. • Pay a gratitude visit.

Grati-Tool #4: Observe “Grati-Tuesdays”
Just for fun, make Tuesday the day of the week when you particularly focus on gratitude practice(s).
Or … “Thank You Thursdays” — the day you especially express gratitude to others.

Grati-Tool #5: The Gratitude Journal (a.k.a. “Gratitude Diary” … “Gratitude List”)
Once a day, or even once a week, write down things, people, relationships, circumstances, feelings, abilities, talents, blessings, etc. that you feel grateful for. Three, four, five or more. Be specific.
Even better: also write why!

Grati-Tool #6: Happy Birthday – Grateful For Another Year!
Make a gratitude list on your birthday, with one item for each year of your life.

Grati-Tool #7: Take a Gratitude Break
Close your eyes … relax … and for one minute, focus your attention on a person, thing, circumstance, situation, accomplishment, talent, ability, etc. that you’re truly and deeply grateful for. If you can, imagine/visualize him … her … it. If your mind wanders, just bring it back. FEEL the gratitude and happiness as you focus your attention. Making a mental movie, or creating a mental collage – also fine! Do it once a day, or when you feel stressed or petty!

©2015 Jerry D. Posner  • http://www.jerryposner.com •  You can’t lose … with gratitude!