Another form of journaling that propels us toward God and toward our goals is Positive Affirmations. Much like Joy Journaling, they are a positive, encouraging force that mobilize us into action. I personally use this every day and will share why it works and how I do it. I’ll also share super simple ways you can implement this practice in just a few minutes a day.
So what are they? Positive Affirmations are positive statements and feelings that reflect a current positive truth about ourselves or one we’re working on. They are:
- Written in 1st person and present tense (I am, I do, I think, I feel).
- Motivating and uplifting, helping us recognize who we really are and what we are capable of achieving.
- The opposite of the critical chatter that can fill our thoughts and keep us stuck.
The more we repeat them, drill them into our heads (like simple math problems) the more they drown out the critical chatter and we believe them for the truth they are.
Practice Makes Permanent~Mike Marsh
A friend of mine says, “Practice makes permanent.” Note he doesn’t say “perfect.” That’s because the more we practice something, or think of something, the more permanent it becomes. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather have positive, encouraging, uplifting thoughts encouraging me to move forward be more permanent than the negative, critical ones that keep me stuck.
We all have that inner critic in our heads. Its that voice that pipes up whenever we want to change something. Thousands of years ago, change signaled danger. Our brains will do anything to avoid danger. To keep us safe, we were gifted with survival instincts triggering us to fight the perceived threat, run from it (flight) or freeze like an opossum until things get back to normal. The problem is most changes we want or need to make don’t warrant such an extreme reaction any more. The good news is we’ve also been gifted with tools to transform those fears into encouragement with simple techniques, like Positive Affirmations.
Safe to Change
Positive Affirmations give us a sense of hope and safety, quelling fears and doubts that creep in as we try to move forward. Some times I see those doubts and fears like Satan trying to sabotage my efforts. Other times I see them as a scared little girl whose afraid of the unknown. I experience more forward motion when I approach these fears as a parent soothing, comforting, reassuring and partnering with this frightened child as I write the positive affirmations. I sometimes have to physically put my hand up, turn around and rebuke Satan as he tries to freeze me into a frightened little girl, but I always encourage and support that frightened part of me. Reminding myself I am God’s beloved child and I am helping people through my work.
When I first started using Positive Affirmations, I started with the basics. Struggling with self-worth, I thought I needed to do something spectacular to earn love–even God’s love. We all know God loves us totally and unconditionally. But I didn’t believe it and own it as true for me. I began by writing, “I am a beloved, cherished child of God.” over and over and over again. I used it as a mantra while driving and walking, put it on sticky notes where I would see it regularly, said it silently to myself before mass and before I went to sleep at night. It didn’t take long until I really started to really believe it. It led to stronger ties to God as well as trust in him to follow his will for me.
My Daily Practice
Since then, I incorporate positive affirmations as part of my daily journaling routine. I think of something I’m struggling with such as making the time to move my body (exercise). Even though I feel so good when I take that 30-45 minutes every day, resistance still creeps in telling me there’s more important things I should do. I like to acknowledge and thank the resistance and it’s intention by writing it down. After all, it has a valid point. Much like a child needs validation when they are scared. I then turn it into a positive statement and then write that statement 10 times–usually with my non-dominant hand. This engages and ingrains it into both sides of my brain. This tends to produce a creative solution satisfying both needs, easily allowing me plenty of time to get it all done.
It might look like this:
- I don’t have time to move my body today like I want to.
- Rephrased into a positive affirmation, I write 10 times with my non-dominant hand: I have plenty of time to move my body today.
- An idea pops into my head to take 5 minute strength training breaks every hour (adding up to at least 30 minutes of lunges, squats, bicep curls, push-ups, toe raises, tricep kickbacks, or other strength moves).
- I then switch back to my dominant hand and write down how I’m going to carry it out.
Not only do I get my strength training in, those little movement breaks infuse more oxygen into my brain. I work more efficiently and I get more accomplished. Bonus!
Ingraining the Truth
Sometimes, Positive Affirmations don’t ‘solve’ problems like my body movement dilemma. Sometimes they’re more daunting, like the one I used when I first started this practice. However, it doesn’t make it less powerful. In fact, realizing I was one of God’s beloved, cherished and chosen children was the 1st step to claiming my worth, to move forward in life and create a successful coaching business. While taking time to sink in, truly believing I am worthy of everything God has to offer has freed me up to share this information with you. It’s my hope you’ll use it and let it (and God) help you pray often, eat well and move more so you can lead the active, productive life you desire and deserve!
It’s your turn! Share a positive affirmation in the comments below.
It’s easy to start Positive Affirmation journaling with the Pray. Eat. Move. Journal. Write your own Positive Affirmations, use the prompts as an affirmation or reword the prompts to form the affirmation you need. In just a few minutes a day, you’ll foster a ‘can-do’ attitude and feel yourself gliding upward toward God and your goals! For more information on journaling check out my posts on Daily Logs and Joy Journaling as well as my free Guide to Journaling: Connecting With God & Improve Your Health.