In case you are not familiar with the term, an affirmation is a statement of emotional support or encouragement. Positive affirmations are used a lot in therapy as an aid for self-esteem boosting, goal meeting, depression, anxiety, fears, etc. I have seen these simple phrases work countless times. It never fails: I ask a client to come up with an affirmation to say once a day or when they feel they need whatever they are lacking, and they look at me like I am crazy. They can’t believe that one statement said in front of the mirror or under their breath could make that much of a difference, but it does!
Research suggests that positive affirmations can protect against damaging effects of stress on problem-solving performance. I call this a “hands on, be your own therapist” tool. Let’s take public speaking for instance. When the onset of anxiety inhibits one to perform a task such as speaking in public, an affirmation is a quick and easy way to boost self- confidence and normalize the anxiety before his/her performance. One in this situation could say, “I am a good public speaker.” The point is to say it over and and over until your brain is remapped and you believe what you say, in most part because it is true.
I started using positive affirmations in my own life when I became pregnant. I opened a tea bag one night and there on the tea it stated, “You are unlimited” and I thought, “Yes I am.” From that day on, “You are unlimited” was my daily affirmation. I said it every day I was pregnant, several hundred times when I was laboring and delivering, and I still say it on days when I struggle. I encourage all who are reading this to come up with your own daily affirmation. Say it in the mirror, in the car on your way to work, or under your breath as you are making dinner, but say it and own it! My hope is it that one simple phrase will empower you to move forward and not get in your own way.
Natalie Nesbitt, MS, LPC, loves working with couples! Helping them find the passion in their relationship; remove blocks that are keeping them from being their best; learning to have a marriage they have only dreamed. Providing personalized couples therapy and life counseling at her private psychotherapy practice in Paoli, Pennsylvania, conveniently located on the Main Line. She has helped countless couples save their marriages and/or relationships and come back from the deepest of betrayals.