Positive Thoughts and Affirmations
We've all been there – we're moving along through our day, feeling relaxed and content, when our mind becomes overwhelmed or bombarded with negative thoughts. Or, we cross paths with someone vibrating negative energy. Or, we just wake up in a bad mood. What can we do?
Your thoughts directly influence your attitude, mood and behavior. They have powerful energy and potential in how they guide our choices. Negative thoughts tend to generate pessimistic moods, hopeless attitudes, and unproductive behaviors. They are energy drains. On the other hand, positive thoughts cultivate positive actions which can lead to extraordinary outcomes. This is why it is so essential to keep your thoughts positive and focused on the things you want in life. The repetition of positive thoughts, or affirmations, has the capacity to change your mindset and help you create the life you envision.
Positive affirmations are short, positive statements, expressed internally or externally, that help to re-pattern your self-talk and rewire your brain. They are designed to challenge negative beliefs and replace or re-frame them with self-nurturing beliefs. You can borrow affirmations others have written or create your own customized statements. Present tense affirmations are more powerful - short, clearly-stated affirmations are easiest to repeat and remember. For example, the affirmation “When I believe in myself, others will too.” or “I am worthy of goodness.”, when repeated consistently, slowly washes over the previously held negative, self-defeating thought or belief. The key to success is repetition. By repeating these positive thoughts again and again, you are rewiring your brain. “Brain cells that fire together wire together.” Consistent use of affirmations will actually help you to construct new neural pathways in your brain.
Each one of our thoughts affirms an inner belief or truth. If we are constantly and subconsciously affirming with our self-talk, and this flow of perceptions and affirmations is filtering our reality in every moment, can we adjust our reality? Absolutely. Our beliefs have developed from learned thought patterns since childhood, some that work well for us, but others that could truly be working against us. These negative beliefs become dysfunctional and may be sabotaging our capacity to reach our potential. It is important to realize that many of these "inner truths" may not actually be true for us now or may be based on invalid or inappropriate impressions we absorbed as children, which, when examined later as an adult, can be exposed as irrelevant or untrue. Taming our Inner Critic can be a life-long goal, but gets easier and easier with consistent practice. When you hear that critical voice in your head, ask yourself:
Is this helpful? Is it true?
Where is this voice coming from?
How is this voice serving me?
If you now recognize the statement as untrue or self-sabotaging, choose a positive affirmation as a replacement for the negative message. Attempt to re-frame your messaging whenever you are able to notice it happening. It may be difficult at first, but with practice, it will get easier and easier.
As you practice and improve your capacity to remain focused on the new positive thoughts, the old negative neural nets will fade away and the positive neural nets will strengthen and take root. This will make it easier for you to sustain a positive reality, which will enable you to launch your energy into the necessary action steps to reach your goals.
Our thoughts are EVERYTHING. How are your thoughts serving YOU?
The concept of nutrition affecting our relationships makes sense. If food gives us energy, and that energy affects how we behave, how we connect with others and our overall posture as we move through our days, then it stands to reason that healthy nutrition supports healthy relating and poor nutrition does not.
Sugar cravings is an addiction that undermines our capacity for consistent, balanced energy. Simple carbohydrates are found in most processed foods and cause our blood sugar to spike and crash all day long. Eating proteins with essential amino acids and complex carbohydrates helps to regulate our daily energy pattern. This, in turn, promotes healthy, skillful interactions within our circle of family, friends and colleagues, AND within our own selves.
Food cravings mean that the body has its signals mixed up. When we are exhausted or blue, we have low blood sugar and/or low serotonin, and the body signals the brain that it needs a pick-me-up. This signal causes a sugar or carbohydrate craving.
Serotonin is our basic feel-good hormone. If serotonin is low, we feel sad or depressed. And hormonal imbalance or weak digestion can lead to low serotonin. Unfortunately, sugars and simple carbohydrates release a short burst of serotonin — we feel good for a moment, but soon return to our low-serotonin state — then crave more sugar and simple carbohydrates. It’s a downward spiral.
Here's the GOOD NEWS! Poor nutrition, including sugar cravings, can be overcome. In order to move away from bad habits, we must first acknowledge that our bodies are going to complain initially. They have become accustomed to the sugar. But remember, this too will pass and your body will become accustomed to your new food choices. Your body will begin to crave what it gets used to. If you allow it to move through the transitional complaining period, and slowly introduce the delicious, natural taste of raw fruits, vegetables, and lots of healthy protein like nuts fish, eggs and cheese, your taste buds will adjust accordingly. You will begin to crave the healthier fare and actually become disinterested in the unhealthy food you once craved.
Try this experiment in your own relationship and see if healthier eating results in healthier relating. If “we are what we eat”, then don't our relationships depend on what we eat, too?
Certified Health and Lifestyle Coach, Sheryl Melanson, partners with people to transform limiting habits into mindful choices that express their values, create action plans and recalibrate their lifestyle to optimal well-being.