(photo by Francesco La Corte on Unsplash)
I’m a fan of classic rock music. It started at a young age. When I realized that I could borrow my brother’s records when he wasn’t home, I listened even more. And when I turned fourteen, I purchased my first album, The Piano Man by Billy Joel. My music collection has grown a lot since then.
I would play my records over-and-over again. And the radio station was the same way. They would play the same music again and again. It didn’t take long before I was singing along with the lead singer. And to this day, I can recite the words to many of these classic hits. At any moment of the day, a random song will pop into my mind, and it will sound just like the real thing.
This is how I view affirmations. Affirmations are positive phrases or statements used to challenge negative or unhealthy thoughts. These phrases are best if worded as specific goals in their completed states. These empowering mantras have profound effects on the conscious and unconscious mind. Positive affirmations require regular practice if you want to make lasting changes to the way you think and feel. And there is science behind it.
“A study published in the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience revealed what goes on in our brains when we practice affirmations regularly. The researchers used MRI to find that practicing self-affirmation activates the reward centers (ventral striatum and ventromedial prefrontal cortex) in the brain. These areas are the same reward centers that respond to other pleasurable experiences, such as eating your favorite dish or winning a prize.”
The words of someone else’s song, and your hand-picked affirmation will both be taken in by our conscious and unconscious minds. However, the former is someone else’s random words, while the latter contains meaningful, specifically-designed words created by you for a specific purpose. Affirmations can be utilized for various purposes, such as:
To override negative thought patterns, beliefs, and emotions. At any given time during your day, try an experiment. Stop what you are doing, and pay attention to your thoughts. What do you tell yourself? Are these words helpful or hurtful, consistent or random? By purposely choosing an affirmation and reciting it to yourself or out loud, you can simultaneously lower the volume of the noise, and overlay it with the new helpful words. These new positive words have the power to alter our beliefs and emotions. As we begin to believe the new words, the negative words lessen their grip. And our transformation begins.
As a motivator to take action steps on goals. For real, positive change to occur, action steps need to take place. The affirmation transforms the mind to believe in the words spoken. Ultimately, taking actions beyond the words is when the real momentum begins, and the snowball down the hill effect occurs.
Increases self confidence. As the snowball gets bigger, you feel more confident, and want to continue taking steps forward utilizing these new skills of positive self talk and taking productive action.
When it comes to music these days, I still enjoy the sounds of classic rock. However, I now try to imitate Weird Al Yankovic because he creates his own words against the backdrop of the pre-existing music.
An original affirmation lyric (and music) of mine for purposes of self-compassion is: “I am kind to myself every day. I am kind to myself in every way.”
Another affirmation lyric I created for purposes of recuperating from illness goes to the music of Boston (Peace of Mind): “My body heals quickly and easily.”
An affirmation statement can be found or created for any life situation. The list is endless. Search the internet for one or create your own from scratch. Give it a try. Transform your way of thinking, and move forward in any positive directions that you choose. Rock on!