1. Food For Thought
While some people make affirmations part of their daily lives, seeing one just once can be enough to get you thinking. See one you like and remember it, and you’ll have it with you to think about when things go wrong, or you’ll be able to share it with someone else if they seem to need a few words of wisdom.
2. Setting Intentions
Many religious and philosophical traditions encourage “setting intentions” for a prayer, meditation session, activity, or for your whole day.Intentions can involve trying to improve something about yourself like being more patient or less judgmental, or it can be a way that you can try to improve the world like reaching out to others.Finding an affirmation to think about in the beginning of the day and thinking about it throughout the day can help you to live every day with extra purpose. This kind of thought can also help you to notice connections between certain behaviors, thoughts and circumstances and different outcomes that you may not have noticed before. We tend to notice when actions or circumstances lead to negative outcomes, but when actions or circumstances lead to positive outcomes we tend to take it for granted.
In some meditative traditions, meditators use a “mantra” – a phrase repeated out loud or silently to direct thoughts.In some meditative traditions, mantras are awarded by a teacher and are very personal, though in other traditions the same mantras may be used by everyone or each person may pick their own and their meanings may be arbitrary or imagined.Using an affirmation as a mantra can help you to clear your mind, or it can help you to focus more on the meaning of the affirmation and what it means to you.
4. Grounding Yourself
Grounding yourself isn’t quite like grounding a kid, though it can have a calming effect, more like giving yourself a time out. Different people have different attitudes about grounding but it basically involves bringing yourself back to a stable feeling after something upsets you or “throws you off of your groove”.If there are problems that you know that you run into, like being impatient in traffic or getting testy with people at work, find an affirmation that you think might help you to deal with those feelings. When you get into one of those situations or start to feel those feelings, try thinking about your affirmation instead of or in addition to other methods that you might use to calm down, like taking deep breaths or counting to ten.Grounding can keep you from losing your head, but it can also help you to stay calm and focused and come up with creative solutions to your problems. Stress and similar emotions can keep us from seeing obvious solutions and grounding can give the ability to recognize those opportunities.
5. Change Your Perspective
Most affirmations are about the importance of yourself, not that the world revolves around you but that you have more control over your surroundings and your circumstances than most people tend to think. While an unhealthy sense of self-importance can make you feel like you are not responsible for your fate, a healthy sense of self-importance instills a sense that you are responsible for finding solutions to your own problems.Affirmations can also help you to think about your life and your actions in ways that may not have occurred to you before and discover possible to solutions that you may not have thought of otherwise.