Let’s talk about affirmations! Perhaps you heard a little about it in Chapter 7 of Listening to Your Belly, or maybe you are already practicing it. But how can you use them to heal yourself from a chronic disease like IBD? Follow me on a wonderful journey as I bring up what Jini and I have both learned from the power of positive affirmations.
Did you know that affirmations have been scientifically proven to help bring about lasting and long-term changes in the way you think and feel? Your thoughts and emotions cause physical changes in the body. So when we have negative emotions and thoughts, we can conclude that it is not good for our body. On the other hand, what about consciously cultivating positive thoughts and emotions? If we did this, it could only lead to healthy physical changes.
What are positive affirmations?
Jini talks about positive affirmations in chapter 7 of her flagship book, Listen to Your Belly. She says that “positive affirmations are a powerful tool that can be used to achieve anything from athletic excellence to financial success to excellent health.” Anything you want or want to achieve, you can start with affirmations! (By the way, you can download the first chapter of the book “Listen to Your Gut” here for free.)
An affirmation is basically a positive statement that you repeat out loud in the present tense. It is even more helpful if you look at yourself in the mirror – this is how you see yourself and project what you want! I know it may seem strange at first to talk out loud to yourself about how great you are, especially staring in the mirror, but that’s just because self-love isn’t always learned. Self-love is difficult! But engaging with restorative practices really helps in achieving that true healing at the root level. And to be fair, there is real theory and a lot of neuroscience behind this practice.
I also find it helpful to say TAP while saying affirmations! For me, it helps to memorize them more deeply. Jini says you can also do affirmations first and then type – so choose the method that you think works best for you!
Here’s the problem that gets people tied up (including myself before I learned this trick): People don’t use affirmations because they don’t feel that the emotions they are trying to evoke are true. You find it hard to believe that it’s a true statement.
Here’s an example: Let’s say you want to use affirmations to help out with a specific health problem. One of the affirmations you use is “I am enough”. But you struggle to feel good enough. You can sit there and think that not only is this stupid of me to say this out loud, but it is also a false statement.
While this may be the case in the current situation, one of the great things about affirmations is that repetition can actually make a change in your mind and body. Even if the statement you’re saying feels untrue at first, if you do it enough you can get to a place where you actually feel that way. Remember that thoughts and emotions cause physical changes in the body. When we impress this positivity, emotional and physical changes can follow …
What are the benefits of affirmations?
When we have health problems, especially chronic illnesses, changing our attitudes can be very helpful. Getting into the habit of having a more positive attitude can help rewire your brain. Negative thoughts create stress, which in turn can disrupt hormones – damage the immune system and deprive the body of all “good” chemicals. These chemicals are responsible for the feel-good emotions and feelings we get, such as joy and happiness.
Affirmations can also help build better relationships with our own bodies. Expose what you want to become and who you want to be in the universe!
How do you practice affirmations?
While I was very sick, I practiced affirmations during my daily exercises. I sat in a comfortable spot and made sure I was in a quiet area with no distractions. I wanted to make sure I felt safe while doing them, so I chose an environment that I was comfortable in.
Walking also helped me. There was something about “movement” that helped me convey the affirmations more easily while enjoying the healing power of nature.
Now when this is your first time starting you may feel silly! If the affirmations you choose feel really uncomfortable at first, start with the ones that make more sense to you.
This blog post I stumbled upon offers really great examples of positive affirmations specifically aimed at chronic illnesses. The author states 5 things that she thinks should be included in affirmations based on her personal experience.
In the post, she mentions that chronic health problems can make it really difficult to give an affirmation like “Your health problems don’t exist”. It expresses how you should acknowledge the presence of your health problems and respect your body’s messages – don’t ignore them! Sound familiar? It should, after you’ve read Jini’s popular post, I Get The Message And The Symptoms Disappears!
So the author changes the affirmation to: “I choose not to let my illness define me.”
She found these 5 points to be the most helpful when it comes to affirmations:
- Credible and realistic
- Practically repeating
- Easy to remember in concept
- Specifically geared towards your trip
- It’s comforting to hear
I was so focused on healing that I personally skipped straight into the affirmations, “I’m healthy,” etc., but if this technique is something you need to get started with, do what is best for you!
In my humble opinion, I think the above guidelines are great if you don’t know where to start.
And here are some additional affirmation ideas from Louise Hay. Louise Hay offers tremendous positive affirmations and she developed all of these affirmations for people who want to take their life back! Both Jini and I love and highly recommend her affirmations, and here are some of my personal favorites:
I am healthy
I am enough
I am beautiful
I believe in my ability to heal
I deserve _______. (Insert what you want / deserve in the blank space) or say: I am open to _________.)
As you do this while walking, tapping, or relaxing in the tub, just imagine how you had these things, had these things, and what life would be like. As you do this, it can be memorized a little deeper so your body gets a sense of what it would look / feel like and how safe it is to make these things happen!
Hope this post has helped you get a better understanding of what positive affirmations are and how to use them as powerful remedies. What affirmations will you create and how will you implement them in your healing? Let me know below!
Linsy is Jini’s assistant. From a highly sensitive / reactive case of ulcerative colitis to complete freedom from medication and surgery using exclusively natural methods, Linsy understands the interplay of mind / body / soul on the healing path firsthand.