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As we're working to heal ourselves from our mental and emotional health issues, sometimes the most helpful healing tools are the ones that are considered holistic and unconventional. We can benefit tremendously from the techniques that help us to heal our minds, bodies and spirits, that help us to achieve internal alignment and energetic wellness. We might consider some of these techniques to be too alternative, too unusual and strange, especially if we've never given them a try for ourselves. We might think other people are wasting their time and energy doing things that are ineffective and that won't actually help them achieve any tangible results. One of these healing tools that many of us find ourselves dismissing and discounting because it seems too different and too out there for us, is the practice of repeating positive affirmations. How can it possibly help us to just repeat statements over and over again? What does that do for us in terms of our health and well-being? How can it help us to recover?
The Role of the Subconscious Mind
The more we learn about ourselves and our healing, the more we learn about the subconscious mind. We all have our conscious mind that does all the thinking we're aware of. We also have a subconscious mind that is beneath our conscious awareness. We don't know it's there, but it's always working. The subconscious mind stores all of our emotional information and memory. It is where the memories of all our traumatic experience are housed, where our emotions are collected, and where our imagination resides. It governs the vast majority of our thoughts, feelings, behaviors and choices, running the show from behind the scenes. Because we're often not aware of our subconscious mind and what it contains, we develop subconscious programming that works against us.
Our Limiting Beliefs
All of the limiting beliefs we develop about ourselves begin to construct our internal programming. Whenever we feel as though we hate ourselves, for example, or as though we can't ever be happy or find healing, all of that information is stored in our subconscious mind. The problem is, our subconscious doesn't differentiate between what is true and what isn't. In fact, it doesn't even differentiate between our imagination and our reality. In other words, what we imagine or believe to be true in our minds carries as much weight as what is actually true in our real lives. Everything we believe about ourselves that is harmful to us informs our internal programming, which in turn goes on to direct our lives. If we're afraid we're not good enough, we will manifest everything in our lives from those fears of inadequacy and worthlessness. If we're afraid we won't be able to recover, and if we constantly fuel that fear by thinking thoughts of defeat and self-sabotage, we will create that reality for ourselves.
Because we're living with all of these deeply rooted, unresolved fears, so many of us have become subconsciously self-destructive. We're harming ourselves without even understanding why. We're perpetuating toxic patterns without even thinking about it. We're actively fueling our addictive patterns, our depression, anxiety and other mental health issues without being conscious that we're doing it. We feel that our addictions are out of our control. We feel like we can't think our way out of our mental and emotional pain. The truth is, so much of what we're suffering from is coming from deep within us, from the programming of our subconscious minds.
The great news is that our subconscious programming can be transformed! We can actually rewire our subconscious minds to change how we think, feel and behave, to improve the kinds of choices we make, and to shift how we live our lives. The subconscious mind can be reprogrammed with some very simple healing techniques, and one of these is the practice of repeating positive affirmations. The subconscious mind responds quite well to both the written word and to repetition, so we can both write down and repeat affirmations, whether aloud or silently to ourselves.
Using Affirmations to Heal Ourselves
We can actively shift how we think and feel by practicing repeating positive statements rather than negative, fear-based ones. Any time we feel ourselves thinking that we're not good enough, we can say things to ourselves like “I am more than good enough. I am perfectly imperfect. I am finding my path in life. I am meant for wonderful things in life.” We can find positive affirmations anywhere - online, on social media, in books, in our recovery programs, from our therapists and friends. We can also write affirmations for ourselves, choosing ones that resonate with us. We can specifically design them to counter the fears and issues we're struggling with, and we can use them to help ourselves imagine ourselves and our lives as we want them to be.
We want to keep our statements in the affirmative, rather than in the negative. For example, rather than saying “I don't hate myself anymore,” we would want to say “I love myself now.” We also want to keep our affirmations in the present tense to help ourselves manifest the reality we want for ourselves.
“I am happy and at peace. I am healthy. I have a beautiful future to look forward to. I make positive choices for myself. I am developing healthy habits. I am strong. I am brave. I am healing.”
WinGate Wilderness Therapy offers therapeutic services for troubled teens and struggling young adults suffering from emotional and behavioral issues.
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P.O. Box 347
Kanab, UT 84741