One cannot talk about affirmations without mentioning Louise Hay, one of my favourite people in the world. Louise is the founder of Hay House, a publishing house that has launched the careers of many current self-help superstars.
Let me give you a brief synopsis of Louise’s story, as it’s extremely interesting and inspiring, and underscores the topic of my post today.
Louise’s early life was very difficult. Her parents divorced when she was a baby, and her mother then married a physically abusive, controlling man. At 5 years old, Louise was raped by a neighbour. A lifetime of low self-esteem followed. Even though Louise became a model in
and was happily married for 14 years, she never felt good about herself. The pivotal moment in her life occurred when she attended a meeting at the New York City Church of Religious Science in . There, she first learned the concept that the quality of your life is determined by the quality of your mind. It was a radical concept to a person with such a negative self-image, but it intrigued her, and she began studying to be a minister for that church. She completed her training and began counseling people. At the same time, she wrote her self-help classic “You Can Heal Your Life”. The book is about the connection between illness and the mind. According to Louise, any disease or disorder in the body can be traced back to an emotional cause, and if the emotional causes are healed, the body will follow. New York City
Then, suddenly, Louise was diagnosed with cervical cancer. She was terrified, but refused to accept the possibility of multiple surgeries and poisonous chemotherapy treatments. She decided to try healing herself with the techniques she learned in her training and taught her own clients. She sought out holistic health treatments like reflexology, and saw a therapist to resolve the trauma from her childhood. She also did plenty of affirmations, which we will be discussing.
Without surgery, any radiation, or chemotherapy treatments, Louise was proclaimed cancer-free 6 months after her diagnosis. It has never recurred. When she was 62 years old, she founded Hay House, and has garnered millions of fans all over the world for her gentle wisdom and loving spirit. She is now 84 years old.
If Louise’s story does not epitomize the power of positive thinking, I don’t know what does.
Affirmations are simply a positive way of thinking. When your mind is flooded with negative thoughts, it is impossible to function positively. A thought is simply a thought, and thoughts can be changed. Why would you want to think negatively when you can think positively instead?
Many scientists have discovered the actual, biological result of negative and positive thinking. This is a huge topic in itself, but in short, our thoughts release chemicals in our brains that start a chain reaction of events in the body. (If you’re interested in finding out more about this, I highly recommend Bruce Lipton’s book “The Biology of Belief”, and Candace Pert’s “The Molecules of Emotion”.)
Some people swear by the power of affirmations; others are more wishy-washy about them. Whichever camp you are in, they are definitely worth a try, and can train you how to look at things differently.
Here are a few of my favourite affirmations:
All is well in my world.
I love and appreciate myself just as I am.
I give and receive love freely.
It’s OK for me to have fun and enjoy myself, and I do!
I am healthy and beautiful.
I deserve the very best in life.
I am willing to be happy and successful.
You can say the affirmations aloud, or silently. Try repeating your favourite affirmations every day, at least ten times each. Say them before falling asleep, or lying in bed when you first wake up.
You can also develop your own affirmations, by changing negative thoughts into positive ones. For example, if you constantly have thoughts like:
I am so fat and ugly. I just have to lose weight!
I will never find anyone and I’ll be lonely forever.
Why does everybody treat me so badly?
Try changing them to:
I love my body, and I am beautiful, inside and out.
My perfect mate will appear just when I am ready to meet him/her.
I am surrounded by loving, positive people.
Even if you’re not 100% convinced that what you’re saying in the affirmation is true, try saying it anyway. At least be WILLING to believe that what you say in the affirmation is true. You might be surprised to find your views changing once you get into the habit.
Another very important factor is that you have to follow through with the affirmation by changing your behaviour. For example, if you say, “I love myself”, and then allow someone to mistreat you, that is not going to strengthen the affirmation. In fact, it will “cancel it out”, and you will be back at square one. If you truly want to change your attitude and adopt a positive way of life, you must follow through with positive actions that match the positive words.
Affirmations take practice and dedication. If you’ve been living a life filled with negativity, it may take time to manifest results. Changes will not happen overnight, and that’s where a lot of people get frustrated and say that affirmations don’t work. But if you stick with them, stay willing to believe, and stay determined to live a new way of life, they can work wonders.