Affirmations are simply statements that are designed to create self-change in the life of the individual who uses them. They can act as inspiration, as well as everyday reminders. They also serve to focus attention on goals throughout our day.

Our brain is constantly adapting and rewiring itself. Our thoughts, habits, and behaviors influence this process. If they are repeated consistently and often enough, a strong connection called a neural pathway is created.

We can think of our brain as an extraordinarily bustling city with lots of roads and pathways that are connected and light up every time we think, feel, or do something. Some of these roads are well traveled. These are our habits, our established ways of thinking, doing, and feeling. Every time we make a choice, practice a particular task, or feel a specific emotion, we strengthen this road, and it becomes easier for our brain to travel this pathway.

Here are some ways you can start changing your brain and creating healthier self-talk habits:

Practice affirming yourself every day. ACTION IS KEY.

• Start with 3 - 5 minutes at least twice a day.
Try saying affirmation upon waking up and getting into bed, for example.

• Repeat each affirmation about 10 times.
Listen to yourself saying it, focusing on the words as they leave your mouth. As you say them, believe them to be true.

• Ask a trusted loved one to help.
Listening to someone else repeat your affirmations may help reinforce your belief in them.

• Make your routine consistent.
Try not to skip any days. If you meditate, affirmations can be a great addition to your daily practice.

• Be patient.
It may take some time before you notice any changes, so stick with your practice.

February 11, 2022 — Natasha Shamas