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The Words Inside Your Head
Some persons have a negative script that runs through their heads. By way of the script they are telling themselves over and over again matters that contribute to their own distress: I am; fat; ugly; unlovable; afraid; shy; undeserving; etc.
Further their scripts may provide for a negative and ongoing self-fulfilling prophecy, such as; Bad things happen to me; Iíll never succeed; I canít be happy.
These kinds of negative affirmations are then self-reinforcing and embed the person in a cycle of self-perpetuating upset. These negative scripts or negative affirmations are frequently an issue for persons who experience depression, anxiety, obsessive thoughts or compulsive behaviour.
To help resolve the distress, change the words inside your head.
Positive affirmations are scripts you recite to yourself to counter or change the negative and thus promote relief.
Typically, one uses the antithesis or opposite of the negative script to create a positive affirmation. For instance;
I can lose weight; I can strive to be healthy and vibrant; I can choose not to be inducted into conflict; if I take my time, I can learn; I am deserving of a healthy relationship.
To strengthen the influence of the positive affirmation, one must recite it regularly. Not necessarily out loud, but certainly regularly.
Further, the positive affirmation can be recited in those situations that usually elicit the negative affirmation. By way of example, a person who usually feels anxiety giving a presentation can tell him/herself ďAll is well, I am confident and preparedĒ.
Changing the words inside your head is like exercising a muscle. It takes practice, time and commitment. Some people find it helpful practicing in front of a mirror while looking at their own facial expressions. As you practice in front of a mirror, make your facial expression match the sentiment of the positive affirmation.
For many, a reminder is necessary to maintain the practice. Write your positive affirmation on a piece of paper and carry it with you. Tape a copy on the bathroom mirror and tack others on places where you will come across it regularly. Some people find wearing a special bracelet or ring can help them remember to use their positive affirmation. The key is to be practical and use a bit of creativity and have some fun with how you set up your reminders. This is a process you can enjoy.
With time and practice, the positive affirmation can replace the negative. As this occurs, your behaviour may change to be consistent with what you are telling yourself. As your behaviour changes, so too do your feelings. Distress fades, success gains.
Change your words; change your life.
Direnfeld, MSW, RSW
Call Gary for your next conference and for expert opinion on family matters. Services include counselling, mediation, assessment, assessment critiques and workshops.
For information on Direnfeld's book, Raising Kids Without Raising Cane, click here.
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