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The definition of an affirmation is:
The act or instance of affirming; state of being affirmed.
The assertion that something exists or is true.
When I first started hearing about affirmations, I must admit-
My first thought was- well, that’s some hokey bullshit.
But hear me out!
Most of us are playing affirmations- NEGATIVE ONES– to ourselves on repeat-
allllll day EVERY day.
- It’s so hard for me to lose weight.
- I’m so grumpy all the time.
- My job sucks.
- I don’t eat healthy enough or exercise like I should.
- I’m so tired.
- I don’t know how I’m going to get through the day.
- There’s just not enough time in the day.
- My kids just fight all the time.
- I don’t have time for myself.
- I’m not pretty.
And so on and so on… all day, every day.
Our minds are powerful. So powerful, in fact, that if you knew the consequences of spewing out negative vibrations (consciously or not), you would be damned careful to stop that shit in its tracks.
You get what you give.
You may even be thinking, hey, I’m a pretty positive person!
And maybe you think you are, but in a way like:
- Well, life gives out it’s fair share of crap but I’m still here.
- Can’t always be sunshine and rainbows.
- Not everyone gets what they want and I’ll be damned if I’ll complain about it!
And as parents it is especially important for our kids that we turn off these negative thoughts and feelings because they pick up on it so fast.
When I first realized that I, as the mother, was setting up our whole day to be shitty because of MY attitude-
I wanted to scream.
Ugh it’s just not fair that everything should fall on me, and on top of that- I gotta be HAPPY?
Please don’t read into this like you gotta be gall dang Mary Poppin’s the whole day. Nah, you gotta be able to go through some shitty stuff too.
The important thing is to feel whatever you need to- and then try to get out of it.
Because if you don’t, your mind will keep feeding you thoughts to stay angry or sad or frustrated.
Like adding fuel to a fire.
Emotions are like a drug in your body.
This helped me a lot because I realized that perhaps I wasn’t an inherently angry/grumpy mom. I was just addicted to my emotions and it was time to break that habit. If you’re interested in reading about being addicting to emotions and how to break that habit, check out this book. It has quite literally changed my life and the way I parent.
This is why affirmations can help break emotional habits and make you a better parent:
AFFIRMATIONS CAN TAKE YOU OUT OF A NEGATIVE SPIRAL
Have you ever noticed that once you start going down the path of ‘losing it’, it’s super hard to stop losing it after? Once you ‘lost it’ and give in to the sweet righteousness of anger, it’s so easy to do it again.
And again. Until the day is done and instead of anger, the mom guilt sinks in-
What have I done? I pretty much yelled at them all day.
When you first try an affirmation, you might feel silly, like I did.
And just like anything- it takes practice to get used to it.
And if you have been conditioning yourself negatively for years, it might take some time for you to make the switch from feeling silly-
I love to make up affirmations that rhyme but you definitely don’t have to. One I use when I’m spiraling is
I am patient, I am kind when I calm my mind.
My heart is full of love for my children.
My heart is full of love for myself.
And it works to repeat that whenever you need it throughout the day! Adding it as an alarm on your phone to come up at random times can really help snap you out of a shitty place too.
AFFIRMATIONS CAN FORGE NEW PATHWAYS IN YOUR BRAIN
If you follow the same thought patterns day in and day out for years, you aren’t forging new ways of thinking. You are following pathways that feel easy and comfortable because you’ve done it a million times before.
Imagine following a path through the forest (your mind). The (negative) path is worn down, you’ve walked it every day for years, sometimes 10 times a day. Sometimes more! One day you decide to bush whack a new (positive) path. It’s hard as hell, you gotta cut down an insane amount of shit. But once you do that, the hard part is over. Now whenever you start down your negative path you can stop-
hold up! I can back up and take the positive path.
So you do.
And soon it’s as worn down as the negative path and it’s easy to keep walking that way.
Forge new pathways that will ultimately lead you to discovering the beautiful, kind person that you already are.
THEY CAN HELP YOU RECOGNIZE THAT YOU’RE A GOOD PERSON
It’s so easy to get caught up in the bad moments that happen in a day and dwell on them, even if 90% of your day was actually pretty awesome.
When you keep telling yourself positive affirmations that reiterate that you are a good person, you start to believe it. And you start to come up with things to reaffirm that.
I’m a kind person.
And then you might think- yeah, you know what, I AM kind, I proved it earlier today doing __________!
AFFIRMATIONS CAN BRING YOU CLOSER TO YOUR KIDS
It’s kinda effed up how we can start believing certain thoughts, especially if those thoughts are accompanied by an intense feeling. Sometimes if I get annoyed with my kids right in the morning, I find it very difficult to not find them annoying the rest of the day. It’s like your brain is just searching for ways to keep riding the emotional high of feeling frustrated/annoyed/self-righteous. So things that normally may have been cute or funny- not so much.
Before you wake up in the morning and pick up your phone to check emails or Facebook or Instagram- STOP!
Instead, think of 5 things you are grateful for-
- clean drinking water
- healthy kids
- food in the house
- roof over your head
- access to a phone and internet
Then set your intentions for the day-
- I intend to have a good day.
- I intend to respond, not react.
- I intend to see beauty and love within myself and my children.
- I intend to be a kind teacher.
Then affirm the hell outta that shit!
- I am a kind and loving mom.
- I love my children.
- I love myself.
- I am a fierce and badass momma!
Doing this before you wake up and do anything else sets you up to start your day from a good place. Did you know that the easiest time to hypnotize yourself is right before bed or right when you wake up?
It’s because you are more suggestible and have your guard down.
So instead of scrolling through your social media feeds and picking up on a bunch of negative crap, start out with a hefty dose of self-love, gratitude and positivity.
WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS…
There is nothing wrong with admitting that things have crashed and burned. I used to try to stay angry to justify my behaviour. Slowly but surely I am learning to swallow my pride. Your kids need you and the beautiful thing about them is that they live in the moment and they will forgive you and not hold a grudge.
The most powerful thing I have done for a reset is this:
- Sit down in a circle.
- Look in their eyes.
- Go around the circle and each say one thing you are grateful for.
- Then say one thing you love about each other.
Doing this never fails to remind you how sweet, innocent and beautiful your children are. And I never fail to end up crying, tears of joy for how much I appreciate them and how they are teaching me to be the best I can be.
Have you tried using affirmations yet? Let me know in the comments how they are changing your life ❤