Some psychologists are sure that special "positive phrases", which are recommended to be repeated several times a day, can radically change our attitude towards life and, as a result, our very life.
Some psychologists are sure that special "positive phrases", which are recommended to be repeated several times a day, can radically change our attitude towards life and, as a result, our very life
If you went on vacation to the eastern countries, you probably saw cute souvenirs - bracelets, pendants, smooth stones with the inscriptions "Hope", "Strength" or "I am surrounded by love and joy." Maybe you even bought something as a keepsake, but you didn’t really believe that such a souvenir could change your life? And it is unlikely that you would agree to repeat the magic words every day in order to get what you want. To a reasonable working woman, this will seem too irrational. But it turns out that many psychologists (quite sensible people with scientific education and degrees from prestigious universities) believe that words can really influence our lives. They offer their clients to repeat special “positive phrases” (statements) several times a day in order to believe in themselves and change.
Here is the simplest example of how positive affirmations work. If you are often nervous and under constant stress, the phrase: “I live in love and wisdom” will suit you. It must be repeated for several minutes a day and - most importantly - remember it when something makes you angry. Of course, when your child turns everything in the house upside down, you are unlikely to feel love and wisdom. But, if at the moment when you want to raise your voice or even spank a child, you remember your positive phrase, it will change a lot. First of all, your attention will switch from the child who is bullying to the words that need to be repeated. Most likely, you will calm down a bit and will no longer scream and act in haste. So, there will really be a little more love and wisdom in your life. It is not for nothing that psychologists advise in anger to first take a few deep breaths, and then speak. The same principle applies here.
For the first time this idea was used by the French psychotherapist Emile Coué at the beginning of the 20th century. He suggested that patients 30-40 times a day say the phrase: "Every day my life is getting better in every way." Since then, many psychologists and psychotherapists have used various elements of self-hypnosis in their practice.
But in the last thirty years, some of them have come to the conclusion that positive statements not only calm a person, but also help to achieve success in various areas - from a brilliant career to building a good relationship with your mother-in-law. And those who use this technique assure that it is actually effective.
Take this example. Twenty years ago, Anna decided to get rich and began to repeat the phrase: "I have a million dollars." At the time, she was making about $500 a month, but now, twenty years later, she actually made a million. Surely you will be skeptical about such a story. At first glance, it seems that there is no more truth in it than in children's fairy tales. But here's what psychologists say: positive affirmations are not magic formulas that allow you to instantly get everything you want. However, these words help you to believe in yourself and, which is also very important, not to forget for a single day about the goal that you have set for yourself.
How does it work?
Here's another story that will surely seem much more plausible to you. At the age of 27, Ekaterina signed up for a business seminar that would allow her to improve her skills and achieve career growth. She ended up in a group where there were 19 men besides her. All of them were much more experienced than Catherine and treated her extremely condescendingly. At the very beginning of the classes, the teacher announced that during the training he would give the participants tasks and give marks for them. The one who scores the most points will receive a prize - an eagle figurine and dinner at a restaurant. And Catherine, by all means, wanted to receive this prize and at the same time wipe her nose with everyone else. Every day she repeated the phrase: "I will win the prize" - and tried her best. At the end of the seminar, the award went to her. Doesn't this seem fantastic anymore?
The fact is that a positive statement starts two very important processes at once - this is intention and expectation. Intention is not just a wish or a hope that things will turn out well. It is also a willingness to take action. Positive affirmations focus your attention on what matters most, and this increases the likelihood that you will take action. And this is a very important point: in order to succeed, you need to not only repeat “positive phrases”, but also take certain steps. Anna, whom we wrote about at the beginning of the article, not only dreamed of making a million, but also read books about investments, followed the situation on the securities market and started small: she invested about $ 100 a month in reliable stocks. And Ekaterina, who wanted to receive a prize at the end of the business seminar, studied much more than all the other participants and did not hesitate to speak in class. The second very important process, which is enhanced by positive affirmations, is the expectation that we will get what we want, although we do not yet know how and when this will happen. If you are set on a good result, you will find information that confirms your expectations. And as a result, you will really achieve what you dreamed of.
Positive expectations can do wonders for the human brain. You have probably heard about the placebo effect: if a person believes that the medicine will help him, then improvement occurs, even if the patient was offered regular vitamins. But only in recent years have scientists begun to understand why this is happening. An experiment was conducted at the California Institute of Technology, the participants of which were offered to taste wine. Some participants were told that they were drinking very expensive wine, while others were told that the wine was cheap. And scientists noticed an interesting detail: in those who drank “expensive” wine, the parts of the brain that are responsible for the feeling of pleasure were much more active. Although all participants in the experiment tasted the same drinks.
At the University of Michigan, another experiment was conducted: participants' hands were touched with hot objects. Some subjects were previously applied to the hand of a regular baby cream, assuring that it relieves the feeling of pain. And, indeed, the objects seemed to the participants not so hot - because they expected it. These studies show that in many cases, our brain reacts to events based on expectations. And this means that positive statements can affect not only our psychological state, but also physiology. Our thoughts can actually change the structure of the brain. Researchers call this phenomenon neuroplasticity. Some European doctors are already recommending that patients stop taking painkillers and fight the pain with self-persuasion. When you feel bad, it's very easy to get discouraged and give in to the thought that you will never get better. But if you repeat the positive belief every day: “Today I will feel much better,” you will help the body cope with the disease.
How can positive affirmations help you?
If you understand how positive affirmations work, that's great. But, in order to succeed, this is not enough. You also need to choose the right phrases that will help you achieve in life exactly those things that are important to you. To succeed with positive affirmations, experts advise building your own strategy.
• Start small. To begin with, choose a not too global goal that you consider feasible. For example, the phrase "I am confident in the financial stability of our family" is much more effective than "Soon we will become multimillionaires." Not everyone can set themselves ambitious goals and then carry out their plans without succumbing to doubts. The most important thing is to choose a goal that you can strive for without doubting your own abilities.
• Desire very much. The goal that you set for yourself should be truly important to you, and the desire should be sincere and strong. If the intention comes from the depths of the soul, it is many times stronger. So, decide on a challenge and create your own positive affirmation.
• Drop your doubts. You must be sure that at the right time your wish will come true, although now you do not know how and when this will happen. Do not allow yourself to doubt what you have planned, otherwise the “positive phrases” method will not help you.
• The statement should be simple and very clear. Keep your phrase simple (so that you can easily remember it) and affirmative (it's better to say "I'm calm" than "I'm not worried"). If your phrase contains a negative, then you are subconsciously focusing on what you do not have, and not on what you want to receive.
• Imagine the dream in detail. Scientists say that our brain does not feel the difference between what has already happened and what we imagine in very vivid and detailed ways. In dreams and in reality, the same psychological mechanism of positive or negative emotions works. So think of your dreams as if they have already come true.
• Put the affirmation in a prominent place. Write a positive phrase on a piece of paper and hang it where you see it before your eyes - attach it to a mirror, monitor screen or car control panel. And do not forget that it is very important to remember your goal, but it is even more important to say it. There is no magic number of repetitions, but try to say your phrase several times a day.