By Dr. Kathy Gruver
In learning to change our minds, I’ve found one of the simplest and most effective techniques is using affirmations. Some experts estimate that we have around 60,000 thoughts a day and that 50,000 of those are negative. That’s 80% negative thoughts, which translates to me as 80% negative results. It’s so easy, especially with what’s happening in the world today to let our thoughts go to fear, worry and fatalism. And it is important to acknowledge our feelings and note that we do have fear and concern, but when these thoughts start to rule our minds and become repetitive and distorted they can lead to illness and negative changes in our bodies.
Add to this that 60-80% of visits to the doctor are caused by stress. If we look at our life at this exact second, where is the stress? Seriously, look at this moment in time. What is wrong? Our thoughts, and thus our stresses, are often in the future and usually about something that we’re not even sure is going to happen. We talk about it, think about it and dwell on it even if it’s not guaranteed. We can’t often control our emotions, but we can control our thoughts. An easy way to do that is with affirmations, using positive language to program our lives.
I find this especially useful when negative thoughts interfere with our ability to fall asleep. Try repeating the following phrase, “I fall asleep quickly and easily, I wake up feeling refreshed.” These types of short phrases do one of two things. Either they program you to fall asleep quickly and wake up feeling refreshed or, at the very least, it shuts out the other thoughts that are running through your head. There is a physics axiom that states “Two solid objects cannot occupy the same space at the same time.” The same principle applies with our thoughts. We can’t be thinking two things at once. That’s what counting sheep is all about; it distracts us from those repetitive thoughts that plague us at bedtime. I’m not saying changing our thoughts and words is easy. On the contrary, it can be quite hard at first. Especially if we have been programmed to think negatively since we were young or are surrounded by negativity in our lives. But it can be done with a little practice and the results are phenomenal.
When working with affirmations there are a few rules of thumb.
Make them short.
Keep them in the present tense.
Make them positive.
And repeat often!
So don’t say, “I’m not sick anymore.” Rephrase your wording to, “I am healthy and well.” Saying, “I want to be rich,” puts the emphasis on the future and focuses on a current state of lack. Saying, “I am wealthy and abundant,” or “Money flows easily to me from unexpected sources,” creates a positive present scenario. I see my friends on Facebook all the time reiterating their illness by saying, “I’m not getting sick, I’m not getting sick.” I always write in and remind them to phrase it differently and say, “I’m healthy and well.” A few days later I see them remind their friends to do that. The power of social media can be healing.
So you can see that affirmations can do more than just attract good health. Here are some more examples.
I am wealthy and prosperous.
I am healthy and well.
My body is strong and resilient.
The universe provides for me.
I am divinely protected.
I have a loving and passionate partner.
I attract love and support.
Supportive, helpful friends surround me.
I could go on and on. The most important thing is to recognize situations where you tend towards negativity and decide to change your mind. Going in to situations with a negative attitude doesn’t benefit anyone and just makes life more unpleasant and more difficult.
Similar to affirmations is setting intentions. My Reiki Master, Diane Vaughn, always set intentions before the Reiki attunements that she provided. I didn’t really understand it back then, but now I am a believer in their importance. Often, when we set an intention for something, it becomes easier to achieve. She used to phrase them this way:
My intention is to co-create with the universe, true and complete healing for my body, mind and spirit. (Or whatever it is you are trying to achieve.)
She always started intentions, no matter what it was, with “co-create with the universe.” Then she wrote them down for me and asked me to repeat them throughout my day.
It only takes a few moments to do the intention process. Take note what areas you would like to change and create (co-create), and write them down. Remember to look at them often and as with affirmations, repeat often. The more we can expand our beliefs and consciousness, the more our worlds will expand with them. Again, affirmations and intention setting might be a new adventure for you but with some practice you’ll discover you have the power within YOU to create your world and your health.
About Dr. Kathy Gruver:
Dr. Kathy Gruver is the author of “Body/Mind Therapies for the Bodyworker” and “The Alternative Medicine Cabinet”. Both book are available on her website www.thealternativemedicinecabinet.com. There you will also find resources, her newsletter signup and health tips. Kathy maintains a health and wellness practice in Santa Barbara, CA.