One of the questions I’m asked is how I keep my spirits high.
Here’s the truth—I’m human, so there’s no way I can be happy all the time (especially right now when there’s so much loss, fear and uncertainty during the COVID-19 crisis). But nourishing my energy is as important to me as nourishing my body. It’s an essential practice for self-love.
And there’s no greater time to spread loving thoughts and actions throughout the world.
This way of intentional living is essential to my healing journey and it’s greatly influenced by my late friend, the lovely Queen of Affirmations, Louise Hay.
If you don’t know Louise’s work, she was a pioneer in self-love. Back in the 80s (when I would raid my mom’s self-help books), Louise opened my eyes to a new way of looking at the world. She helped me to be kinder to myself and anchor into my power from a place of self-love. Louise also taught me how to flip the (nasty) script in my head to be one that serves and enriches me, rather than one that judges and criticizes myself.
When we understand that we have the power to choose our thoughts, a world of healing and abundance opens up to us.
Following her lead, I began creating my own positive affirmations that help me cultivate joy and provide guidance and comfort when I need it most. Meditating on these statements has pulled me out of many a slump. It’s just so much healthier to fill our heads with love rather than fear. Love leads to growth. Fear shuts it down and creates a ripple effect of pain in our lives and in others.
But let’s be honest, we all face negativity and real-world problems in our lives and we’re not immune to hardship. Affirmations don’t sterilize suffering and they’re not meant to. That’s where critics get tripped up. We’re not just slapping pretty words on top of wounds and expecting them to vanish with magical thinking.
Positive affirmations help retrain your brain to look at things differently.
They’re little love nuggets filled with truths that serve as a reminder of who we really are and what we’re meant to be. Our beliefs, or habitual thought patterns, are shaped when we’re children. Some beliefs help create the positive experiences in our lives, while others can limit our power and potential. So whether we know it or not, we’re affirming either the positive or the negative with every thought and action that follows it.
For example, a few years ago I was talking to Louise about an issue I was struggling with. I said something like, “This always happens to me” or “I just can’t do it.”
Louise stopped me and gently put her hand on my shoulder, “Kris, that’s an affirmation too. Don’t affirm the negative if you want a positive outcome.”
I had never thought about it like that before! How many times had I got myself into a negative lather only to make matters worse? It’s like I was actively participating in keeping myself stuck and unhappy.
The truth is, it’s easy to get caught up in negative thought patterns that don’t serve us.
As human beings, we’re wired to scan for problems. Our brains look for things that need to be fixed and any perceived threats to our survival (which are easy to find right now in the midst of the pandemic!). Believe it or not, this way of thinking has been useful at times because it’s helped us evolve and kept us alive—but it also makes things really tricky when we experience fear where it doesn’t need to be. Plus, stress is a breeding ground for inflammation and disease.
Now this doesn’t mean we should gloss over the areas where we’re struggling. Acknowledge the mud in your life. Feel your feelings. Express your needs. Just remember that there are amazing mental life preservers available when you’re sinking into despair.
So today I want to share this powerful tool to help you raise your own energy. When you notice that you’re going down that rabbit hole of fear, doubt and worry, these can help you reframe your experience and pull yourself out.
Ready to boost your energy? Here are 11 positive affirmations to help you get started:
Practice Self-Love with 11 Positive Affirmations
I am beautiful and strong.
One of the greatest blessings you can give yourself is unconditional love. When you accept yourself, just as you are, the healing begins. From that place, you can do anything.
I am ready to see things differently.
When we choose to widen our perspective and love the world inside and around us, we heal generations of neglect, suffering, fear and pain. We are all diamonds reflecting the light in our own unique ways.
I am courageous and confident.
You are a treasure trove of gifts. When you have the courage to be yourself and share those gifts, you give others permission to do the same. And when life serves you lemons (as it sometimes will), you have the power to make champagne (or a darn good mocktail).
I am more than enough.
There’s nothing you have to do, be, or strive for to be loved—you are a beautiful miracle, just as you are.
I am safe and secure.
This is a big one for anxiety! The universe loves and supports you and it’s safe to take a deep breath, let go of worry and come home to yourself. That’s how the healing happens.
I trust myself and I have my own back.
You don’t need to shrink to fit into a societal mold. You need to keep expanding to break it and flow freely. Listen to your own wise counsel. You’re wicked smart and you know what’s best for you. The gut decisions you make help you grow, blossom and serve the greater good.
I listen to my body—it knows exactly what I need.
Let yourself rest. Ignore the to-do list. Slow down and tune in. Listen to what your body is trying to tell you—there’s soul medicine in there.
Regardless of my setbacks, I always have a comeback in me.
You are more resilient than you think. No matter what happens, you always have the power to rise and rise again. And each time you do, you will be even more glorious.
This is my time to shine. I’ve got this. I’m ready.
There’s nothing else you need to do to be ready to share your magic. You came here fully loaded with it. Just make up your mind that it’s time—then leap.
I flow with life and life flows with me.
Thoughts co-create reality. When you elevate your thoughts and get in the flow with life, the rest of your experience will start to match that vibrant energy.
I choose happiness because I love how joy makes me feel.
Each day you get to decide how you want to feel. Even when times are really tough, you’re still the master of your heart. Choose joy. Choose love. Choose peace. I choose joy (more often than not) because it makes me feel better and better.
How to Use Affirmations
Use these affirmations as a tool to elevate your energy and bring more joy into your days. Remember, this isn’t about ignoring your problems, but it is about retraining your brain and asking yourself: How can I look at this differently? What’s the positive here? What can I learn from this?
You can download the desktop and mobile wallpapers above as a daily reminder to layer on the self-love. You can also write them down, say them out loud or just think them in your awesome head.
Also, create your own! Whatever you’re struggling with, explore what it would be like to see through the eyes of love. Be sure to choose positive affirmations and use the present tense (I am, I have, I accept). Rinse and repeat—and keep creating new ones. With some regular dedication, you’ll notice a positive ripple effect on the rest of your life.
And last but not least, some wisdom from Louise: “Saying affirmations is only part of the process. What you do the rest of the day and night is even more important. The secret to having your affirmations work quickly and consistently is to prepare an atmosphere for them to grow in. Affirmations are like seeds planted in soil. Poor soil, poor growth. Rich soil, abundant growth. The more you choose to think thoughts that make you feel good, the quicker the affirmations work.”
I love that!
Your turn: Do you have a positive affirmation to share? I’d love to read it.
Peace & positive vibes,