Affirmations are sometimes dismissed as new age thinking, or at best considered a placebo rather than having an esoteric advantage.
But what’s the difference between witchcraft and a placebo? A number of people in any experiment will react to the placebo. They’ve also been found to work better if you give them the colours and tastes people expect from medicine.
Affirmations are basically statements of a positive nature which help to train our brain to follow a more efficient and beneficial path.
Often they’re used to counteract negative or self-destructive behaviours.
We repeat them regularly – daily or weekly seems to work well. This is potentially because it’s easy to then make them part of your routine and not forget to do them.
So how do they work?
Within our day-to-day life we probably receive more negative feedback than positive. We can strive for more compliments than criticism but it’s not always easy, especially when that involves other people.
Do you receive as many positive comments as negative on a daily basis?
More importantly, how often do you tell yourself negative things?
Even if you cut every negative interaction out of your life, you still need to deal with yourself. Every time we call ourselves stupid, or lazy, or clumsy, or fat, we’re training our subconscious we’re aiming for these things.
Instead we can give it a bit of programming help to deliver the right outputs by reminding it the things we’re looking to be.
How do we do this?
Identify positive things you want to bring into your life and repeat them as affirmations. Or you can flip it and identify limiting beliefs you want to remove from your life, then ask your subconscious to work on the opposite.
It helps to start with a small number of affirmations – you’re reprogramming your brain, taking on too many new ideas at once isn’t always beneficial. Once you’ve repeated your few affirmations for awhile you can add more. Your brain will already have assimilated the original ideas.
Some over-arching goals will also have an affect on smaller goals. So if your affirmation is about having a good night’s sleep, indirectly you’ll become less stressed, more focused, and concentrate better.
When I first started investigating daily affirmations as a part of studying hypnotherapy techniques I was quite sceptical.
I mean, surely if it were as easy as simply saying “I sleep better” once a day I would have done this a long time ago. It couldn’t possibly be that easy.
Simply telling myself I’m getting a good night sleep every evening is not enough, surely.
Except if you look at what the affirmations are helping you to do, you can understand how they work, even with something such as sleep or weight gain.
Because every day you tell yourself you have insomnia or are a bad sleeper you reinforce your subconscious’ belief this is true.
It then sabotages your efforts like a non-supportive parent living in your own brain.
Think about it.
Whilst you’re having your milky drinks and getting to bed on time, your subconscious is sitting there shrugging. “Do what you like,” it says, “it’s never going to help, I don’t know why you bother.”
Slowly your best intentions slip away, and you give up, falling back on your old patterns because they reinforce your current belief structures. Those few weeks of positive action just weren’t enough to scrape in a new belief system because you were still focused on identifying as a ‘bad sleeper’.
Your subconscious overruled you.
When you create a new inscription, you’re encouraging your brain to do all the things it needs to in order to achieve your goal.
“I sleep for seven hours each night in a calming, restorative way” repeated daily helps you believe this is possible. It creates a new inscription and helps you take the actions you need to take to reach this goal.
But how can simply saying one line for two weeks do anything to undo the years, (or potentially decades) worth of programming you’ve put yourself through to create the opposite belief?
Try it. You’ll surprise yourself.
However, if you want to kickstart the process there are ways to inscribe your message faster.
Design a spell which works on an esoteric level to remove the limiting belief before you start. For example you can do this with cord magic or by shamanically cutting ties.
Or you can borrow from hypnotherapeutic ideas and use a pathworking to journey to your inner self and speak directly to your subconscious.
Whilst you’re in an altered state the words you tell yourself in your affirmation will have a deeper impact.
You only need to enter this altered state once, the next time you repeat these affirmations you will already have a well carved inscription path to add the energy to.
When you write your affirmations, remember they need to be positively worded. The subconscious often ignores words like ‘stop’ or ‘no’ or ‘not’.
Instead of focusing on not being stressed, focus on feeling calm and confident and in control of your day.
Focusing on the positive is also a good way to create rituals and spells.