The Power of Affirmations: How To Think Your Way To Positive Outcomes
The power of positivity and the strength of our own mind is undeniable, but how can we harness this inner strength to manifest a more positive and fulfilling reality? Answer: an affirmation practice. We sat down with Nicole Bowman, psychic medium and spiritual artist "Live the Light" on Keen.com, to explore how affirmations can be useful tools in your well-being toolbox, helping you to gravitate toward best outcomes, raising your confidence and energy level in the process. There's no better time to start than now; it's National Wellness month, after all!
mbg: First, for those who aren't familiar, what exactly are affirmations?
Nicole Bowman: Affirmations are positive statements about your life, relationships, and experiences that you want to be true. They are spoken in the present tense in order to draw that result to you. When we say things in the present tense, we invite them in now and affirm that our dreams are currently unfolding in a way that is perfect for us.
mbg: What's the first step to starting an affirmation practice?
Nicole Bowman: Choose one thing you want to draw into your life. In order to build your confidence and see results, keep it simple. For example, let's say you've been feeling a great deal of stress and anxiety. You want to feel better. A great affirmation to say is "I am healing." This affirmation acknowledges the stress you are feeling but also encourages you to embrace healing and calm. You can perform this affirmation by looking into a mirror and saying it as many times as needed. As you breathe in, feel the healing energy enter your body, and say the affirmation. As you breathe out, feel the stress and anxiety leaving your body.
mbg: What are three tips for keeping a consistent practice?
1. Be patient with yourself. There are moments when affirmations will work immediately and you will instantly feel better. There are other times when affirmations take longer periods to work their magic. Either way, things are moving in the perfect time sequence for you.
2. Own your feelings. The first step to affirming what you want is being aware of how you currently feel. That may be contrary to what you actually want to experience. However, if you're in a bad mood, admit it. Then, shift your energy by affirming where you want to go.
3. Write It down. When you discover a powerful affirmation, put it in a journal for safekeeping and add to the list when inspiration strikes you. Over time, you will have a list of affirmations to refer to for any occasion.
mbg: Describe three situations when an affirmation practice can serve as a source of calm?
1. "I am open," is an excellent affirmation for interpersonal relationships. Before having a deep conversation, try saying that affirmation mentally or out loud. It will remind you to listen to other people and be open to what they have to say. You may find that you no longer rush to judgment and take more time to process what has been said.
2. "I am changing," is great for life's curveballs. Whether it be a relationship ending, an unexpected move, or a job change, this affirmation lets us know that transitions are a part of life. If we embrace the transitions and accept the new path, we will continue to grow and with time, thrive.
3. "I am love," is perfect for those moments when our confidence is low or we feel lonely. It lets us know that love is present within us and we are deserving of great things. Love is always there, it never leaves us.
mbg: What are a few ideas and words that are resonating with you right now?
"I am light," comes to mind often. It reminds me that we are all spirit and in this together. When we recognize that oneness, we are more likely to help one another and strive for peace.
"I am water," also comes to mind. Water moves, it flows. It is a gentle reminder that everything changes, and in order to survive, we must move with the current and learn how to adapt.
"I am protected," is powerful too. It's no secret that many of us feel uncertain about the future and may have concerns about our personal safety. Affirming protection reminds us that we are safe. It also compels us to think of ways to ensure protection for ourselves and those we love.
mbg: How can affirmations help us in these trying times?
Nicole Bowman: Affirmations give us an opportunity to re-imagine the type of world we want to live in. We acknowledge the problems that exist and use affirmations to explore solutions. When times are tough, affirming what we would like to experience lets us know that change is possible. It may not happen overnight, but it will happen. Affirmations give us clarity on what we truly desire and who we want to be
Ultimately, as with any practice, you've got to put mindful effort in. In this case, however, the reward endures: a more positive outlook, calm mind, and sense of clarity when it comes to seeing and achieving your goals. If you need a little extra inspiration, turn to Keen.com to get a spiritual reading from an expert like Nicole. Put in the work today for a more optimistic tomorrow; it'll make all the difference.
Meg Phillips is a Brand Strategist at mindbodygreen. She received her degree from Columbia University in the City of New York. She has worked at many top publications and brands including Vogue, Milk Studios, Allure and Bon Appétit. She lives in Manhattan, NY.