In this excerpt from her new book, The Beauty Detox Power (Harlequin Nonfiction), New York Times bestselling author Kimberly Snyder shares wisdom on the power of positive thinking
Affirmations are positive statements consciously stated and repeated. They can help to dislodge deeply rooted, subconscious negative beliefs and open up enormous potential for positive energy to flow in. They are an important tool for creating unity in your actions, thoughts, beliefs and goals, the unity that is at the core of your true power. Affirmations influence the flow of information in your body, allowing new biological information to be produced by the mind-body fusion.
Stating affirmations doesn’t mean babbling off statements written on a piece of paper with an underlying feeling of disbelief or “yeah right,” in your head. You must be present for your new beliefs and generate enthusiasm and joy as you state them. To get the most benefit, affirmations need to repeated regularly and with concentration. They should be declared and not stated as a question.
Deep down, many of us feel that we don’t deserve to be beautiful or thin or happy. But this idea of “not deserving” needs to be reversed. Affirmations can help to create change in your body and appearance, not to mention in your overall joy.
Cast a Light on Negativity
Affirmations help to align what you consciously want to create in the world with your subconscious beliefs, and they can cast a light on negativity that you may not even be aware of. A practice related to affirmations (in terms of allowing you to create unity and access your power), and yet distinct, is authentic self-observation.
Meditation, which is rooted in self-awareness or “watching ourselves,” can produce change in and of itself. By being present as we meditate and observing thoughts, emotions, sensations and other phenomena within us, we are actually able to shift and transform ourselves. The same is true when it comes to “observing” affirmations daily and repeating them.
Affirmations will help you to create your new reality, lead to an awakening and create the belief that you have something unique and meaningful to contribute, as we all do, because we are all part of the interconnected whole.
Whatever you withhold, the universe withholds from you, as well. Perhaps you are withholding because in your heart of hearts you do not feel you are good enough or smart enough. But when you do believe you are good enough (and you are!), your body will respond with more vitality and focused energy to create the changes you want. Affirmations are an aid to get you there.
It’s helpful to say affirmations in the mirror.. Mirror work can be very helpful for increasing self-love. Whenever you pass or look in the mirror, get in the habit of gazing into it and saying to yourself aloud, “I love and accept you exactly as you are.” Look yourself directly in the eye as you say these words. It may be difficult to gaze at yourself at first, as this sometimes elicits buried emotions, so be extra patient and gentle with yourself and observe all the feelings that surface.
It’s great to say affirmations out loud. But my favorite method is to record them as a voice memo on my phone or recording device so that I can play them as I’m drifting off to sleep at night and as I’m getting ready for my day in the morning. I program my affirmations into my phone so I can listen to them after my home yoga practice and while I’m brushing my teeth. I play them on my speakerphone when I’m driving alone in my car and have some privacy.
What should you say? Affirm the positive, as if it has already been achieved. Always use the present tense. Start with something along the lines of, “I am fit and trim,” or come up with whatever positive body description that you like. Then write down all the areas in your life that you’d like to focus on, body-related and otherwise, and create positive affirmations around them. Remember to affirm what you want as if you have it now, and make sure that your affirmations generate authentic enthusiasm.
At first it may feel unnatural to say these things out loud, but affirmations are the best way to begin creating energetic (and biological) change. Resistance is greatest when you are operating on the surface of your mind, which is bound up with ego. By declaring your affirmations, you can push past this surface level and delve into deeper levels, where change is possibility. Affirmations are a way of saying yes to your true nature and essence. Remember, you are powerful, and your thoughts are powerful.
Begin keeping a journal Write down those aspects of your body and your life that you’d like to improve upon. Keeping a journal is a good exercise as it requires you to articulate your feelings and confront what you might be harboring or storing in your mind and body.
Create positive affirmations Base them on the themes in your journal. Record your affirmations on your phone or another recording device and listen to them in the morning and the evening, and whenever you have time during your day.
Recite your affirmations regularly Daily is ideal. Silently to yourself is still beneficial, and be sure to say some of them as you gaze into a mirror, and make them a part of your life in order to enact real change.