April 19

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Why Affirmations can be a Personal Adventures


Tips and ideas to create perfect affirmations for your life and health

One area of health and wellbeing which can prove incredibly useful is affirmations.

This technique can be a key tool in the transformation of your mindset and your perception of health.

It began for me in the mid 2000's. I attended what was called Mindlink. This was a three day workshop event which incorporated spirituality, psychology and science.

I won’t lie, I'm into trying out the weird and wonderful to attain a better mind or an improvement in my health and this weekend retreat, Mindlink, ticked a lot of boxes.

I especially liked that the issues discussed usually had a background in science and research. The first day we got our “workbook” I saw what an affirmation was and I was fascinated. 

The examples given, which I still use today are as follows:

     I am happy & healthy

     I am honest & loving

     I am confident and courageous

     I am decisive & enthusiastic

At the time I was in my early 20’s. I had lost a transplant and felt doomed to be on dialysis for the foreseeable future.

I wasn’t in a great place mentally and began to see that mindset was important.

Looking back I feel strongly that affirmations played a big part in my personal change to a positive mindset. 

Affirmations: How to?

Affirmations can be in relation to specific goals or in building up areas of your character you feel could be improved. This was the area I directed most of my focus- personal improvement.

The key aspect to affirmations is that they have to be written/spoken in the present tense.

The next key factor is that they must be repeated regularly. I wasn’t into writing affirmations out but many have found this to be very important. One example is to write down 15/20 times a day your affirmations such as “I Darren Cawley will be the healthiest dialysis patient in Ireland.”

I preferred to rhyme them out mentally or to say them out loud (when no one was listening!). But remember, repeat, repeat, repeat with as much feeling and belief as you can.

I developed and expanded greatly on my affirmations over time. It happened organically as I read or on reflecting on the trait I most wanted to acquire or enhance in my personality.

Affirmations: I am...

As well as those mentioned above I gradually added on aspects where I wanted my life to improve ;

     I am energetic & imaginative

     I am conscious & proactive 

     I am wealthy & terrific

     I am successful & motivated

     I am patient and understanding

     I am an enlightened entrepreneur

     I am cool, calm & confident in sport as I am in Life

     I am professional & organised

     I am relaxed & at peace

     I am a warrior of light

The last affirmation on my list, for example, came about after reading and being inspired by the author Paulo Coehlo.

Coincidence or not, my personality and attitude changed positively in my twenties even though I was going through a pretty tough time physically.

I was always known as being shy and quiet. I had a crippling fear of public speaking and standing out from the crowd.

However, in these years I began to grow more assertive and developed as a speaker. I strongly believe affirmations played a big part in rewiring my brain to a more confident mindset. Due to the successes I experienced, I continued to expand on the affirmations.

Affirmations: I Love...

Conversations with God was a book that influenced me in many ways. One particular area that really stuck was the statement that 'Love' is the most powerful emotion (fear being number 2!). So my next set of affirmations grew out of that to become:

     I love God

     I love me

     I love life

     I love family

     I love my inner peace , and 

     I love my health

To me, having said it thousands of times, it rhymes like a poem. I say this three times after the initial “I am” affirmations. 

Affirmation: Love & Peace

Sometime later I read another random book from a library called the Pilgrim's Progress.

I had heard of this book but knew nothing more about it. Someone told me it was by John Bunyan and one of the most significant books in English literature.

However the book I read was about a Russian peasant who traveled to holy sites by foot. He used a form of religious practice called continuous prayer. I am not a deeply religious person but once I started reading, I found the book fascinating.

Essentially, what I borrowed from the book was a short form of the prayer he recounted on his journey's and which I now repeat three times,

“Jesus Christ have mercy on me fill my heart with love and peace”


I believe I carried anger from my diagnosis, and illness, within me. Including this ‘prayer’ into my affirmations was important in rewiring my thinking away from anger, disappointment and regret. If these feelings arise I repeat this mantra continuously. It helps me greatly and is my most used affirmation.

Affirmation: Gratitude...

Next aspect of my affirmations became gratitude. When reading books on popular psychology, and mental health, gratitude was always mentioned as important and so I ingrained it into my affirmations. Here again I mention God but you could just as easily mention a term you are more comfortable with such as Allah, Creator, World-soul, Universal energy, Divinity, Infinite spirit, Mother nature etc.

Thank you God for bringing motivation & success to my life

Thank you God for bringing wisdom, knowledge & learning to my life

Thank you God for bringing health, wealth & strength to my life

Thank you God for bringing happiness, joy & peace to my life

Thank you God for bringing a successful transplant to my life

Thank you God for bringing love & light to my life

Thank you God for bringing abundant energy to my life

Thank you God for helping me to crack the millionaire code

Gratitude can be loosely defined as a positive emotional state where you recognize and appreciate the good things you have received in life.

People with health issues often see the negatives in life due to their situation and forget the good things that are happening around them. 

It is important to understand that I was giving thanks, in the present tense, to things I did not have. At this time I was going into hospital for treatment three times a week, to keep me alive.

Looking back now I feel everything on the list has become my reality. 

The final part of my affirmation will be no surprise. It is a mantra to good health.

I read this in a book from the Indian tradition of medicine and wellbeing, Ayurveda.

Again reading opens so many doors to so many traditions and I loved the holistic all encompassing nature of their ancient healing techniques. 

“Every molecule, every cell, every tissue of my beautiful body constantly renews itself, in perfect health.”

I say this three times also. 

Conclusion

When saying affirmations I believe it important to really feel and believe what you are saying.

Funnily, I have said my affirmations so many times I now use different tones and accents for different affirmations. I use an Indian accent for the Ayurvedic mantra and I use hand gestures when recounting the “I love…” section. This shows they are really 'cemented in' when you start doing this. 

It is suggested that through doing affirmations, even on goals that seem unbelievable to your rational mind, your subconscious is working on ways to provide solutions and suggestions for making your affirmation become a reality.

In a sense you are strengthening the bridge between your thoughts and your feelings. When your thoughts and feeling are in sync, taking action becomes easier.

Affirmations can often seem to start out as wishful thinking but when you give yourself over to the process you are investing in yourself, your future self actually, and this helps you gain in self confidence. Another positive outcome that has cost nothing...

As mentioned at the beginning affirmations have little basis in science. This should not deter, as although we do not know why they work for so many people the evidence, albeit anecdotal, shows that they do. It is also important to note that there are ZERO negative side effects or costs. 

Remember; what works, works. Just because you do not understand something does not mean it to be ineffectual.


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Did you know...

I also run a private support group for people suffering kidney disease. Through this group you will have access to myself, and people with similar health issues. This group works as a supportive environment to promote tips, tactics and information to aid in improving your health and quality of life.