The power of affirmations

Thoughts are like seeds that you plant in your mind, whichever thoughts you put your attention to grow and neglected thoughts will sink deeper into the soil.

Eating disordered thoughts tend to focus on the negative. Do you recognise thoughts like these?

“I am fat.”

“No one is going to love me at this weight.”  “I am constantly letting down the people I love.”

“I can’t recover.”

These negative thoughts get played over and over in your mind and end up becoming part of your belief system. These thoughts that started as tiny seedlings are now wrapping and intertwining around your logical thoughts.

When you choose to believe these negative thoughts you create a self-defeating prophecy. If you believe you are not worthy of your love or the love of others than sadly you most likely won’t receive your love or the love of others. A wall that barricades you from love hugs your body.

Don’t lose hope though, by practicing positive affirmations you can begin to change your thoughts and beliefs. But first, what is a positive affirmation exactly?

An affirmation is a positive statement in the present tense that you would like to believe and manifest in your life. Such as, “I nourish my body intuitively” or “I am surrounded by love and support”.  Now even if you presently don’t nourish your body intuitively, you are still beginning to plant new seeds, healthy seeds. Along with the power of “I”, positive affirmations helped me restructure my belief system and in doing so recover from an eating disorder.

I’m such an advocate of their power that I continue to use them daily to help shape me into the woman I want to be and the woman that I tell myself “I am”. I will be completely honest and say that affirmations did not come natural to me in the beginning and thought that they were just another bullshit excuse to “try to be nice to myself. I found positive personal statements to be arrogant and I was doubtful they would work. I was skeptical that by professing my love for myself that I would actually end up a bitchy snob. But in truth, I think they have simply helped me become a nice young lady, with a heap of drive and a dash of pride. You don’t need to be a bitch to be confident.

At least once a day I would focus my attention on a positive affirmation, either one I found or one I created. I would write them down on a piece of paper and stuff it into my pocket, under my pillow or take a photo on my phone. I would say them out loud while looking at myself in the mirror. I would write them out and draw around them and make them into art that I would slide into my art folder or hang on my wall. I didn’t notice any changes overnight, but over the next following weeks I did start to notice the positive benefits.

I was seeing results in both my actions and my thoughts. It was awesome! 

As I mentioned earlier, I still use positive affirmations even though I am recovered. I believe they help me stay on track and keep me focused on the important seeds in my mind. They help bring the things I want into my life and help to remove the things I do not want.

I encourage you to try your own affirmation gardening. Over time with enough intention any positive affirmation can become your reality. Repeating positive affirmations is one of the best ways to start detangling the negative vines that are tightly weaved inside your mind, and equips you will the positivity you need to knock down that wall.

The practice of affirmations will help you analyse your current thought patterns and beliefs and give you the chance to refresh them with healthy and positive ones.

Photography by: Daniel Brookman

Photography by: Daniel Brookman

Margherita Barbieri