Monthly Theme: Communicating
This week’s word is Affirm
Communication begins within your own thoughts. You cannot communicate with others until you have spoken the words inside your own mind. Like an artesian well, the words well up within, seemingly out of nowhere. Heaven knows where it all comes from. Perhaps from a book you've read, a podcast you heard or a TV show you watched. Most of it probably comes from your own life experience. You know what you know because you have lived it.
Your inner dialogue, sometimes referred to as self-talk, is formed early in life and certain patterns are often are ingrained from a young age. Much of what you say to yourself are echoes of the words that were spoken to you in childhood. You can still hear them - the voices that taught you what to think, what to do, how to feel. They were spoken far in the past, but they continue to echo in your mind in the present. You may not be able to change the childhood experiences that influence your self-talk today, but you can decide whether or not to let those voices dominate going forward.
You are an adult now. You have become your own person. You decide whether to retain or disregard the internal messages of your mind. You have more control over your self-talk than you might think. If you want a change of your thought patterns, you have the power to do that. It's your mind after all.
This week try and begin to notice the mood of your self-talk. What tone of voice does your inner self have? Hear it as if for the first time. Is it critical and judgmental or affirming? What response do you hear in the face of challenges - limiting and dismissive or open to new possibilities? Consider the last time your self-talk was filled with excitement, joy or gratitude. If it's been awhile, what might it look like to redirect your thoughts more intentionally towards positivity?
Quote of the Week
"Our brains respond to cues from our environment - including our thoughts, feelings, and emotions - by altering their own structures and functions.
Just as we practice playing the piano to get better at it, if we repeatedly practice certain ways of thinking, we become better at those, too. Positive thoughts repeated over time can powerfully alter the brain. If you decide to change your thinking by regularly replacing your undesirable thoughts with more positive ones, the neural pathways in your brain that once processed your old way of thinking begin to atrophy, just as a muscle does when you stop using it...
Now that we understand that our thoughts shape the brains' wiring and establish patterns, we can practice repeating beneficial thoughts until they become imprinted on our brains and in our unconscious minds. These repeated thoughts are affirmations.
Affirmations are so powerful because over time, whatever we think about repeatedly sets up chemical, biological, and electromagnetic patterns in our minds and our bodies. Since these become habitual, our thoughts are critical to our health and well-being. Affirmations can be a very important tool in the transformation of your thinking...
Focusing on your health, on getting well, as often as possible is important, because your thoughts and emotions engage your super-healing mind and catalyze your body's ability to heal and regenerate...
Psychologists call the affirmation technique cognitive behavioral programming. You can call it whatever pleases you. Just know that if you use affirmations appropriately on a daily basis, saying and feeling them as though they are literally true, it will change the cells and organs in your body. Affirmations can help you get well faster if you're sick. If you're well, they can help you establish and sustain optimal health and well-being."
- Superhealing: Engaging Your Mind, Body and Spirit to Create Optimal Health and Well-Being by Elaine R. Ferguson, M.D.
Having a bad day? Check out and share one of the 50+ Affirmations for Anxiety & Stress by The Remote Yogi. The site includes social media ready artwork that you can share with family and friends to let them know you could use some encouragement.
If you notice that an inner critic generally rules your thoughts, check out this exercise on "Changing your critical self-talk" by Dr. Kristen Neff, one of the world's foremost experts on self-compassion.