A few years ago, you may remember there was a movement created by a book and movie called “The Secret” (ah, the powers of Oprah) which has since faded from the limelight. One of the biggest disservices this book did was move the idea of ‘affirmations’ into the realm of hocus pocus. By claiming affirmations are meant to tell the Universe what you want and the Universe bending to your mighty will, it condemned the idea of affirmations to fringe.
For those who might not be aware, affirmations are the idea that repeating a phrase out loud each day will make it come true. For example, saying “I will become financially secure” each morning into the mirror will somehow make it so.
And, here’s the kicker, it certainly helps, but not because of the Universe stuff. There’s a logical explanation for why affirmations work.
Let me explain:
Have you ever been having a conversation with someone with the TV on in the background? You’re talking normally when suddenly something grabs your attention. Say you’ve been contemplating buying a house for a few months and it’s a news story on current mortgage rates. You weren’t paying attention to the news while having the conversation; you couldn’t tell me what the previous story was, but somehow you picked up on this one.
This is no accident.
The amount of time you’ve spent contemplating buying a house has been ingrained into your subconscious.
Every day you’re faced with thousands of subconscious decisions that you’re unaware of making. Every time you go to a restaurant and order your favorite item on the menu, you’ve chosen to ignore every other option being offered.
It’s not a bad thing; it’s just how we function. You’ve told yourself what you like and what you deem important and your brain has adapted to this information. Every time you ignore a commercial on television you’re making a choice not to buy the product, but it’s not necessarily a conscious choice. Market researchers have spent a lot of money on this very idea. Have you noticed that a lot of ads lately have used ‘Mom’ in them somehow? “52 year old mom finds secret weight loss cure.”
Logically, that’s not a great sales pitch. Are you telling me that this mom found a secret that hundreds of nutritionists could never find in all the years of training and working in the industry? And yet, research shows that we as consumers find “Moms” to be more trustworthy. It’s a subconscious thing that we do. We believe mothers are more honest, so if a mother found this magical cure, she has to be telling the truth!
But she didn’t. It’s a scam and if anybody’s mothers were involved in this ploy, it was likely only peripherally.
So how does this affect you and your weight loss?
Let’s say you want to get healthier, and you want to feel more positive about your appearance. You start telling yourself each morning in the mirror, “My body is a summation of my beliefs, so I can change it. No matter what has happened, I can choose a different path today.”
You’re walking out the door to work, keys in hand, and suddenly you see your bike lying neglected in the corner of the garage.
‘It’s only a few miles to work, and it’s certainly better for me than driving.’ You think.
And so you bike to work.
Then you’re at your favorite restaurant ready to order your favorite food when something catches your eye. The menu has a special section where everything is a low-calorie alternative.
You decide to try one of them for a change.
The bike had been sitting in your garage for a while and the low-calorie options probably aren’t new. These were choices you had been given many times before, but they were “new” to you because now your mind is paying attention to those healthier options.
Positive affirmations help us tell our brain what is important. It’s simple, it’s logical, and it’s powerful. There’s no ‘hocus pocus’ involved.
So, how do you decide on a proper affirmation?
Well, let’s think about what you want from yourself that maybe you haven’t paid close attention to in the past. Do you want to work out more? Do you want to spend less money on unhealthy food?
Now try to make a positive phrase from your goals. Avoid negative wording like “I want to stop being so fat” because what your brain hears is “I am fat,” and it will adjust accordingly.
Here are some examples of great affirmations for living healthier:
– I like making healthy, satisfying food choices
– I have the power to change my life.
– I have tremendous self-control to hold to my healthy lifestyle
– I am attaining and maintaining my ideal weight.
Do you have a positive affirmation that you use that wasn’t on the list? Let us know in the comments.