Self-care: Affirmations, positive emotions and flower essences

Affirmations alone won’t enact change within yourself, but are a wonderful addition to insight psychotherapy to aid in your transformative process. Adding strong positive emotion to the words will help enlist the cooperation of your wary limbic system. And adding a subtle  flower essence works supports you on an energetic level.

Practicing affirmations is a positive self-care practice that can create the habit of having positive thoughts and feelings about yourself. If you stick with affirmations, you can create an intervention for yourself to nudge out ingrained, negative, disempowering responses.

I love the box set of Louise Hay’s beautifully illustrated affirmations to cheer me up! 

It takes at least 30 days to develop a new habit. So you’ll need to stick with a new routine and, most importantly, not give up. It takes at least 30 days to create and strengthen new neuronal pathways, creating a neurophysiological platform for your new positive habits.  Yes, it takes effort to overcome the old, familiar brain terrain. As the neuroscientist Carla Hannaford says, in her book Smart Moves , “Learning is a strengthening connection between neurons.”

 

To develop affirmations to help you move away from negative patterns and transform to your positive patterns try these steps. First, notice your go-to emotional reactions.  Next, choose just one to work on. Maybe you tend to feel lonely if there is a setback in your life. If it happens all the time, it’s probably something you are familiar with and have worked on in various ways, including insight psychotherapy.

Notice how the feeling pattern moves. Does the feeling pattern of loneliness  move to thoughts of:  “I am all alone in this parenting thing all the time” or “I am just not a good parent” or even “Nobody likes me.”

Of course, it might be true that you, as the mother, are shouldering most of the parenting tasks. However, you are probably not all alone. And even if you truly are alone, shifting to an energetic place of positive empowerment is better than being stuck in a disempowering swamp of thoughts and feelings.

Next, realize that as a survival pattern, our brains like to hang onto the negative, in order to avoid things that could be dangerous.  So you will have to work a bit to make the affirmations believable to your emotion laden, ancient brain.

Then, invoke a positive emotion when you say the statement in order to bathe your ancient brain with happy hormones and imbed the truth of the statement.  Do this by recalling a time when you felt very happy, such as when you were holding your baby, or when you were receiving a reward.

Recall these positive feelings as you say your affirmations.

Create your own affirmations to invoke the positive magic to counteract disempowering thoughts and  feelings.  Stuck? Use these!

I am capable and confident in my everyday life. 

Say this to yourself.  Recall an experience when you felt capable. Maybe it was when you finished cleaning up the house and looked around with pride. Maybe it was when you walked across the stage and received your diploma.

Larch – One of the best known flower essences, the essence of larch is about building the energy of confidence, creativity and expressiveness. Larch helps move the energy of self-acceptance and communication without fear.

I have a deep well of patience within.

Say this to yourself.  Recall an experience when you actually practiced patience. See yourself “adulting”: being able to breathe and slow down enough so that you practiced responsible behavior.

Time is abundant; I have an abundance of time for myself and my family.

Say this to yourself. Recall what it feels like to actually give time and space to what you need to do. Recall the felt sense in your body about how it feels to have enough time to do the things you want to do. Experience the expansiveness of time and space within and then without.

Impatiens – The essence of impatiens is about being able to mindfully stay in the moment, rather than rushing ahead of the beat, so to speak 

I understand and ask for what I need and want in a positive way.

Say this to yourself. Recall a time when you had a talk with someone else and expressed your feelings and needs in a positive, direct way. Recall the felt sense of how good you felt expressing your needs in a positive manner.

Centaury – The essence of centaury promotes the energy of empowerment  and independence,  to ask for you want and need in a reasonable way, rather than feeling like you have to please others.

I cope with grace.

Say this to yourself.  Recall yourself coping with a challenging situation. Experience how your body felt as you were coping. Recall the coping skills you used to get through a difficult situation. Let these positive feelings wash over you. Breathe in the hope and positivity.

Elm   –  The essence of elm is about being able to shoulder tasks responsibly and in reasonable service to others, without subsuming the self. 

 

 


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