Wow, today’s post is going up late tonight. I need to upload this before it becomes Wednesday instead of Tip Tuesday!
J is one of my favorite nurses. He is an older man and he worked at the hospital while I was inpatient. He would schedule his days so that he would work multiple weeks with the same patient, allowing him to get to know his patients closely. J loved to tell his “life story” about how following his parent’s deaths he fell into a deep depression, stopped working, and struggled with binge eating. He changed his life through using positive affirmations! He told me that he challenged himself to begin telling himself affirmations daily. It took him a lot of practice and hard work, but he eventually went back to work as a psych nurse and encourage people like me 🙂
I used to hate the idea of positive affirmations and roll my eyes whenever they were mentioned. And, yes, they can be cheesy but they truly are so powerful. Self hate is so draining and unhelpful. Positive affirmations are not always easy to use. Whether it is depression, an eating disorder, or self worth issues…the negative soundtrack in our minds can be very mean and very loud. One day during body image group at IDC, we were instructed to write affirmations to ourselves about positive body image. I broke down, crying and saying that I was undeserving of writing them down or loving myself. I was wracked with guilt when it came to loving myself. I had to “feel the fear and do it anyway” and at the end of group I finally picked up a marker and wrote down, “I am worth more than the size of my body.” I wanted to cry…and I also did truly feel better. It is hard to begin positive self talk and I am still working on it, it is a lifelong journey, but I truly believe it can be such a powerful tool.
When writing a positive affirmation try to avoid “negatives” and words like “don’t” such as “I don’t deserve abuse.” Instead, reframe it to be positive, “I am deserving of respect!”
Here’s some examples –
- I am deserving of love!
- I am worth more than the size of my body or the number on the scale!
- I am worthy of being loved, respected, and cared for!
- I am powerful!
- I am beautiful!
*Note – conditions like clinical depression may require therapy and possible medication. Positive affirmations are not a substitute for therapy, but a therapeutic tool