I have worked with many people who struggle with negative thinking patterns, and who have gotten into a cycle of bad habits as a result. What we think is extremely connected to how we feel, and then how we react. Often, a new client will come to see me, and talk about a previous therapist who they saw who listened to them talk about these thoughts, but the client felt like there was no real direction or growth.
As someone who has been a client myself, I can relate to the frustration of discovering my own mental setbacks, but not feeling like there is a solution, or not knowing what that solution is. Does it really solve the problem to just keep talking about it? I don’t think so…
One tool that has been very powerful to me and to the clients I’ve worked with is Affirmations. Simple, positive statements that can affect thinking patterns and lift your mood. I like to choose ones that directly contradict the particular negative mental thought or theme. I’ve found that when one simple affirmation is repeated as many times as possible in a day, over the next couple of days, negative emotions begin to change to more positive ones.
Unfortunately, some people despise the idea of the “fake it ’till you make it” aspect of affirmations. I can understand not wanting to be inauthentic. So, I think that for these people, changing an overly unbelievable affirmation such as, “I am a wonderful person” to “In this moment, I choose to believe I am good” can be helpful.
Creating and practicing affirmations is a simple tool that can be tailored to anyone’s particular thought pattern, and that’s what I love about them.
Try to come up with an affirmation today. Repeat it at least 25 times, and see how you feel tomorrow!