If you’ve read some of our prior short articles on Neuroscience as it relates to the process of changing our ingrained habits, patterns, and addictions, you might remember that part of the process of change – or deconditioning – primarily relies upon changing how we feel in the present moment rather than waiting for something external to ourselves to create the desired shift. As Dr. Joe Dispenza puts it, ‘you can’t think a better thought than how you feel.’
How we feel from moment to moment is always a direct result of how we perceive reality, not what reality actually is. So, if we can shift our perspective and interpretation of reality in the present moment, without anything actually changing externally, then we can truly change how we feel. And when we change how we feel, we then start changing how we think, therefore reinforcing the self-created positive cycle of feeling better and better, and thinking greater and greater thoughts, or if you prefer, having fewer and fewer unwanted thoughts.
There are many different ways in which we can start changing how we feel and our perspective on reality. One way we’ve personally experimented with and found to be extremely helpful, constructive, and effective is by creating and using transformative positive affirmations.
All living organisms are wired for survival. For human beings, this translates into an overt focus on trying to avoid pain, abandonment, and death of all sorts at all cost, even that of our happiness, joy, and inner peace. While, at the beginning of our evolution, this wiring played a purpose in ensuring the development and survival of our species, it has since become obsolete.
These days, it’s unlikely that you’ll find yourself chased by bears, or a saber-toothed tiger, and the today’s reality is such that most of us live a pretty comfortable and safe life. Yet, the endemic of stress in some of the most advanced and abundant parts of the world shows that, biologically, we’re still operating in fight-or-flight response, and thus continuously undermining our quality of life and reducing our capacity for greater happiness, joy, inner peace, and fulfillment.
So how can the use of positive affirmations change hundreds of thousands of years of conditioned-in wiring of the human brain and mind and how they operate?
By using positive affirmations, and through consistent and intelligent repetition, you can begin to change the stress (fight-or-flight) response, into a more constructive and creative cycle of joy, equanimity, and even true contentment.
Books and movies like ‘The Secret’ are all about the law of attraction and using the power of the mind and positive affirmations in order to change your reality. In many ways, the process they offer is very much in alignment with what we’re suggesting here, with one caveat.
If neuroscience has proven that you can’t think better than what you feel, how can you possibly come up with positive affirmations that are a true reflection of what you’re wanting to feel and experience, and how will you actually feel when you use them?
It’s useful to realize that what might make sense in theory (i.e. if you think positive thoughts, you’ll immediately feel good, or if you focus on what you want, it will manifest somehow) doesn’t always add up when you try to implement it ‘in the real world’ (i.e. amidst our internal fragmentation and the influence of our subconscious mind) if it doesn’t actually do what it was intended to achieve, i.e. helps you feel good right now! The whole process can benefit from becoming more grounded, practical, and reflective of the inner conflict all human beings experience.
Over the time that we’ve helped people create and define a constructive process for using positive affirmations, we’ve been able to explore how using them could actually bring up a lot of different seemingly unforeseen reactions and types of resistance for a lot of people, and as a result of this, we’ve refined the process so that it actually helped more than not.
For example, if you’re not feeling great, and you start repeating to yourself, ‘I feel great.’, it’s unlikely that doing so won’t trigger some type of stress, anger, or even frustration in you, and it’s actually more likely that you’ll end up revalidating to yourself that you really don’t feel great, and that you’ll then either blame yourself or the process for not working.
Another example of how creating and repeating positive affirmations can actually reinforce negative mental, emotional, and even behavioral patterns could be if someone repeated the following affirmation, ‘I’m always confident in myself, and I never feel bad when people judge or criticize me.’
The emotional backlash of using this kind of statement is manyfold. For instance, using absolute terms is usually not recommended until you feel more resonant with the emotional state you’re wanting to create. How can you possibly feel good while repeating that you never feel bad? And what happens when you do feel bad?
The very action of saying the word ‘bad’ triggers a bunch of associated memories, thoughts, and non-optimal emotions and therefore brings up ‘bad’ feelings. And any realization that you feel bad can lead you into self-judgment and self-punishment for not meeting your own self-created expectations of never feeling bad.
In addition to that, if you tell yourself that you’re always confident, what happens when something or someone triggers you into not feeling confident about yourself, how do you feel then, and what kind of interpretations might you make about yourself?
So, what’s a more optimal way to create and use positive affirmations?
When creating positive affirmations, first it’s important to know where you are right now and what you can ‘accept’ and thus resonate with. This is truly the key to successfully implementing a constructive process of using positive affirmations and experiencing a permanent shift in mindset, energy, and emotion.
Don’t use affirmations that you can’t believe in right now. Work progressively, starting with something that’s achievable for you right now, and keep building from there. Intentions are constantly evolving as we also do. It’s ok to climb the ladder of consciousness and self-empowerment as you make progress and continue to evolve the Masterpiece that is you.
Next, when creating positive affirmations, it’s recommended to always speak in positive terms and perspectives. Affirming to yourself that the things that you don’t want to happen won’t happen will only trigger the fear that you feel of them happening rather than give you the relief and inner peace you seek.
Instead of trying to avoid the things that you don’t want to happen, find out what you truly want. When you focus on what you want, rather than on what you don’t want, you tend to feel good.
When you focus on what you don’t want, in any way, you end up triggering the subconscious mind into reacting to all the negative scenarios, thoughts, and emotions associated with what you don’t want. Doing so diminishes your creative energy and the positive emotional fuel that would otherwise support your vision and intentions.
Finally, one of the most effective ways of creating the permanent shifts you desire through the use of positive affirmations is to work directly with your resistance. What this means is that, when you repeat your positive affirmation, all the subconscious parts of you that don’t want to hear it, don’t believe in it, are in conflict with it, don’t want to change, fear letting go, don’t feel like you deserve it, are not resonant with it, or are not in alignment with it, etc., will come up.
If you look at what comes up as a problem or react to it, you might get stuck and revert back into old habits, patterns , or addictions that keep your current view and experience of reality in place.
Encountering resistance is a sign of progress. It means that you’re becoming aware of the subconscious parts of yourself that have been preventing you from manifesting what you want most.
That’s what you want to work with, what you want to transform and reshape to eventually match what you want. Aligning your conscious and subconscious minds takes patience, repetition, focus, and intentionality, and it’s worth all of the love and effort you’re willing to put into it!
We can continue to live in a limited state of being, or we can free ourselves from what has shaped and influenced us in the past and choose to create a new reality for ourselves, a reality that reflects how we deeply want to feel and the meaningful experiences we truly want to have. It’s up to us to choose to be conscious co-creators of the reality we want to experience, because we can.
Ultimately, if you believe that you can, you will. Positive affirmations used with conscious wisdom and discernment can help you get there!
With love from Miami Beach,
Alessandrina & Dexter