Every once in a while, someone in a 12-step meeting will confidently testify of a treatment for addiction — something that changed their life and gives them power to get through another day. My first reaction to these suggestions is almost always a cynical one. Come on, it can’t be that simple! However, I am learning to not discount the effectiveness of something just because it doesn’t make sense. I started trying some of these crazy ideas and discovered that they actually worked! I’ve decided to make a series of blog posts about a few of these counter-intuitive actions that make recovery a reality.
The whole concept of trying to change your life by repeating positive statements about yourself seemed like a joke to me. Admittedly, my opinion was probably shaped a great deal by Stuart Smalley, the effeminate Saturday Night Live character created by Al Franken in the 1990’s, who was a a member of many twelve-step groups and stands in front of the mirror in his powder blue sweater chanting, ” I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone It, people like me!
It all seemed so wimpy and New Age. I could hardly even entertain the idea of actually trying it. But then someone explained it to me in a way that rang true in my mind. He pointed out the fact that almost since birth, everyone around me has told me what and who I am. “You are adopted.” “You are fat.” “You suck at math.” “Your handwriting is terrible.” “You shouldn’t try that because people will laugh at you.” “Nobody is as good a helper as you are.” “You should stick with what you are good at.”
It didn’t take long before the YOU turned into an I and my inner voice was defined and my self-image took shape. This wasn’t anything sinister or planned on the part of those other people. It’s just a part of growing up. And some of us are more susceptible than others to these external voices around us.
So doesn’t it make sense to keep reminding yourself of the person you want to be? Shouldn’t we at least try to counter balance the external voices that have bombarded us on a daily basis since we were old enough to understand? This is where positive affirmations come in. And here is the amazing part: They actually work! And they start to work almost immediately!
So how do you make your own affirmations? It’s not rocket science. First, decide what areas of your life you want to improve. In the case of addiction, you want to improve the parts of your life that LED to the addiction. Get to the roots of the problem. Remember, addiction is a symptom of other underlying issues.
Next, write out a few positive statements for each of the areas you want to work on. Your statements should be short, positive, and in the 1st person present tense. And keep your list small — work on a few at a time. Affirmations are most effective when they are few and repeated often. Remember to focus on the goal, not where you are now.
For example, if you have a sexual addiction that developed because of your need to feel loved and accepted, your affirmation would not be, “I am not a sexual addict.” It might look something like:
“I am more than enough.” “I fully accept who I am.” “Other people enjoy being around me.”
It’s that simple. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that it’s prideful to make these statements about yourself. These are worthy goals and eternal truths. You are only helping yourself become convinced of their reality.
My list of affirmations changes and adapts. I add affirmations and remove them, depending on my current need. But but some of the more important ones, never leave the list. My list of affirmations that don’t change are as follows:
I choose my behavior
I am a Child of God with infinite worth.
I am always taken care of.
God loves me and accepts me.
I am always more than enough.
The worth of my soul is great.
I now fully accept myself.
My body is now in perfect balance.
I am always healthy and strong.
Everything I touch prospers.
Other people feel their worth when they are in my presence.
Everything works together for my good.
I don’t fear, because God is protecting me.
I choose my actions based on long-term prosperity.
My Spirit and my Physical body are in tune and in perfect sync.
I enjoy physical activity
I eat only when my body needs nourishment.
Okay, okay, I am fully aware that I am not as far down the road of accomplishing some of these as I should be. That’s why I they are on my list. Some of them are simply factual statements that I need to be reminded of on a daily basis because I tend to forget them, and when I do, my life goes to hell.
So now that you have a few affirmations, how do you get them into your head? There are many ways that people choose to do it. Most of them aren’t something I could keep doing on a consistent basis.
1. Stand in front of a mirror and repeat the affirmations to yourself. (Too much like Stuart Smalley. I know myself well enough to know I wouldn’t do this.)
2. Write them down several times a day while repeating them in your mind. (Way too much work for me. I know I would give up after a couple of days.)
3. Subliminal recordings. (I’m just not sold on this method for me. I wanted something I could do myself and something that I could focus on with my conscious mind as well.)
I knew I needed a way to get these thoughts into my head without having to put in much daily effort. That’s just me.
Years ago, I learned that classical music (especially Baroque music) stimulates the brain. When I was in high school, I would sometimes play Handel while I studied for a test, in hopes that it would help the knowledge to sink into my brain. I decided to use music to help me with my affirmations.
I simply recorded myself saying my affirmations clearly and slowly. Then I looped them to repeat over and over again for 15 minutes. Then I added a background of Bach and Handel. So I have an MP3 that I can listen to each night as I fall asleep, because it’s believed that the human mind is most accepting of affirmations when it is at rest. Sometimes I listen to it first thing in the morning, as well. I also burned it onto a CD and sometimes I listen to it in the car.
I can tell a difference in my attitude, confidence, and choices when I listen do my affirmations on a regular basis. It’s just another one of those wacky things that has to be tried to be understood.
Change your thinking and change yourself.
Below is a list of affirmations that I like. Maybe they will inspire your own affirmations. Good luck!
- I feel God’s love for me each hour.
- I trust him and I walk in confidence through life, knowing that he protects me.
- I trust that everything that happens to me is for my good and long-term happiness.
- My relationship with God is very trusting.
- I know that He loves me and desires my happiness.
- I am directed each day through the spirit as I seek His guidance in my life.
- I clearly see and recognize God’s hand in my life as I take time to listen and be still.
- It feels good receive promptings and be an instrument in the Hand of the Lord.
- I feel peace and confidence knowing that God is with me each day.
- My relationship with God grows as I have meaningful daily prayers and scripture study.
- I talk with God as a friend and take time to listen for answers as I seek His guidance.
- I feel uplifted, peaceful and strengthened after I pray.
- I receive answers to my questions and inspiration for others as I search the scriptures.
- I take time to apply what I read into my life.
- I receive instructions from God continually for me and for those in my stewardship.
- I live righteously enough to receive those messages when they come.
- I see people’s lives blessed and my life blessed as well
- I am always inspired in the council I give to others.
- God puts me in the right place at the right time.
- I ask God for what I need. He freely blesses me.
- I know my prayers are heard.
- I expect to receive inspiration
- I take opportunities to ponder and meditate each day
- I am still and know God
- I experience now in this moment how it feels to have this connection
- I see myself taking steps to connect with God
- I am filled with his love
- I see myself as God sees me
- I am always aware of the help that surrounds me
- I am a valiant son of God.
- I have great faith in Jesus Christ.
- My faith guides me every day.
- I am calm and steady throughout my life, no matter what is going on around me.
- I am an example to others.
- I find joy in obeying the commandments.
- I am confident with who I am, and how I live my life.
- I have a kind and sensitive heart and genuine desire to help others in need.
- I am creative.
- God expects me to be a creator of things.
- I am excited to try new things.
- I experiment with new ideas and techniques.
- I am artistic.
- I love meeting new people and I am a friend to those around me.
- I’m a positive person who looks for the good in everyone.
- I respect myself.
- I take care of my physical, emotional and spiritual needs so I am at my best
- Others feel better about themselves and uplifted after being in my presence
- I treat others with kindness and love.
- I am calm and steady in the direction I’m going
- All things work out for my good.
- I connect with my higher self and learn from his wisdom.
- My relationship with my wife, family and friends is one of love, respect and support.
- People feel and know the love I have for them through my words and actions.
- I have balanced relationships.
- I give great service to others
- I experience connection, camaraderie and fulfillment as I support them and they support me.
- I contact my friends often.
- I enjoy having friendships.
- I am a supportive husband.
- My wife’s callings are also mine.
- I respect others for who they are.
- I take time to savor my relationships.
- I am a good listener.
- I don’t try to “fix” other people or change them to suit my needs.
- My outside reflects the inside.
- I have an abundance of energy.
- My body and mind are renewed each morning.
- I enjoy starting my day by waking up early in the morning feeling rested and clear .
- My body is in complete harmony physically, both inside and out.
- I am in tune with my body.
- My body tells me what kind of nutrition, exercise or rest it needs.
- I take time to listen to my body.
- I am attracted to the foods that help my body perform at a higher level.
- I feel great!
- I eat small meals, several times a day.
- I eat when I am hungry.
- My body is attracted to foods that serve me
- I am always healthy and strong
- My body is now in perfect balance
- I experience myself doing the work of keeping my body strong
- There is harmony and balance in all of my systems
- I’m attracted to foods that allow my body to function at the highest levels
- There is a bounce in my step
- I take time to experience health
- I experience vibrant athletic energy
- I regularly exercise my body
- I listen to my body and take care of its needs
- My body regulates itself and works to be at my proper weight.
- My body has perfect balance.
- I live debt free.
- I am in alignment with the spiritual laws of abundance
- I have more than I will ever need.
- I have more than enough to store away.
- I have enough to share with others.
- I live in a home that is paid for.
- I always have more than enough
- I spend my time and talents doing the most important things for my purpose
- I trust that God will always provide for me, so I share freely and I know it always comes back to me 100 fold.
- I Experience how it feels to have everything paid for, and several years of resources available.
- I Experience how it is to have such abundance and tranquility in my life.
- I Experience financial power and the ability to enact my vision
- Our house has room enough to welcome others in need.
- I feel secure because I know I have enough money to live on for years.
- I have skills that make me very profitable.
- I have investments and businesses that continually provide a generous income.
- I am my own boss.
- I pay my tithes and offerings with gladness and gratitude.
- My prosperity prospers others. Their prosperity prospers me.
- I constantly find ways to help people.
- I leave everything more beautiful than I found it.
- I make the world a better place.
- I know that I deserve love and I accept it now.
- I give out love and it is returned to me multiplied