Believe In Change

The Daily Dose – Intro
April 6, 2007, 2:34 pm
Filed under: affirmations, daily dose, motivation, personal growth, the collective

Greg Carroll of The Collective has been kind enough to allow me to re-post his “Daily Dose” emails that he sends out. This first one explains the power of affirmations:

The Power of Affirmations
To affirm something is to declare it to be true. An affirmation is a positive statement of fact or belief, worded in the present tense, and usually beginning with the word “I.” It is well established that, if correctly practiced, affirmations will transform your hopes into life-determining beliefs.
The power of positive affirmations was first brought to the attention of the Western medical world by Emile Coue (1857-1926), who found that his patients significantly improved their health by focusing on healing rather than on the fears associated with illness. Coue’s famous affirmation was: “Everyday, and in every way, I am getting better and better.”

Affirmations are now a highly respected self-improvement technique used by physicians, psychotherapists, athletic coaches, motivational specialists, and spiritual teachers world-wide. Affirmations are the foundation of positive thinking techniques which have been demonstrated to be unequivocally effective. Affirmations work by changing your subconscious, or preconscious beliefs. Your beliefs create your reality to a tremendous extent. Limiting beliefs you have acquired in your life can hold you back in subtle but damaging ways. Freeing yourself from limiting beliefs and replacing them with beliefs that expand your potential is a focus of cutting edge psychology. Researchers have found that most beliefs about yourself lodge in your preconscious mind. Conscious beliefs are changed with education, but unconscious beliefs need to be changed in other ways, such as with affirmations. Affirmations work because they are like the “programming language” of your preconscious mind. The preconscious is highly receptive to simple, positive statements which, through repetition over time, are able to bypass deep psychological resistance.

Limiting beliefs cannot be changed by will-power alone; they must be replaced by new beliefs. Affirmations (when formulated and practiced as described in Chapter III.) can supply the substance of your new beliefs. Ultimately for affirmations to work, you have to believe them. This is where the brain state known as “alpha rhythm” comes in.

II. Brain Wave Physiology & Alpha Waves
Since the invention of the electroencephalogram (EEG) in the 1930’s, scientists have been able to measure the electrical activity of the brain. In the active waking state, brain waves vibrate between 14 and 20 cycles per second. Active waking brain waves are called beta waves. During sleep, brain waves vibrate between 2 and 8 cycles per second. Intervening between waking brain wave activity and sleeping brain waves, is a rhythmic form of brain activity known as alpha waves. Alpha rhythms (8 to 13 cps) appear when your eyes are closed and your mind is in a quiet state of relaxation.
Your brain has two sides–a right and left hemisphere. The left side of your brain is associated with logic and reason, while your right is involved with creativity and intuition. When your brain is in an alpha rhythm state, the right side is most active, while the critical censoring function performed by your left brain is “half asleep.” Thus when in the alpha state, your affirmations can more easily pass through the “gate-keeper” of your left hemisphere, unaffected by self-doubt, and into your preconscious mind. When an affirmation is successfully received by your preconscious mind it can have a significant affect on your reaction patterns.

Alpha brain waves occur naturally as you are falling asleep or day dreaming, and alpha wave activity is at its height when you first wake up. Concrete thoughts, physical activity, or light on the retina of the eye can send the brain out of alpha and into beta wave activity. Thus, the ideal time for programming the preconscious mind through affirmations in the alpha state is as you are falling asleep and as you are awakening.

Through the use of affirmations in the alpha state, the mind’s natural impressioning power can help you stick to your diet, improve your self image, or increase your motivation. Because you are more suggestible in the alpha state, new beliefs can be more easily assimilated. Repeating affirmations to your preconscious mind programs you for success. Repetition is key and the effects of alpha wave state programming are cumulative.

III. Creating and Using Affirmations
Affirmation Creation Guidelines Affirmations are most effective at changing your limiting beliefs when they are formulated according to the following principles. Your affirmation should be:
1. Positive
2. About you
3. In the first person
4. In the present tense
5. Specific but flexible
6. Spoken as a certainty
7. Meaningful
8. Believable
Affirmations work best when they are designed to effect a change on our inner state, not on external reality. In his book Change Your Mind, Change Your World (cited in the Bibliography), Dr. Richard Gillett describes the requirements for affirmations to be maximally effective:
1. Understanding and accepting that the old belief is not reality.
2. Genuine desire to change.
3. Alpha rhythm.
4. Substitution of the old belief for the new affirmation.
5. Combination of affirmation with vivid imagination.
6. Combination of affirmation with inner feeling and desire.
7. Combination of affirmation with positive action.
8. Vigilance to notice when the old habitual limiting belief is creeping back, so that the new affirmation can be substituted immediately.
It is important to imagine and feel the reality of the affirmed circumstances during the repetition of the affirmation. According to Gillett, an “affirmation is the practice of a new reality in the imagination.” Imagining a positive outcome while using affirmations is a powerful reality creation technique. If the affirmed goal seems too hard to imagine, try affirming the new reality gradually over days or weeks. For example, start with “I give myself permission to start …”, or “I am becoming …”

Affirmation Exercises
To get started making affirmations to improve your life, write down a goal that you have such as: “I am in the divine flow of abundance.” Then brainstorm related affirmations such as: “I attract all the things I desire,” or “I am open to receiving everything I ask for.” Read the affirmation ideas you brainstormed out loud and you will notice which seem most emotionally compelling and meaningful to you. Once you have chosen the best affirmation for your goal, highlight it read it as many times as possible daily especially right when you wake up and right before you go to sleep. As you are repeating your affirmations, imagine the scene in which your affirmation is realized.
To maximize the effect of a given affirmation, concentrate on saying it for at least thirty consecutive days. Repetition is very important to the effectiveness of affirmations, both during sleep and wake cycles, and also over the course of many days.

Another effective exercise is to formulate a series of affirmations that are designed as progressive steps toward a desired outcome. For example, if you are afraid of public speaking, start with an affirmation such as: “I feel confident when people are looking at me.” Then gradually move, over the course of several days, using progressively more confident affirmations, to a final statement such as: “I am an excellent public speaker” or “People love to hear me speak”.

Saying affirmations can also be used by couples to work on their relationship. You can write out joint affirmations with your partner–speak together reciting the same affirmation such as: “We are growing more intimately connected every day.” or “Our love for each other fills our hearts.”

Greg Nice


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[…] their blog. And they have more about the whole psych/sci/why/wherefore behind affirmations here. Affirmations for […]

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