Positive Changes

by Amy Ford

School is back in session and with that comes an entire army of emotions from the adults and children going through it. From parent, to collegiate, to Kindergartner, and all that is before and in between, there is excitement, apprehension, uncertainty, stress, and everything else mixed in. Even though having a routine back in place is ideal and helpful, it can take some adjustment and getting used to as life generally isn’t a smooth operating machine; sometimes there is need for rewiring, realigning, and replacing.

One of the most beneficial skills sets we have as humans is introspection. It doesn’t matter how old we are; every age has the ability to understand it and utilize it. It is what helps us to become more understanding, compassionate, optimistic, and positive in life when handed or dealing with stress and uncertainty. Introspection is being confronted with a situation and taking the best choice of action on how to handle the situation. Sometimes we react (maybe even overreact), say things or do things that are unnecessary, and in the end feel worse and bitter. It is in those situations where we can learn more about ourselves, self-reflect, and decide next time, to do it differently. Introspection is a choice. It is a learned choice, but each time and with each age, we can relearn and choose to do it differently. It goes back to rewiring, realigning, and replacing old habits with new ones.

So, what is a great way to help us master introspection? It is called affirmations. Affirmations allow for us to program a new way of thinking; a more positive way of thinking and doing in order to replace and challenge negative thoughts that aren’t serving us well. We can choose positive affirmations to motivate, strengthen, and encourage positive changes in our lives and our self-esteem. Positive affirmations are backed by science and psychology that one can not only strengthen their self-worth but neurologically, we can change the way our brains process uncertain, stressful, or negative situations when we put positive affirmations into practice. When we say that this can be a skill learned at any age; in babies it can be adapting to the process of self-soothing as well as building confidence when phasing into different milestones. Practicing positive affirmations is a lasting effect that can be taken with us through each phase of life into adulthood.

Positive affirmations are easy to create. They should be written in the first person, convey a positive message with an emotional charge, and written in the present state. There is no right or wrong affirmation that you can choose for yourself. Affirmations are based off of what you most want and need to see develop into your life. Write down your affirmation. Read it daily. Say it out loud so you can hear it in your own voice, repeat it, and believe it. Below are some examples of positive affirmations that can be adaptable to any one person.

Examples:

I am confident and capable at what I do.

I believe in myself, and trust my own wisdom

I am resilient, strong, and brave.

Through courage and hard work, I can achieve anything that I set my mind to.

Through my contributions, I make positive changes to the world.

My body is amazing just the way it is, and I accept myself this way.

I am a quick, capable learner.

I am unique and beautiful.

I was born strong, and I grow stronger every day.

I am good enough.

I am fine with just being me.

I am kind.

I am creative.

I am smart.

As we step into this new season of school, work, and change, remind yourself and your loved ones young and old, that we are capable of accepting change and adapting. Practice affirmation routines in the home with a simple affirmation jar. Fill a mason jar with strips of paper with a variety of written, positive affirmations and have each person pick their affirmation from the jar to start each day or each week with. Affirmations are about rearranging our inner word choices so that we are seeing the outcome as worthy and deserving because in the end, “I am an important and valuable person.”

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