The AffirNation is a community I have created to inspire and encourage you all to bring the power of positive thinking into your lives by using affirmations in an organized, consistent manner. Every week I will be sharing a new affirmation on social media and discussing it here in a post at The Worry Games. For more details, click here.
I get it, we are negative thinkers.
We probably wouldn’t have anxiety disorders if we weren’t. But that doesn’t mean we can indulge ourselves in pessimistic, “worst case scenario” chatter all day long.
I know…negative thinking helps us feel in control.
It helps make us feel “prepared” in case of a crisis.
And let’s be honest. Low expectations mean we don’t get disappointed and hurt as often as those poor optimistic “suckers” of the world. But the truth is that all this negative inner dialogue is doing us more harm than good.
We have conditioned ourselves to expect the worst….. which means our brains expect the worst…which means they want to help keep us prepared for the worst.
How do our brains do this? Adrenaline.
And how does adrenaline make us feel? Anxious.
It’s a vicious, repetitive cycle and it is a huge price to pay for the false sense of control that we get from worrying or expecting some bad thing that is probably never going to happen.
I am not going to try to convince you that you can affirm your way into becoming an optimist. That is not going to happen and the truth is that most of don’t WANT it to happen. For most of us with anxiety, the idea of walking around cheerful, perky and positive all day is pretty distasteful. However, we can have a healthier, less toxic dialogue with ourselves by making sure to never let a negative thought stand. When they come, always follow them up with a positive thought that shows your brain you are in control and okay even if the worst case does happen or if you think it already did happen.
“I just know I am going to run out of gas.”
‘If I do, I will be just fine. I may have to walk a while, but I can handle it.”
“I made a complete fool of myself at that party.”
“Well if I did, at least they won’t forget me. It is a good thing I can laugh at myself.”
Its not about making each individual thought you have “positive”. It is about making the overall tone of your thoughts more positive. You can still indulge that negative side of your personality. (Try to cut back of course, but you can still be you.) Just be sure to balance it out with your common sense, good judgement and faith in yourself.
I still have some work to do with this affirmation but I can tell you that my inner dialogue is completely different now than it was when I first started developing anxiety symptoms.
My positive “counter-thoughts” are an automatic response now….a reflex that happens without my putting any conscious thought into it. The only exception is if the situation involves one of my kids getting hurt but honestly, I really haven’t tried too hard to stand up to those thoughts because it is such a HUGE fear of mine. It’s just easier and more satisfying to worry than it is to stand up to that fear, but I am going to spend this week really working on it and I encourage you to practice this affirmation with me.
“I keep my inner dialogue positive.”