December 13th, 2013
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When one of my nieces was three years old, she started going to nursery school for part of the day a few times a week.  Her mother (my sister) knew that while she was at school she would start to miss Mommy at some point so she taught her daughter to say to herself, “There is no need to cry.  Everything will be all right.  Mommy will be right back.”
My sister was ahead of her time because she was teaching my niece to say an affirmation to herself even though she didn’t know what an affirmation was or what they can do.
And you know what?  Repeating those sentences to herself helped to reassure my niece that everything would be all right until Mommy came back.  It worked!!
We didn’t know it at the time but when my sister put those words together she hit on a magic formula of sorts because there is a calming power in repeating something positive to yourself over and over again no matter how old you are.
Even today there are times when something stressful will happen in our large family of two parents, six children, four spouses, and 13 grandchildren and we jokingly will repeat the above affirmation to each other as a way of coping with what’s going on and telling ourselves that we can handle it.
Affirmations, as I recently have learned, help you focus and can bring clarity to your heart and mind.
Affirmations are healing.
You can say them any time during the day and they can be anything that you want them to be.  But they must be positive or uplifting.
We can experience so many emotions after a loved one dies or when we are dealing with a stressful experience in our life.  It’s hard to process all of those conflicting feelings all at the same time.  Affirmations have a way of helping you pump the brakes on your self a bit and stop to see exactly what is happening to you.
Repeating a positive or uplifting phrase to yourself is similar to being your own cheerleader and giving yourself the encouragement to get through something such as a personal loss or  a life changing event of another sort.  Although I didn’t realize it the time, I used affirmations after my husband’s death to help me through times when I felt vulnerable or exhausted or just plain overwhelmed.  It wasn’t always just the pain of my loss that got to me but sometimes it was just making all decisions by myself whether it was about raising my young son, our house or our finances.
I would say to myself, “You can do this” or “You can survive this” or “Tomorrow you will feel stronger” and pretty soon I was on the other side of whatever it was I was trying to handle.  Sometimes I totally screwed something up but the affirmations gave me the boost I needed to get back on track.
Maybe you already have a phrase that you say to yourself that really works well for you.  Or maybe you are looking for something new that will affirm your mood or your day or something you trying for the first time.  If you really have no idea of what you could say to yourself as an affirmation, here are a few suggestions:
          — Today is going to be a good day.
          — Today I choose to think positive thoughts.
          — I am going to be all right.
          — There is no other moment; only this moment.
          — I am blessed with (pick the one that works for you): a wonderful family, fantastic friends, a beautiful home or a great job.
So just go out there and try it and see what happens!
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