It’s Time to Start Using Words of Affirmation
Deena Rey Cameron
If someone could only write a book about you using words that you have already said, would you like that book?
All too often, people say and do things without thinking about them. While overthinking can cause serious problems, I argue that not thinking at all causes bigger ones. The things you say can either build you up or tear you down, even if you’re talking to other people. For instance, if you claim to value kindness, you debase yourself when you are rude to other people. In the same way, if you value compassion but you practice self depreciation whenever you make a mistake, you are betraying your values.
This is why words of affirmation are so important; they are your personal reminders of your ideals and serve as protective armor against the trials of life.
- The words you use and your personal values should always be in alignment. If you have not been speaking with intention and purpose, you may be at odds with yourself.
- Words have power and are rarely neutral. Thus, they should be used with the utmost discernment and care
- Words of Affirmation can be a helpful tool in establishing your identity and shielding you from negativity.
The Power of Language
What does language mean to you?
If you don’t have an immediate answer, take some time to think about it. Language is one of the most important tools humans have developed. Unlike other species, humans should have the unique ability to communicate clearly and efficiently through a variety of languages. This capacity for communication has resulted in unprecedented development and social progress on a global scale, and cemented man’s place at the top of the animal kingdom. Unfortunately, the power of language is often overlooked and underestimated. The only way to convey your thoughts, feelings, and ideas to another person is through the words you choose to use.
How Can Language Help You ?
Psychological studies have shown the value of self-affirmations, and have shown that people are driven to keep a positive view of themselves and that they will fight against threats to their sense of self when employing the use of affirmations. When a person’s sense of self is threatened, affirmations can help them feel better by giving them a chance to think about what makes them valuable, such as their core values. However, many people are unclear about how self-affirmation works. In one study, the researchers examined the reward and self processing centers of the brain. The study found that these areas were stimulated, and even impacted the behavior of the participants further proving the efficacy of words of affirmation.
If you would like to start using language more efficiently, words of affirmation are a great start! They remind you of who you are and set the tone for who you would like to be. When you wake up in the morning, look in the mirror and ask yourself what you need to hear to inspire hope.
Sometimes it may be something big, like “I am loved,” but affirmations can also be simple and specific. My personal favorite is “I will not hit any curbs today!” and it keeps me hopeful! On a more serious note, remember that language is the blanket you cloak yourself in, and it can either protect or smother you. Start using words of affirmation today!
Cascio, C. N., O’Donnell, M. B., Tinney, F. J., Lieberman, M. D., Taylor, S. E., Strecher, V. J., & Falk, E. B. (2016). Self-affirmation activates brain systems associated with self-related processing and reward and is reinforced by future orientation. Social cognitive and affective neuroscience, 11(4), 621–629. https://doi.org/10.1093/scan/nsv136
Nicky Cameron, LCSW
Licensed Holistic Trauma Relief Therapist
Emergent Counselling & Consulting LLC