REWIRE YOUR BRAIN WITH AFFIRMATIONS
Mirror, mirror on the wall… who is the brightest of them all! We have an exercise for our bright beautiful Beacon warriors. It has one requirement, or shall we say, RE-WIREMENT: a mirror and an affirmation.
Brace for impact: Talking to yourself rewires your brain.
Studies show that looking yourself in the eye as you speak aloud an affirmation or an expression of gratitude can boost serotonin, the happiness hormone. And who doesn’t want more of that?
If you have a history of diet drama and trauma, loving yourself and affirming yourself may not be second nature. What we know for sure is that using skills and repetition can change our nature!
Think about the routine of planning food in advance if we do that daily, all of a sudden it feels odd NOT to plan. Or when it is automatic that you repeatedly get up and brush your teeth — that’s easy! Imagine if all your skills were as routine as brushing your teeth?
The same can be true with affirmations. Repeating positive statements on a regular basis helps build up our self-esteem system. Adding it into the morning routine is almost a guarantee of a sweeter day.
We totally understand if repeating affirmations in the mirror feels strange or even silly. You might even be rolling your eyes. We get it, but we invite an open mind for a minute. Give it a try!
Jot down a few affirmations. Feel free to steal some of these samples.
“I am worth healthy choices today.”
“I am amazing exactly the way I am.”
“I am brave.”
Simple. Now, try it first thing in the morning.
Dr. Shauna Shapiro researched the practice in her book Good Morning, I Love You: Mindfulness and Self-Compassion Practices to Rewire Your Brain for Calm, Clarity, and Joy.” and she writes, “If we create a habit of greeting ourselves with love each morning, these first moments of our day can transform the rest of the moments of our day, our lives, and the lives of others.” At Beacon, we believe that conscious acts of self-affirmation – even if we do them for 30 seconds a day, greatly enhances our well-being.
There is an added bonus if you look right in your eye. Try it in the mirror or the camera on your phone. You may feel self-conscious, but, hey, no one is looking!
Ideally, you are not multitasking and doing it while you’re brushing your teeth, but if you are, give yourself a foamy smile.