One of the best methods to retrain our brain to speak to us in a positive, kind and respectful way is through guided affirmations. We cannot sustainably be kind to others if we do not afford ourselves that same respect. Our brain stores words or clusters of words over time from memories that are coupled with emotion. For instance, if your mother says, “I am so very proud of your good grades and effort at school.” We feel happy, a primary emotion, and an inner pride. The subsequent habit brain message that is stored is “I am a good person. I do good things.” If our mother is critical and says, “You never do what I ask!” our body feels sick, dread, and our primary emotions are sad, embarrassment and fear we will mess up again. The habit brain messages that we store from this criticism are, “You never get it right. You are a bad person. You are not good enough. I am not lovable.” The examples above are using mothers because meaning is created by the person with whom we spend most of our meaningful time as a child, usually our mothers. This person who guides us through childhood can start our path in a powerful, positive direction or can, even unintentionally, set a course for us that is fearing the next step and internally critical.
Our brains continually talk to us. The messages are either positive or negative, rarely neutral or objective, without training. Our goal at Happy Brain is to rewrite negative self-talk with positive affirmations. We offer free daily affirmations on our black board. These are best read out loud but are also effective read in silence. It is also beneficial to use your name when repeating positive messages. This is a technique to alert the brain there is something the brain needs to notice and remember. For instance, “Sarah. I believe in my ability if I put forth effort to accomplish the task. Sarah. I am awesome.”
We offer affirmations that you can listen to as you drive, in bed, before meetings and the like. They are designed to create positive inner language and assertive behaviors. Some of the affirmations are free. Others are a minimal price and, once purchased, are always available on your phone or computer to hear. Once you notice yourself saying them internally, give yourself a pat on the shoulder because the words are now part of your inner language.