Image of open handmade journal by Lizzie Dewey

Affirmations and How They Might Help

Hey there! It’s good to see you here. My name is Lizzie, and I am the redhead who is always wondering! Wondering about life, about this beautiful world, about words and light and colour and form. And mostly about how I can be the best me that I can possibly be.

I am a creator of hand bound books and of art, in the form of cyanotypes and photographs. I am also an avid journal-keeper and I’d like to share some of my journal wonderings with you today ….

They Are YOUR Affirmations

Every day, I start my journal by writing my affirmations at the top of page one. 

I know that lots of people struggle with the idea of affirmations; they feel “phony” or “fake” when they say them. Some people feel that affirmations are a bit “new-agey”, “hippie”, “out there”, or basically just not for them.

But here’s the amazing thing about affirmations … they can be whatever you want them to be. They are YOUR affirmations, no one else need ever read them or even know about them, if you do not choose to share them.

For affirmations to mean something to you, for them not to feel forced or fake, try using language that you feel comfortable with. Use language that means something to you.

This Is a Bit Scary

I’m going to share a couple of my favourites with you, two of the affirmations that I start my day with. I didn’t dream these up, I heard them from the awesome @gemmajames, but I’m sure she won’t mind me sharing them with you …

I can be, do and have anything I want.

I deserve it, I am worthy, I am enough.

Phew! It’s a bit scary, laying myself open like this! It’s a bit scary letting you read the words I write in my journal every day, but if they can help just one person half as much as they have helped me, then it will be worth it.

Don’t Listen to the “Bad Press”

It seems to me that affirmations can get a bit of bad press.

Sometimes people see them and think that to say them is somehow “greedy” or wanting “something for nothing”.

But here’s the thing … nobody, not even the most dedicated affirmation-sayer thinks that by saying them, some pixie fairy dust will fall from the sky, bringing a million pounds with it!

Well, THIS affirmation-sayer doesn’t think that! There may well be some pixie fairy believers out there and I am not about to diss their beliefs!!

What My Affirmations Mean to Me

What I am going to do is explain the feelings behind my affirmations, and maybe that just might encourage you to try adding this powerful tool to your Self-Care Toolkit.

I can be, do and have anything I want.

For me, this means …

I can be happy.

I can be creative.

I can be content with my life.

I can be calm and serene.

I can be the best wife/friend/mother.

I can be free to make my own choices.

A person taking a picture with a camera

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I. CAN. BE. ME!!!

No pretense, no image, no front, just ME!!!

I can do work that I love.

I can do writing.

I can do creative things every day.

I can do trips to see wildflowers and the sea.

I can do ANYTHING I set my heart and my mind to.

I can do business.

Image of Lizzie inspecting wildflowers for a good camera angle.

I. CAN. DO. IT. ALL!!!

Image: Lizzie looks for the best angle on the Bugloss
Credit: Steve Dewey

I can have time with the person I love.

I can have a job that I love.

I can have treats when I fancy them.

I can have lunch with my friends.

I can have a good camera.

I can have a lovely home.

I can have as many books as I like.

I can have a massage when I feel like it.

I can have a garden.

I can have trips to Devon several times a year.

Steve Dewey standing on a beach wearing a red coat photographed by Lizzie Dewey.

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(Photographing the photographer!)

So What Exactly IS an Affirmation?

The verb to affirm, according to the dictionary, means “to state or assert positively; maintain as true”. Thus, an affirmation is “a statement or proposition that is declared to be true”.

And that’s what you are doing when you say (or in my case, write) an affirmation. You are stating something positive in the present tense, and you are stating it as if it were already true. No “one day” or “some day”, no “I’ll try to” or “I hope”. 

Because what you are doing with affirmations is, essentially, reprogramming your brain to think more positively. And you do this by affirming the things you want (to have, to be, to achieve) as true.

The NHS recommends positive affirmations as an important technique for maintaining good mental health. Psychologist have long recommended their use to patients suffering from low self-esteem or anxiety or depression.

Try It … It’s a Free Tool That You Can Use Every Day

Writing my affirmations every morning is my meditation. It’s my calming Start The Day ritual. 

And even if all I manage are those affirmations, then I feel better. Even if they don’t lead into more words, more writing, more truths, just writing those affirmations sets the tone for the day. (They are almost always followed by a lot more words in my case!!)

I don’t just have the two I’ve already told you about … I have several sentences which I say every morning. I say them in my head, as I write them on the page. They have become my mantra! 

Now I also say them as I drive to the shop or the post office, anywhere really! If I’m alone in the car, I say them out loud. I say them in the shower every morning. I say them as I wash my hands (a gazillion times a day).

And the great thing about my positive affirmations … they make me smile! And that has got to be a good thing!! (Whether you believe they “work” or not!!)

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