HJ: Positive affirmations work by creating new belief structures in the subconscious mind, which science has now proven change the shape, processes and functioning of the brain. They are extremely powerful tools for creating whatever outcome it is that you desire, be it health, confidence, wealth and so on, ad infinitum. However, there is a correct way to to use affirmations and the largely haphazard and typically ineffective way that most people usually go about it.
The effective way is as follows: Set aside 5-10 minutes every day at around the same time to practice your affirmations. Sit in a comfortable position and close your eyes. Take a few deep breaths to relax and clear your mind. Then begin to repeat your affirmations to yourself all using the same structure, for example: I am confident in my health, I am confident in the healing power of my body and mind, I am confident in my abundance, and so on. You will notice that each affirmation of the three just listed begins with ‘I am confident…’ When practicing your affirmations it is important to always start them with the same structure because this is what is imprinted on your subconscious mind most strongly. Then you brain begins to associate this inherent confidence with the specific things you want to create like health, healing abilities, etc. over time. If you are structuring each affirmation differently, you send your brain mixed messages and end up watering down the entire process and experiencing substandard results.
When the 5-10 minute session is over, simply go about your day as normal and do not think about or repeat further affirmations to yourself throughout the day. Simply let yourself just be how you are and accept everything as is. This is very important. The subconscious commands you implanted into your mind during the affirmation session take time to penetrate and replace your old limiting beliefs. Thinking or obsessing about if they are working or not during the day or haphazardly using other affirmations greatly interferes with this process. Just be yourself as you are at that moment and trust that over time, you will be changed and much more rapidly than you might think.
Trust is a big part of this process and I can promise you do this. If you faithfully do the work in the manner listed above, it will produce very real results like clockwork, every time, without fail. The power of your mind is supreme and positive affirmations are the keys to unlock its full power because they allow you to remove the limiting beliefs and blocks that are keeping you from stepping into your full potential.
The Use Of Positive Affirmations
Excerpt From How to Stay Well
By Christian D. Larson
In the application of the principles and methods of metaphysics for the prevention and cure of human ills, the use of strong positive affirmations, or what may be termed statements of truth, is highly important; in fact, it is absolutely necessary, and the reason why is found in the fact that the subconscious is one of the prime factors in every phase of this work; and to secure subconscious action the use of affirmations in some form is always required.
The subconscious is the garden of the mind and will promote the growth of any kind of seed, be it good or otherwise. Every thought that we think when the mind is in deep feeling will be a seed sown in the subconscious mind and will without fail produce fruit after its kind. This being true we cannot begin too soon to train the mind to think only the truth; and to affirm statements of truth frequently is the simplest, most direct and most efficient method for training the mind in this respect. It should therefore receive thorough attention and should be made a permanent part of life.
Affirmations should be used daily, but we should not permit them to become mere mechanical repetitions of words. Every statement of truth should be deeply felt as truth and should be affirmed as absolute truth. When we employ an affirmation as a mere suggestion its greatest power is lost, because it is the conviction that a statement of truth is a truth that causes the thought of that truth to be impressed deeply and thoroughly upon the mind. The more deeply we feel that the affirmation is the truth the more firmly we establish the thought of that truth. When we impress the subconscious with some vital truth the subconscious will respond with mental states that are created in the likeness of that truth. The result will be the expression of true conditions in the entire system.
Another matter of importance is to express the statements of truth in the present tense. IT IS TRUE NOW, should be the soul of every affirmation, and this “soul” should be deeply felt in every fiber of our being. When you think or say that you are going to get certain things you desire, you impress the subconscious with the idea that those things can be secured in the future but do not exist for you in the present. The result is that the subconscious will not produce those things for you at the present time.
When you impress the subconscious with the idea that any particular condition or quality does not exist in the present, or that it is expected to appear only in the future, the subconscious can only respond with nothing for the present. When you think or affirm that you are now sick but hope to get well, you impress the subconscious with the idea that you are now sick, and the subconscious will accordingly respond by producing more sickness for the present. This fact will be a new thought to many, but it is a thought of extreme importance.
Whatever we impress upon the subconscious that we are now, that the subconscious will create for us now; and everything that we affirm with deep feeling will be impressed upon the subconscious. When we make the statement, “I am well,” we impress the subconscious with the idea that we have health now, and the subconscious will respond by giving us more health now. Many minds, however, do not think it consistent to say they are well when they really feel sick, but this seeming contradiction disappears when you know that the real man is well, and that you are the real man.
When you impress the subconscious with the truth about the real man the subconscious will respond by giving the personal man those very qualities that are possessed by the real man. When you impress the subconscious with your opinions about the personal man you are sowing inferior seeds, many of which may become obnoxious weeds; and the subconscious will accordingly produce more of those personal imperfections, ills, troubles, weaknesses, etc., that were previously impressed in this manner. This is what a great many people do, and therefore never succeed in making the person as strong or as healthy as nature has the power to cause it to be. On the other hand, when you impress the subconscious with the truth about the real man you are sowing superior seeds in the garden of life and good fruits will appear in the personal man -the fruits of health, harmony, peace, freedom, power, purity, righteousness, wisdom, joy, spirituality and scores of others that are in the likeness of the perfect man.
Whatever you sow in the subconscious will bear fruit without fail. Therefore it is absolutely necessary to sow good seeds only; and to impress upon the subconscious the truth about the real man is to sow good seeds. This is done by affirming absolute truth in the present tense.
Since the real man is well and since you are the real man, you would simply be speaking the truth about yourself when you say, “I am well.”
At the same time you are impressing health upon the subconscious, and the subconscious will respond by expressing health into every part of mind and body.
The use of affirmations and positive suggestions is practically the A, B, C’s of metaphysics and like all A, B, C’s will be needed constantly. Never give up your affirmations, but aim to make the act of affirming the true, the ideal and the wholesome so perfect that you become a living affirmation of your own sublime ideals. Aim to give your affirmations more life, more spirit, more soul, and before long every thought you think and every word you speak will contain soul.
Then you will actually think and speak with power; your words will carry weights; they will attract attention and produce lasting impressions; and your thought will produce any conditions in the body that you may clearly picture in the mind.
The use of affirmations along the lines of constructive thinking will gradually correct all wrong habits of thinking. In fact, to affirm constantly the ideal is to train the mind to think the ideal, and to think the ideal is to make real the ideal. To think that you are well is to train the mind in wholesome thinking, and such thinking leads to wholesome living in mind and body.
The result will be perfect health through and through the entire human system.
There are a number of metaphysical systems that have been based upon the idea that we should deny the evil and affirm the good, and at first sight this idea seems right and good, but when we examine this subject more closely we come to a different conclusion.
In the first place we may ask why we should deny evil, why should we devote time and energy in trying to destroy something that has no actual existence. It is a well-known fact, and is admitted by the best thinkers in the world that evil in its last analysis is simply a condition that implies the absence of something that nature requires to be there. It is therefore simply emptiness, and emptiness cannot be said to have existence; nor can the condition we call emptiness be changed by acting upon that condition itself.
We must act upon something if we wish to fill a place where there is nothing, but we cannot act upon something while our attention is centered upon nothing. That person, however, who makes it a practice of denying evil is mentally acting upon nothing, and is thereby using his mental energy in trying to drive away an empty condition.
We have been told that when we deny evil we remove false belief from the mind, and that false belief must be removed before right belief or truth can find a place; but this idea has no place whatever in exact scientific thinking. We do not have to drive the darkness out before the light can come in. We do not have to remove the emptiness from the pail before we can pour in the water.
We do not have to remove that which is nothing before we can introduce that which is something. We conclude, therefore, that it is simply a waste of time to employ denials; and besides, it can be readily demonstrated that any system of denials may become a serious obstacle to the attainment of health, freedom and the higher development of mind and soul.
Denials, however, are said to be effective, and that is true in some instances; but they affect the mind in the same way that opiates affect the body. That is, they deaden the mind to the existence of conditions and this is an effect that we do not desire.
In this connection we must remember that it is not the denial itself that produces this effect but the force of mind that goes with it. We might continue denials for ages and have no results whatever if no mental force were employed in the process; but mental force employed for the purpose of impressing denials upon the mind is a misuse both of force and mind. Those impressions that are forced upon the mind during the process will establish in the mind the very nothingness that we are trying to deny. The result will be another harvest of empty conditions in the mind.
That the mental force employed in these denials is misdirected is readily understood when we realize that all mental force is misdirected that is not turned into constructive channels; and no constructive process can possibly follow the use of mental force in denying the existence of nothing. It is the misdirection of energy that causes all the trouble in the world; therefore to avoid it absolutely must be our purpose, and this is accomplished by training the entire mind to become constructive.
Constructive thinking is based upon the principle that everything that is real is good; that every force, every element, every personality, every individuality, every law, every quality, every attribute, every principle -everything that has independent or permanent existence is good. When the good is misdirected we produce a condition that we call evil, and this condition is an empty state, the result of the absence of the good. And here we should remember that no place can be filled by anything but reality, and also that all reality is in itself good.
When the good is misdirected it fails to go where it should go. It will therefore be absent temporarily from its true sphere, and it is this temporary absence of the good that causes evil conditions, or what might be termed states of emptiness. It is the fullness of life that makes for a perfect life. Therefore, empty conditions are contrary to the natural order of things, and for this reason produce pain; but the pain is a good friend provided by nature to inform us that we are not living the full life.
The misdirection of the good, or the wrong use of reality, comes from an incomplete mental conception of life. This condition forms in mind a wrong idea that serves while it lasts as a pattern for thinking. “As a man thinketh, so is he.” Therefore if his thoughts are wrong, wrongs will be formed in his system, and he forms wrong thoughts by conceiving false ideas about life, and those things that exist in any sphere of life. It is evident therefore that the secret of overcoming evil lies in removing false ideas, and this is accomplished by creating true ideas.
To try to remove false ideas by denying them away is not to remove them at all, but to so blind our mental eyes that we do not see them and also to so deaden our sensibilities that we do not feel their effects. False ideas will not disappear until true ideas are formed. So long as we think about certain things we will have ideas about those things and we will continue to have false ideas until we find the true ideas. When the true ideas are formed the false ones will be no more, because no mind can think the false after it has begun to think the true.
In the face of these facts the idea of driving out false ideas by some fixed system of denials becomes utterly absurd. We know that ignorance will remain until knowledge comes, but when knowledge comes, ignorance will of itself entirely disappear. The secret, therefore, is to know the truth; to grow in the truth; to keep the eye single upon the absolute truth, and to perpetually enlarge the mind in a more and more perfect understanding of the truth. When light and truth enter the mind, wrong will disappear, and sickness will vanish, poverty will disappear, and troubles will be no more.
Bring in the light, waste no time in fighting the darkness either in the body or in the mind. To bring in the light and to work exclusively for the increase of that light is to enter the path of the life we all desire to live. Never deny evil. Never think of evil. Forget it entirely; and the best way to forget evil is to think only about the good in yourself, about the good in others, about the good in the universe.
To train the mind to think of the good, and the good only, affirmations should be used daily and continually. The purpose of an affirmation is to help the mind to keep the eye single upon the ideal that we desire to realize, and as we wish to direct the mental eye upon higher and higher ideals constantly, we may use affirmations to advantage for an indefinite period. We should avoid the ordinary use of affirmations, however, as it becomes too frequently a system of valueless and mechanical suggestions. An affirmation properly used culminates in realization; and in the proper use of an affirmation the first principle to be observed is that it is true.
An affirmation is the truth about some principle, quality or attribute in life expressed in such a way as to convey to the mind the essence of that truth. Since an affirmation is a truth, the mind must express that affirmation as a truth, and must inwardly feels that it is the truth. It is when the mind feels the soul of an affirmation that the truth is realized. When an affirmation is expressed it should be expressed because we know it is true and should therefore be used constantly, because it is our desire to constantly express that which is true.
Do not use an affirmation as you would some ordinary remedy to be taken when in pain and at other times put away. There are thousands of metaphysical students who employ affirmations in this fashion. They affirm the truth when they desire to secure certain results, but at other times they think whatever may happen along. Accordingly the results they secure are neither remarkable nor numerous. An affirmation should be lived, and should be expressed, not for temporary results but for a permanent realization of a larger life. When the larger life is realized all other results that we may desire will surely follow.
The formation or wording of an affirmation should be left to the individual, and in each instance that affirmation should give expression to the highest conception of truth that has been attained. An affirmation should not deal with relative truth, but with absolute truth; and the difference can be illustrated by the two statements, “I am better,” and “I am well.” The statement, “I am better,” is a relative truth, it deals with a changing state and no changing state can serve as a permanent ideal for right thinking.
Therefore, such affirmations are of very little value. The statement, “I am well,” is an absolute truth, because in the absolute or in the perfect all is well; and we can conceive of no higher ideal in the world of wholeness than that of being absolutely well. Such a statement therefore gives expression to the real truth as it is, and will also inspire the mind to produce thought and mental states in the exact likeness of that truth.
When sickness appears in the body affirm, “I am well,” and know that it is the truth, because you, the real you, the individuality, the real “I am,” always is well. As you affirm this statement think of the absolute wholeness that permeates your being, and keep the mental eye single upon this absolutely perfect state. In this way perfect health becomes your ideal, and all your thinking will become healthful. Every thought you think will accordingly contain the power of health, and as your thought is so will also be the states and conditions of your personality.
The statement, “I am well,” however, should not simply be used when sickness appears in the body. It is a statement that every mind should think at all times, because it is the truth about the true being; and the person who always thinks the truth about the true being, will always be as well in body and mind as he is in the perfections of his true being. Live and think constantly the statement, “I am well,” and you always will be well.
Every quality or state of being should be affirmed in the absolute truth and not in the form of a changing ideal. Learn to see the whole of yourself from the standpoint of the perfect and think of every quality, talent or power in your possession, as you know it is in the perfect. Affirmations of absolute truth should never be expressed audibly unless you are teaching the use of affirmations to another. There are many reasons for this, though the principal reason is that the thoughts we hold sacred have the greatest power. Every affirmation should be a strong, and quiet aspiration that draws the entire mind into a higher state.
With this attitude of mind there should be a perfect faith that the soul’s desire will be realized now, that it is even now realized, which is true in the absolute; and we should always base our affirmations and faith upon what is true in the absolute.
Affirm the positive and the true of all things in your life, and whenever you express an affirmation think of the inner truth that the statement contains. Concentrate upon the spirit of the thoughts you think, and the truth you know those thoughts to contain will become a power in your life. While affirming the absolute truth about any quality or power that exists within you it is well, though not absolutely necessary, to desire the outward expression of that quality or power, because what is realized in the within will of itself, express itself in the without.
Everything in the personal life will gradually change for the better as the mind grows in the understanding of absolute truth. The first and greatest essential, therefore, is to change the within, and to attain an ever growing understanding of that which is true of the real man.