I and many of my friends suffer from depression and anxiety. It’s a chicken and egg thing. Which comes first – the depression or the negative self talk. Do you talk yourself into being depressed or do you get depressed and then negative self talk is the only way. Well it doesn’t really matter.
What does matter is that you can change how you talk to yourself. Because, belief me, the only cause of depression is negative self talk. Sure some of it is bio-chemical, but your bio-chemistry only comes from your life style. You are what you eat but you are also what you think.
So what do we do to fix it. We change our self talk. We train our minds to be more positive. So if you are ever thinking “I can’t help this” or “this is happening TO me”, just remember that you are doing it to yourself and you can change that.
Here’s how. Positive Affirmations. Hold on…. Can it be so simple. Just to repeat a phrase or two and I’ll be cured. If you are not familiar with Positive Affirmations – it is where you repeat, in your head or out loud, a simple phrase or sentence. You know – a fridge magnet saying.
When I first encountered Positive Affirmations – I dismissed the idea. Silly and way too easy. But the idea kept coming back to me, kept being suggested to me. So I listened to the world, took the hint and started using them.
The positive results have been profound.
I’m going to share with you the two affirmations that have had the most profound effect on me. They have changed my self talk. For the better.
Here I go. Now I don’t want you just to read them and carry on. I want you to pause. I want you to look off into middle distance and I want you to repeat my positive affirmation. I am risking that you will think I’m silly. It is the least you can do. Pause and think.
My first affirmation is this – LET IT BE. There I said it now. ….. I’ll wait till you come back to read on. Hello there. Yes LET IT BE has changed my life, especially my marriage. When I took it on board, I realised how much I don’t just LET IT BE. I am controling. I am correcting. I am trying to change things to fit into my square hole. But I’ve got a lot of round pegs in my life. My husband being one of them. This simple affirmation made me realize how much I nag my husband. I WAS constantly correcting, guiding, asking, telling, changing, controlling. Well now I don’t do it anymore. I have totally taken on LET IT BE. And you know what, my world is calmer, full of peace. And you know what else – the people around me are a lot smarter than I gave them credit for. My world, sat right there in front of me, is exactly what I want, what I need… all I have to do is LET IT BE.
My second affirmation is this – I AM ENOUGH. What?! NO! What about all the diets, the exercise plans, the things on every commercial - they brain wash me into believing I won’t be complete until I own that car. Mostly it is the feeling of inadequacy that is affected by this affirmation. I AM ENOUGH. You mean I don’t have to feel threatened by my friend’s success that they post on Facebook. You mean I don’t have to get excited about another fridge magnet. “Comparison is the thief of joy”. Oh how true is that. What a relief to come to believe I AM ENOUGH.
So I’ve spent ages doing Positive Affirmations and I am saving you time. I am giving you the two that have helped me the most.
The goal is to have positive self talk. It helps with ALL aspects of your life. Your relationships, your stress, your relationship with stress.
So go on now. Stare off into space, repeat my affirmations and start training your mind to be positive. Happy people are positive and positive people are happy.
Me, I’ve already done my Positive Affirmations. I do them first thing in the morning. Me, I’m off to the gym. And whatever happens there, as I build and try and improve , I know that I AM ENOUGH, and as I watch that lyrca clad Barbie doll, I know that I can just LET IT BE and get on with my positive life.
Have a great day.
Sick is a warm safe place. I wrote that in 1990 and nearly thirty years later I still stand by it. Being ill is a habit. For many of us it is a habit of choice. We begin to identify ourselves by our illness. It is a huge decision to want to be well. It is a loss of identity. When we are ill, we get so much attention for being ill.
There is a great sign I saw once, in a class room for third graders. “Catch them being good.” Right from baby hood, our mothers and fathers only pay attention to us when we are being bad, when we are crying. When we behave and settle down, Mom and Dad ignore us. Yes sometimes they play with us, but as a general pattern, they only play with us to stop us being bad.
If being ill is a life choice, then RECOVERY is too. It is a momentous choice to decide to be well. But it is of course the beginning of RECOVERY. You have to decide to be well. You have to want to be well. You have to live each moment with the goal of being well. It is the biggest life choice.
Shakespeare said “There is nothing good or bad, that thinking makes it so.” Absolutely. If you decide things are good – they are. If you decide things are bad – they are. It’s all us to you.
RECOVERY is a journey. Here you are at the beginning. The first step is easy. Decide to be well. We can build all the habits and rituals around that. But if you don’t fundamentally want to be well. Then all the doctors, lawyers, Indian Chiefs and bosses can’t help you.
It sounds easy. To be well, act well. But it is actually the hardest decision to make.
I give great hope that you will make the decision. You bought this book. There is obviously something in you that you want to improve. We can do that. But first you must decide you want to improve.
Being well is actually a lot more fun than being ill. The biggest difference is that when you are well you get most of your support from yourself. Remember others will be jealous, others will ignore you, others will take you for granted. Only a few will cheer you on. Hold them close and precious. But beware the saboteurs. Because when you get well, lots of people around you lose their role. Your carers, your mates that listen, your relatives that pick you up – they lose their meaning in your live. So you deciding to be well affects not only you, but your world.
When you are well, you are full of self-love. And that’s where you get the attention. From yourself. Unfortunately we are hard wired not to be self-obsessed, not to be a braggart, not to sing our greatness from the mountain tops. So true wellness is when you are well, so well – that you don’t have to tell anyone. You just are well.
And don’t worry this will attract new people. Not just new people, but the old people will learn. They may be slow with so much change but they will be there for you in this new guise.
So yes, the first decision to get on the road to RECOVERY is I want to be well.
Kate Hull Rodgers, speaker, author, media presenter, seminar leader and coach, is an international leading authority on the strategic use of Humour in the Workplace. She has pioneered work in the fields of laughter therapy, stress management, communication and networking. For the past eighteen years her advice has been sought by governments, health organisations and businesses in twenty-nine countries on five continents. Kate has been resident expert for ITV’s Job Finder, a business journalist, a presenter for BBC Radio, an award winning comedienne and playwright. Her work and personal story of mental health recovery are the subject of the ITV documentary ‘Laughter is the Best Medicine’. Her first business book Pearls of Bizdom outlines how businesses can go from grit to great!