‘Accept where you are, visualise the other side of the pain and turn it into words you believe.’ - Elroy ‘Spoonface’ Powell
More people are recognising the importance of creating a mindfulness routine aligned with their needs with tools like affirmations topping the list. Author, award winning voice actor and mindfulness consultant ‘Elroy ‘Spoonface’ Powell, has become known for the success he has with his approach to crafting affirmations for his clients.
What are affirmations?
An affirmation can be defined as:
'A brief phrase, spoken again and again, to plant seeds of happy and positive notions into one's psyche.'
One of the key psychological theories behind positive affirmations is self-affirmation theory popularised by social psychologist Claude Steele in the late 1980s.
The unique prediction the theory makes, is that people have a strong desire to maintain a positive self-image, therefore, when people experience a specific self-threat, they can overcome the unpleasant feelings associated with the threat by affirming an equally important aspect of themselves.
In simple terms, when critiqued or otherwise challenged, we get into ‘fight or flight mode’ and look for ways to protect our sense of self. Affirming it can do that for us.
Studies have shown that we have roughly 50,000 subconscious thoughts a day and around 80% are negative. Yup, let that sink in.
A 2015 study led by Christopher Cascio and Emily Falk used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to find that self-affirmation activates well-known reward centers in the brain.
Thus, affirmations have been found to release the feel good hormones that can calm us and squeeze out the negative thought loops.
Before venturing into daily affirmations, Elroy ‘Spoonface’ Powell suggests five important considerations:
Reframe emotional associations.
For example, a need for external validation, imposter syndrome, (not feeling worthy or deserving), procrastination (putting things off), lacking focus and consistency, identity conflicts, comfort eating, being over critical of yourself, struggles with self love or finding it hard to communicate healthy boundaries.
Let go of habits that no longer serve you and create new ones.
Create an environment that supports your focus.
Regularly do something that scares you in order to reinforce your confidence with stepping into new spaces that serve you better.
Get use to saying what you want out loud. Write it down and say it like you mean it.
Use ‘I am’, ‘I am committed to’ or similar to make a short positive statement contrary to what you are feeling. So if feeling like imposter syndrome is creeping in,
try saying, ’I am committed to recognising my skills and experiences’.
Spoon regularly holds space for his clients to participate in cycles of 30 days of affirmations as a reset and healthy habit creator.
With that in mind, we do not have to wait until World Affirmation Day on July 11th each year to create them. What’s your affirmation today?
‘Create your own universe’ - Elroy ‘Spoonface’ Powell