image of wise words in text

The Benefits of Positive Quotes and Affirmations

Affirmations are thoughts that encourage support and calm the brain and body. They are constructed of positive statements that challenge negative and depressive thoughts and beliefs that make us anxious. They are also supportive of positive thoughts that encourage us and are strongly linked to visualisation.

Influencers, leaders, and role models

Positive quotes are quoted by people that inspire us from influencers, leaders, and role models. These two areas overlap and complement each other very well, in fact, positive quotes can become affirmations and be the basis of gratitude practices. As such, they aid the release of positive neurotransmitters such as dopamine and norepinephrine.

Neuroplasticity – self-talk and visualisation

The intention is to change the neuroplasticity of the brain. Think of the brain as a ball of elastic bands intertwined with varying strengths and thickness. These ‘bands’ represent the synapses or neural pathways through it and neurotransmitters as chemicals that make these pathways able to change to become easier or stronger (plastic). Now you might have an idea of just how complex the system is. Neuroplasticity enables the brain to change, develop and expand thoughts and understanding. Neurotransmitters are released by just a mere thought and have the ability to change the brain, cells, and even our genes.

Self-talk visualisations and thoughts have the ability to change all aspects of your body including your brain and can have profound effects on your life. Affirmations assist this process by improving your mood, providing reassurance, and boosting confidence.

We use affirmations to help program the brain, via neuroplasticity, to believe something, almost a form of brainwashing. Remember, the brain doesn’t know what is real and what is false. The mere practice of affirmations can breed positivity. Positive thoughts about something encourages you to take positive action and to interact positively (The 3 Ps again). In effect, manifesting positive change in you. If you think about how effective negative affirmations are – I am sure we have all had that one teacher’s words that are stuck in your head eg. “You will never progress any further”, then you can see how powerful the process is.

How affirmations work

Affirmations take the negatives and turn them into positives. Language is really important when you come to create your own, which are by far the best and most powerful.

The practice of affirmation can contribute to the reduction in defensive behaviour responses, increase self-belief and train your brain to be more resilient. They activate the brain reward centres which are linked to our Limbic system. The Limbic system contains our old friends Hippo – the hippocampus, Amy – the amygdala, and Hubble Bubble the hypothalamus. (An introduction to these characters that play a VIP role in our brain and behaviours can be found here).

In turn, this enhances responses of the reward centres that are triggered by things like your favourite food or pleasurable experiences. It balances stress in the brain and body thus reducing areas that recognise pain.

What makes a good affirmation

When creating your affirmations, it is important to look to the future and not the past for them to be most effective. These are the principles followed at Greenacres Health Hypnotherapy, helping you to create a brighter future. I never dwell on your past in a consultation or therapy session, together we look at how you want life to be. This is the basis for all Solution Focused therapy.

If you decide to take the things that you feel are flaws or negative about you or your life, we should be careful to flip them into the positive. When you make a list also watch to see if you feel tension, physically in your body. There are several methods that can help you to deal with these physical manifestations. I practice Rapid Pain Elimination RPET part of SanomentologyHeartSpeak, and a bit of EAM but there is also The Balance Procedure.

RPET works with your unconscious mind as does Sanomentology. Heart Speak is a hybrid and EAM is similar in many ways to the Balance procedure. They all look at trapped and repeated programs in your mind and body that influence each other.

Make your words strong when repeating a positive affirmation

When you create a positive affirmation make the language bold and strong. Say it out loud and repeat it for at least 5 minutes three times per day. You can use a Neurolinguistic Programming technique to ‘anchor’ the benefit by touching the area of your body where you felt the tension, as above.

If you have a trusted close friend, share these affirmations with them, or with a Coach and ask them to repeat them to you. This gives added strength to the affirmations that someone else believes in you. Evidence shows that sports performance, work performance, and productivity is enhanced if you take just a few minutes to practice this before a big event. Its effects reduce your anxiety and make you feel calm and focused.

The practice of affirmations has also been shown to reduce negative feelings such as anger, anxiety, impatience, and frustration. It is also effective in assisting the quitting of bad habits. It is not a practice that on its own will solve issues but it is a very good support role.

Positive quotes

These are a mix of psychology and good use of language. Your brain tells you that someone else believes in you, that you are in control and that you can do it. “No one can make you feel inferior without your permission” Eleanor Roosevelt.

Humans are aspirational creatures and we look up to role models and those in authority over us. Their words or teaching can affect us at a very deep, primal level. They are seen as wise words from wise people and therefore are given greater credence.

How best to use positive quotes

Quotes repeated often act like affirmations. Repeatedly reading or saying them aloud embeds them. Placing them in prominent places about your home or desk is a great way to benefit from them. Another way is to collect them in a book or data folder and be sure to look at them regularly.

They can also be used as a theme or form of meditation too. If you study a quote, look deeper into its meaning and relevance to you.

Used properly, they will invoke positive feelings of joy that encourage you to play, an interest that encourages you to explore, contentment that encourages you to integrate, and love that encourages deeper and more meaningful relationships.

Again, here we are touching on the 3Ps principle.

For your enjoyment

“We can complain because roses have thorns or rejoice that thorns have roses”. (Alphonse Karr).

“If you can, you should and if you’re brave enough, you will”. (Stephen King).

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