Do affirmations make you uneasy? Do you doubt their effectiveness because you can't fully believe in the positive qualities they suggest? If so, read on to discover how they can work for you.
Affirmations aren't about forcing belief. They are about creating opportunities to make them true.
For instance, if you frequently find yourself in a state of irritation or anxiety, and you tend to snap at people, inner self talk statements like "I am kind" and "I am patient" may initially feel far from the truth. Uttering them might make you uncomfortable, if you believe you don't currently embody these qualities.
However, confronting this discomfort allows these affirmations to carve a small space in your consciousness. Repeating them daily nurtures a budding awareness. Over time, you will notice you now have a choice between snapping and responding with patience occasionally.
As you put this newfound awareness into action, you'll begin receiving different responses from the world, reinforcing your changed behavior. The transformation continues until, almost without realizing it, you've integrated kinder and more patient thoughts and actions into your daily life.
Understanding this process is crucial. Healing Your Hungry Heart provides a wide array of affirmations and guidance on how to work with them. Your challenge lies in overcoming resistance and daring to try something new. After all, your journey towards eating disorder recovery means transitioning from the familiar to a new way of living. Affirmations, when approached with knowledge and understanding, can be a potent tool in your recovery journey.
Affirmations: A Path to Self-Transformation
Affirmations may seem like wishful thinking at first, especially if you're battling inner demons or negative self-perceptions. It's natural to resist statements that contradict your current reality. However, here's they can be transformative:
1. Seed of Awareness: Affirmations act as a seed of awareness. By repeating them, you introduce a new narrative into your subconscious. Initially, it may feel like you're pretending, but this repetition helps these ideas take root.
2. Gradual Change: Affirmations aren't a quick fix. They work subtly, like the steady drip of water carving a canyon over time. You won't wake up one day completely transformed, but you'll notice incremental changes in your thoughts and behaviors.
3. Choice and Control: As the awareness grows, you gain the power to choose your responses. Instead of reacting impulsively, you find yourself deliberating between old habits and the new possibilities affirmed in your statements.
4. Positive Feedback Loop: When you respond differently to situations, you receive different responses from others. Positive reinforcement from your environment strengthens your commitment to these new behaviors.
5. Integration: Over time, these affirmations become an integrated part of your identity. You no longer have to "believe" them consciously because they've become a natural part of who you are.
Affirmations in Eating Disorder Recovery
Eating disorders can be deeply ingrained, affecting your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. It's understandable if you're skeptical about affirmations in this context. However, affirmations can play a pivotal role in your recovery journey:
1. Challenging Negative Self-Talk: Eating disorders often thrive on negative self-perceptions. Affirmations counter these thoughts by introducing positive and nurturing self-talk.
2. Building Self-Compassion: Affirmations like "I am worthy of love and care" foster self-compassion, a critical component of recovery. They encourage you to treat yourself with kindness.
3. Replacing Harmful Habits: Overcoming an eating disorder requires replacing harmful habits with healthier ones. Affirmations can help reinforce your commitment to these new habits.
4. Resilience and Progress: As you persist with affirmations, you'll build resilience against setbacks. Recovery is not linear, but affirmations can remind you of your progress and inner strength.
5. Support and Guidance: "Healing Your Hungry Heart" offers a wealth of affirmations tailored to your specific journey. It also provides insights into effectively working with them to maximize their impact.
Embrace the Challenge
Recovery is a journey, and it often entails stepping out of your comfort zone. The resistance you feel towards affirmations is a natural part of this process. Remember, you're daring to embark on a new way of living, one that's free from the grip of your eating disorder.
Affirmations, when approached with knowledge and understanding, become a powerful ally in this journey. They aren't about instant transformation but rather about sowing the seeds of change, nurturing them daily, and watching them bloom into a new and healthier you.
So, if you find affirmations uncomfortable or implausible at first, take a moment to reflect on the possibility of the person you could become with their help. It's a journey well worth taking, one step and one affirmation at a time.
Joanna Poppink, MFT, is a psychotherapist in private practice specializing in eating disorder recovery, stress, PTSD and adult development.
She is licensed in CA, AZ, OR, FL, UT. Author of Book: Healing Your Hungry Heart: recovering from your eating disorder
Appointments are virtual.
For a free telephone consultation e-mail her at