The Power of Mantras and Daily Affirmations

Daily AffirmationImage Credit: Sema

Do you talk to yourself? I do. It’s a sign of genius. I read that somewhere, so it’s true! When I think about this I’m always taken back to the Stuart Smalley daily affirmation skits from Saturday Night Live. They were so cheesy. Sure, they were meant to be a bit over the top, but a part of me connected with that need to reaffirm to myself that I was a pretty cool girl.

Today, many self help books and life coaches use something similar. They’re used to help you focus your attention on something meaningful and positive. These mantras, or daily affirmations, are a way to center ourselves and brush away thoughts that are limiting us. They are a way to remind us that we are not what others say, especially when those are negative thoughts.

It reminds me of when I was a kid and I would be unhappy with how I looked. My mom would always tell me I was beautiful. Sure many times I’d discount it on the grounds that moms have to tell  you you’re beautiful. But she would always make me repeat it out loud to her.

It may seem odd to some, but truly believe in the power of these mantras and daily affirmations. I always think that if I was on a show like The Amazing Race and had to eat reindeer eyeballs I could just psyche myself out by repeating one of these mantras to myself. Then again, maybe that’s why Dory from Finding Nemo is my favorite character in that movie. Besides that she was a very positive fish, when things started to seem difficult she just kept repeating “just keep swimming, just keep swimming”.

I have all kinds of little sayings and mantras I tell myself. Sure they may be hokey and weird, but as long as I believe they will work they’ll work. It’s not always easy to remind myself of these, especially when my mind wants to wander to the dark side of the moon.

At the end of the day though, I’m thankful to have been give every experience I had. Because each will make me work harder to be the best me I can be. But at the beginning of the day, I get to set the tone. I get to choose.

So join me each morning in saying whatever it is that gets you motivated and pumped for the day! And end each night with a look back on how truly amazing the day was. Not because of this, that or the other thing. But truly amazing because we got to be part of it.


Is It Possible to Bully Yourself?

Brain Scan

I think I’m a bully. Not to other people, to myself. I’m hyper-critical, see flaws and point them out, question actions and roll my eyes at my own thoughts sometimes. Is it possible to self bully?

If I treated anyone like my thoughts there would be a full-on war waged against me. I’d have been taken to task by countless numbers of people. I’d even want to punch myself out.

But when the bullying goes on inside my head and no one hears it, is it really happening? It’s like my own little hate parade in my brain some days. And it comes fast and furious. I can only imagine what I must look like with my eyes darting around, the grimaces and smooshed up face. It’s really loud in there, I can tell you that.

I’m not a bully and I don’t bully other people. But, really, I do bully myself. And have for years under the guise of being critical and wanting to learn from my mistakes or errors. It’s the same stuff I would never heap on anyone else or allow to happen to my daughter or friends that I wrap up nice a pretty in my brain and deliver it by special messenger all too often.

As long as it stays in my brain, it’s OK. Right? No, not really. But I can’t make it leave. Sometimes it’s off for long periods of time. But it seems to feed off of the insecurities that arise when the real-life bullies start hurling their venom and my brain sees and hears it. As if it were the truth. It’s not the truth. I know it. But I must not fully grasp that it’s a bunch of nonsense that deserves no power.

I give these words power. Inside my brain, it’s an electric power plant giving power to these neuron-bullies that bombard me. I’ve tried t make them stop. I’ve argued with them and have told them they’re wrong. I should be stronger than they are. Some days I am. I want more strong days. Lots more strong day.

But I can’t seem to make this bully go away. I can’t see the bully but it is me. Not the good me. Not the loving and caring and friendly me. This black cloak wearing skulky kind of me is what I imagine. Never seen face to face, only in shadows. And I don’t know how it came back. It was gone for a very long time. But as quickly as it left, it seems to be back. Now, to make it go away since I know it’s there.

How? I can talk back to it all I want but it’s not a good listener. I can ignore it but it’s still there and that seems to annoy it even more. Do I reason with it? I’ve heard you can’t really reason with a bully. Should I really treat it like it’s separate from me or do I just need to look at myself and stop hearing the bully?

I make mistakes and the bully laughs. I forget and the bully mocks. I cry. The bully doesn’t.

I’m bigger than this. I’m stronger than this, I tell myself. Everyday.

Now, I don’t really hear voices nor do I wage a mental battle. I’m not in need of a padded room. Seriously, I’m not. It’s just that for some reason I’m letting negativity get to me and I really want it to stop.