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Affirmations and Exercise
An article on the Huffington Post lists seven reasons why you should listen to music while you exercise. Researchers have found that music can “up” your effort, put you “in the zone” and make you want to move. I’ve often listened to music while doing step aerobics on the Wii Fit or power walking outside. Then last year I had an idea, why don’t I listen to affirmations sometimes as well?
Like music, recorded affirmations can serve as a positive distraction and elevate your mood. Recently, I’ve been listening to David McGraw’s “101 Affirmations for Success” and Sonya Triggs-Wharton’s “Positive Affirmations for Your Workout,” both of which I access for free on youtube.
You can also come up with your own personalized affirmations and record them. Write statements as if you have already completed your desired goals. For example suppose you have a goal to lose weight. An affirmation might be, “I am eating healthier each day and make choices that nurture my body.” If this sort of affirmation seems false to you, use a trick I learned from Michael Losier in his book about the law of attraction. Losier suggests using language like “I love how it feels…” “I love to think about etc…” You’re not actually saying that you’ve accomplished the goal when you haven’t. This might feel better to you and be more effective.
Across the board experts believe that repeating affirmations is good for you. However exactly how they work is still a mystery.
“The mechanism of affirmations is not entirely understood,” writes Dr. Hamilton Beazley in No Regrets: A Ten Step Program for Living in the Present and Leaving the Past Behind, “Apparently often repeated affirmations are received by our unconscious mind as fact rather than fantasy, which leads it to conclude that what we want to happen has already happened.”
Steve Chandler in 100 Ways to Motivate Yourself and Change Your Life Forever says “Your subconscious mind doesn’t distinguish between what is real and what you imagine.”
“What accounts for it,” explains Dr. Don Greene in his book Fight Your Fear and Win, “is the mechanism of the mind. Whatever words issue from the left brain, whatever images arise from the right brain all take root in the subconscious, which hasn’t the analytical capability to pass any judgments or what it receives…It can’t distinguish reality from what’s merely imagined.”
After listening to affirmations for 30-60 minutes in the morning, they come to mind throughout the day. I am prone to negative thinking so it was a pleasant surprise recently when I was walking down the street and suddenly I could vividly hear Sonya Triggs-Wharton say “I am alive and radiant...there is more to me than meets the eye.”
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