One of the key psychological theories is ‘self-affirmation theory’ (Steele 1988). There are studies that show that we can maintain our self-esteem and integrity by telling ourselves – affirming, positive thoughts. The development of this theory has led to neuroscientific research, aimed at seeing changes in the brain when we say affirmations. There is MRI evidence that shows certain neural pathways are increased in the prefrontal cortex when people practice self-affirmations.
What is also noted is the effect they have on your mood and feelings. They are a simple tool that can literally turn around your habitual negative thoughts. Affirmations can assist you with self-regulation, self-worth, self-awareness, and self-confidence.
Saying positive phrases to yourself can also help you move through tricky situations. “I can do this!”
What are affirmations?
Affirmations are a form of positive self-talk. When repeated often enough, this can contribute to a persons self-esteem and overall well being.
Practicing daily affirmations can help children replace their inner voices that might tell them "I can't" or "I'm not good enough" with a positive mindset that tells them "I can learn anything" and "I am enough". Our affirmation cards help kids build strong character and positive values.
How do affirmations work?
Once affirmations are learned, they work by coming to mind when a belief is challenged.
If your affirmation is "I am wonderful just the way I am", and you are told you are stupid, the affirmation will be recalled remind you of your belief. Instead, you will think, "I’m not stupid, I am wonderful!”
Without a positive belief, you may take on the one you just heard and start to believe that you are stupid. The more an affirmation is repeated, positive or negative, the stronger it becomes.
It is important that we learn to take control of our belief systems and the younger that we learn, the easier it is. It can be as simple as affirming the positive beliefs that we would like to grow up with. Negative beliefs can impact our lives greatly and can be hard to shift as we grow older.
Affirmations are a powerful and holistic way of building a positive mind and happier children. Nurturing their authentic self and helping them to enjoy the magic of childhood
Introducing your children to affirmations
Affirmations can be implemented into your daily routines very easily. Only taking a few minutes each day.
It is a good idea to talk to your children about using affirmations so they understand what they are for and how they work. Keep it fun and encouraging. “Affirmations teach you new and positive ways of thinking. They can help you believe in yourself, feel happy and help you to feel better when you are angry or sad. Let’s try them and see what we think!” "Affirmations encourage kind and happy ways of thinking, you will remember them when you need them most."
Another way to introduce affirmations to your children is to place affirmation cards around the house in areas that they will see them. Just reading the words will help them affirm positive beliefs. On the mirror in the bathroom is a great spot or on the breakfast table.
It will also help if you were to lead by example and read the affirmations as well. You may like to do your affirmations together. You may find that this allows you the chance to discuss emotions or issues that they may be experiencing, opening doors for conversation. Working together on your affirmations may just have you shine together.
AUTHOR: Roxanne Wilkins - Nurture Cards
Roxy created Nurture Cards in 2009 after her own personal and family struggles with her young children. As she saw other young children suffering with low self-confidence, bullying, negative self-image, anxiety, effects of divorce or unhappy family dynamics, she wanted to create a tool to help them through these tough times.
Nurture Cards are used worldwide by children, counsellors, therapists, primary teachers, early childhood centres, disability services and much more. I also have other resources for improving sleep and self-esteem.
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