One very effective way to improve self-esteem is through the use of positive affirmations. Positive affirmations are very powerful for transforming how a person feels and thinks about himself, ultimately influencing how he views and acts within the world and towards others. The fundamental reason why positive affirmations are so effective is that their nature or structure reflects what already exists in our mind. Our identity or who we think we are, our current thinking patterns, is primarily a series of affirmations composed fundamentally of mere words or language. Everything we think, all of the thoughts that we have, are merely affirmations. Positive affirmations, when used consistently, begin to alter our prevalent internal language pattern, as negative as it may be, our inner self talk or dialogue that exists within us. The end result of the consistent use of positive affirmations is the transformation of an inner negative language pattern into one that is positive in nature.
While it appears that the importance of positive self-esteem is somewhat understood, the unanswered question has always been about how to improve or enhance a person’s self-esteem. Some belief that a person’s self-esteem rests upon them being successful, in accomplishing that which they take on in life, of achieving goals that they have set for themselves. As a result much effort is put into assisting others in effectively and efficiently planning their doing in life. Others believe that our sense of self-esteem is determined by the type of relationships that we have, that by surrounding ourselves with positive people who will appreciate and acknowledge us that our esteem will be positively impacted. To this end training is given to help a person improve his interpersonal skills, how he communicates and relates with others. While both of these endeavors are important, it is not the having or doing that creates positive self-esteem. Ones self-esteem is not given or to be obtained from without, external to the person.
Positive self-esteem is very important if not crucial to our happiness and well being as a human being. Having positive self-esteem can make the difference in that which we take on in life, in that which we go about achieving and creating. Having positive self- esteem also allows us to have healthy and joyous relationships with others, to experience true intimacy. One could also assert that having positive self-esteem gives us access to genuine spirituality. Poor self-esteem, on the other hand, creates the space for us to experience a great deal of negativity in life including depression, anxiety, fear, stress and loneliness. Negative or poor self-esteem is also highly correlated with alcohol and drug dependency. Some even believe that a negative or poor self-image is the source of such addictions.
Positive affirmations can help a person to transform his or her life. Positive affirmations can also help to support a person’s achieving a deep state of relaxation. Below are ten positive affirmations for helping a person to relax and experience a sense of serenity.
I love and accept myself exactly as I am now.
I am relaxed, calm and peaceful.
I accept and enjoy the moment, I live in the present.
I am safe and protected at all times.
I joyously release the past. I am at peace.
I trust the process of life.
I am perfect, whole and complete.
I breathe slowly and deeply. I am relaxed.
With each breathe that I take I become more and more relaxed.
I forgive myself and others and I set myself free from the past.
Positive affirmations can be even more effective when combined with therapeutic relaxation music. The relaxation music creates an audio space for the affirmations to be fully accepted by a person’s mind.
Much of the process of recovery is about being in a dance, a dance of moving back and forth between resisting and surrendering. The dance will go on for awhile, if not forever. Knowing some of the signs of when you are in the part of the dance that is or could be a prelude to relapsing is important. Below are listed from of the signs of resistance for someone in recovery.
The person wanting to quit the recovery program.
Being out of communication with ones sponsor or counselor.
The person having major upsets in their lives that gets in the way of recovery.
Missing or being late for groups or meetings.
Missing or being late for calls with ones sponsor or counselor.
The person having many emergencies occuring that gets in the way of recovery.
The person becoming too busy, so busy that they are distracted from doing the work of recovery.
Never doing the homework assigned by the person’s sponsor or counselor.
Leaving the group or meeting to make phone call, go to the restroom, etc
Never sharing in groups or meeting.
Complaining about the groups, meetings, sponsor or counselor.
Not listening to what is going on in the groups or meetings.
Creating disruptions in the groups and meetings.
Falling asleep or being tired in the groups or meetings.
Being resistant or arguing about the topic or subject of the group or meeting.
The person leaving the group or meeting before it is finished.
The person creating a relationship early in the program of recovery.
It is important for the person to review their behavior on a daily basis, especially early in the process, and share with another any of the Red Flags that they may become present to.
Many individuals going into treatment for drug and alcohol dependency have questions about what to do when admitted to a program. While the opinions and suggestions given to them will vary from program to program and even person to person, the following are five things that someone can stay present to as they move through treatment.
1. To read and take notes from either the NA or AA text. In addition to needing to know what the program of recovery is truly about, it also important to take notes as one read either the Basic Text or the Big Book. There will be a tendency to forget, hence the need to take notes.
2. Attend AA or NA meetings daily. Attendance helps keep one in the conversation of recovery.
3. Work on and complete “Step One.” While the person will do it again once they get a sponsor after the treatment program, it is good practice to engage the process while in treatment.
4, Write out your “Counseling Agenda” each week before your counseling session. Having an agenda written down allows you to stay focused on what you need to talk about and work on and also creates the space for being responsible for your situation.
5. Work on and complete your “recovery plan” one week before your discharge. Having a plan helps to ensure that you will actually engage the program immediately upon your discharge. Having no written plan will usually amount to little action on the individual’s part.
The idea is to review these five things with the staff and especially with your counselor in order to evaluate your progress in the treatment program.
Positive Affirmations can help to transform your life. Positive affirmations can be used for helping with specific areas of your life. Positive Affirmations can especially help with improving your self esteem. Our self esteem is greatly influenced by what we think and say about ourselves. Creating and using positive affirmations to create a new self image and improve your self esteem can help to transform your life.
Below are ten positive affirmations to improve your self esteem:
I love myself.
I love everything about myself.
I love who I am.
I love my life.
I am perfect, whole and complete.
I love and accept myself exactly as I am now.
I always take good care of myself.
I love and approve of myself.
I am loving, lovable and loved.
I am love.
Use the positive affirmations everyday!
The final component of the Holistic Counseling is the use and practice of acknowledgement. Once the negative experience has been transformed and the breakdown has been resolved it is important for a person to fully understand the difference of what his doing this work and creating a possibility has made for himself. Acknowledgement is about getting how the created possibility has transformed the breakdown from what it was to that which is truly a breakthrough for the individual. Acknowledgement is about getting the power of our word and thoughts for allowing us to transform breakdowns into breakthroughs, to once again become our possibilities, to be what we truly want in and from life. It is this acknowledgement that strengthens the process of transformation thereby leaving ones sense of power restored. Acknowledgement is about standing in ones possibility, celebrating ones power and freedom and in the process having given up being a victim. Acknowledgement is about beginning to live life from ones possibility and not from the experience of being in the breakdown.
The fourth component of Holistic Counseling involves creating a possibility or new self given the breakdown experience. This powerful act of creation can be to develop a new view of oneself or get back into previously chosen possibility or goal of who you want to be in life. Creating possibilities or a new self can be life transforming. However, once we are convinced that we are being our self limiting belief, that the source of the breakdown is the self limiting belief and not that which the story tends convey, it is at that moment that we can develop a new self or possibility to be at that moment, a new self given the breakdown experience. It is by creating a new self or possibility by our spoken word that the experience itself will begin to transform. The breakdown only happens because of who we are being. It is by causing a new self to come into existence through our word that our inadequate way of being will begin to completely dissolve and with it the breakdown itself. It is with the creation of a new self or possibility that the person’s power and freedom are once again restored.