When it comes to caring for yourself from a holistic perspective, it is important to consider not only that which affects your physical body (illness, disease, pain, etc.), but also your mind and your spirit (thoughts and beliefs). We so often focus on getting rid of a symptom, or healing an illness that we forget to care for and heal our minds. This is all too common in couples facing fertility struggles. Doubts about the body’s ability to procreate can turn what should be a happy journey into an uphill mental battle, making conception more difficult to achieve.
Have you heard of The Law of Attraction? Simply defined, it is the belief that by focusing on positive or negative thoughts, one can bring about positive or negative results. I have learned from experience, both personal and with my clients, that we talk negatively to ourselves more than most of us like to admit. At the same time, we wish we could change the way we talk to ourselves. Well, we can change! We can change our thoughts and self talk to benefit, empower and heal us by learning the art of creating positive affirmations.
The American Heritage Dictionary (2000 ed.) defines the word affirmation in part as “something declared to be true; a positive statement or judgment.” Creating positive affirmations means creating positive statements that you believe to be true. Affirmations are a great tool to use on a fertility journey. They can help you turn your outlook when dealing with fertility issues from one of despair and hopelessness to that of confidence, hopefulness and even peace. By repeating affirmations throughout your day, you will find they help to reduce stress, improve general well-being through relaxation and your outlook on life, and can dramatically shift your mood and the way you see things.
Four Steps to Creating Positive Affirmations:
Step 1: Identify your negative self-talk and beliefs
Physically write them down on paper. Fold a piece of lined paper in half lengthwise, and then unfold it. Down the left side, write a list of the self-limiting statements you’ve been thinking and saying. Stick to one topic or personal issue at a time. Write everything that comes to mind on the topic. Try not to think, just be spontaneous. Then spend a few days listening closely to yourself, to what you’re saying, thinking. Each time a negative self-talk statement comes up add it to your list. As you empty out negative thoughts, you allow room for the positive!
Step 2: Create affirmations out of those beliefs
Down the right side of your paper, write a new, positive statement for each negative one. This may be a challenge. Maybe you won’t believe a thing you write at first. But, try anyway!
Step 3: Begin using the new affirmations
Fold the paper in half again. Ignore the left side forever. Hang or place the folded paper, positive-statements on top, somewhere you’ll see it often. Read your affirmations from time to time. This list is simply an occasional reminder that you’re transforming your thinking. If you catch yourself thinking or saying any of your old negative statements, stop yourself. Transform it into the positive statement, right then and there.
Step 4: Notice the “magic” unfold
Soon you will no longer say you are worried or anxious (or whatever your issue is), but you’ll also begin to believe it and one day you’ll notice that you are worry and anxiety free!
To help you understand I know that this works, I’ll share my story. Six years ago my marriage of almost 5 years began to fall apart, I couldn’t pay for my house, my dog was hit by a car and needed hip surgery to the tune of $2,500.00 (how was I going to pay for this as a commuting graduate student only working part time?), my sister was going through a rough patch in her life that I desperately wanted to help her with, but couldn’t… I didn’t want the life I had. I got stuck in a rut of telling myself I hated my life, I failed my marriage, I was poor, I was going to have to file bankruptcy… and this list could go on.
I talked to and about myself and my life using the words “I” and “you” and attaching a negative phrase. Until… the day after listening to a lecture about how to honor my spirit and an impromptu visit from my mom and sister, I went for a walk and realized I had to change how I thought about my life. It might be hard to change, but I had to do something.
So, I created one, just one, positive affirmation for myself that I repeated and still repeat over and over to this day. My affirmation is “I am happy, healthy and intuitive, surrounded by love, and live a prosperous and abundant life.” While this doesn’t speak specifically to each incident that I felt made my life horrible, it collectively speaks to how I wanted and still want to be in times of strife and challenge. By the way, I sold my house, got a $2,500.oo tax return that year (enough to pay for my dog’s surgery), my sister is thriving, I am happily married, have a job I love and live a very happy life.
There are a number of resources to help you learn a method of creating positive affirmations that will suit you best. I’ll share just a few I have used…
Affirmations for Fertility, Changing Your Thoughts to Help Change Your Fertility by Dalene Barton CH, Doula
The Ins and Out of Affirmations by Tara Bliss, Spiritual Empowerment Coach
How to Write Affirmations That Really Work! by Dr. Christopher Lloyd Clarke
All Is Well: Heal Your Body with Medicine, Affirmations, and Intuition by Louise L. Hay and Mona Lisa Schulz M.D. Ph. D.
A Garden of Thoughts: My Affirmation Journal by Louise L. Hay
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2009. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.