Today I’d like to talk about affirmations and mental health: how they work, how you can fake them, and how they work better if you don’t.
Allow me to start with a story. Yesterday I had a moment. I spent half the day alternating between tears, and that state of emotionless where I feel nothing at all.
Even though I am a mental health advocate, even though I’m in the process of becoming a wellness coach, I still have these days where even I feel down.
My reasons for feeling depressed yesterday, if I’m being honest, are the same reasons I have nearly every time I suffer. My job.
This is a much bigger topic and so I’ll have to break it out into further posts, however, I wanted to discuss how I moved on, and out of the dark void.
First, I had a good cry. I hid away for a few minutes and just let the tears flow.
I don’t need to justify this. I don’t need to explain to anyone why I’m crying. I don’t need to explain it to myself.
Let the tears flow.
After a few minutes of this, I ask myself, how can I move on? It’s not like I can just walk away from my job.
Even if I take a few minutes to compose myself, I still need to go back. This is exactly like voluntarily jumping into that black hole you’re trying to avoid.
This is where affirmations can help.
Going through this mental health journey, I’ve learned how affirmations can work and how they might not.
You can simply say something positive about yourself, over and over and call it a day. This might work. This might turn your dark moment into one of joy.
I can tell myself that I am happy, even when I’m in the middle of a cry-fest.
I am happy. I am happy. I am happy.
I can look in the mirror and see those tears and wish them away, simply by chanting this simple phrase. I am happy.
It’s a lie.
It doesn’t matter how many times I say it, it won’t change the fact that right now, I’m not happy.
Combining Affirmations and Mental Health
Instead of lying, rephrase this affirmation so that it makes sense.
I deserve happiness.
In order for you to benefit from affirmations and mental health, you need to take the negative thought that is cycling around in your brain and reframe it to something specific that applies to you.
I deserve happiness. I deserve happiness. I deserve happiness.
And I will be happy, damn it!
At this moment in time, I might not be happy. I might be crying.
I might hate that I have to put myself through this each and every day, but I deserve happiness.
The more I say this, the more empowered I am, the more I will fight for my happiness.
And you can too. Because we all deserve happiness.