Affirmations have never really been my thing.
It’s always been eye-roll territory for me (I’m personally not into crystals either). But I was so tired of spinning around in the same negative thought patterns that always triggered exhaustion, anxiety and depression.
I was tired of constantly feeling like a ‘bad mom’ and I was tired of wondering why ‘everyone else’ seemed to be doing alright. On those really rough days, I needed to find a way to remind myself that I’m not alone, that it’s not me (motherhood is just that hard!) and that I will get through this.
So I started sticking these little notes up on my mirror and reading them to myself every time I saw them. I found that when things got tough, it was a lot easier for me to catch myself before I went down the rabbit hole.
Instead of ‘I’m such a bad mom’ I could remind myself ‘I’m doing my best and that’s enough’. Instead of ‘Why the fuck did I think I could have another kid?’ (yep, that’s a real thought straight from my brain) I could say ‘It’s ok that this is hard. Everyone struggles with parenting.’
That was a very simple, but very powerful transformation for me. I’m not perfect, I still struggle (sometimes, a lot!), but I’m waaaay more resilient. I feel more like myself more often, and I bounce back a lot quicker than I used to.
How does it work?
Think about your brain like a field of grass. If you walk along the exact same path every day, eventually, the grass gets worn down and a path appears. And then the path becomes the easiest place to walk, so you keep using it.
When we get stuck in negative thought patterns, it’s because we’ve created that path in the grass. There might have been good reasons for us to take that route in the past (hello childhood), but then we just keep using that path because it’s there, it’s easy, and it’s familiar, even though it doesn’t take us where we want to go.
You have your own paths. Some of them take you where you want to go, and some of them don’t. The ones that take you off course are the negative mind-ruts, the routes you take because they’re familiar and easy, but they don’t serve you very well; they take you to places that are exhausting, stressful, lonely, or scary.
We can make new paths that work for where we want to be now, but it’s difficult and uncomfortable, because it requires us to walk through the long grass in unfamiliar territory.
Affirmations are a simple way to start training your brain to take a different path. As you practice the affirmation, the grass gets worn down more and more until a path starts to appear. Then when you’re facing a tough moment, suddenly you have a choice: you can take the old path, or this new one that you’re working on. And each time you choose the new one, it becomes easier to walk.
Are you ready to start walking some new paths? Click here to download a free #PowerMamaPost card with a no-bullshit affirmation to help you get started.