I found a free app for my phone that puts one of many affirmations in my notifications at a time I specify. Right now, I have it set on all the positive personal affirmations, and I get a new one every hour – with a very loud “DING!” I got the idea from my late father, who at the end of his life was an ordained anglican minister – He taught me about the daily offices and why he wore a very large metal cross on a heavy chain around his neck, but kept it tucked in his shirt pocket. Every hour of the day had a prayer – and he would wear the heavy jewelry to keep himself mindful. And the daily offices are just another mindfulness exercise, in my opinion.
So I set up my affirmations app – every hour from 3 AM until 12 PM. I’m not a fan of these kinds of things, or of routine, so immediately I felt parts of me push back against it, but I ignored those feelings, and pressed on. When I hear the ding, I take 10 seconds to acknowledge that my app has not let me down. That’s all. It did exactly what it was supposed to do. It showed up. Sometimes that is all I can get together in my head, just a breath – but when I have more time, it usually goes into more. I try to read the affirmation as soon as I can and not argue with it – HAHAHAHAHA sarcastic me is back in a cage somewhere very angry. I just read the words – expose myself to the message.
My mother had this “teach yourself to speed read” machine I’d play with when I was 5 or so. It had a card with a list of sentences, about 7 inches x 7 inches, that slid into a plastic machine similar to a circular reel into a view master machine. It had a panel that was spring loaded, and when you pushed the button, it would expose the sentence for a second or two then close. The idea was to train you to see everything you could as quickly as you could. I found I memorized the sentences quickly – My memory stores as pictures and smells – so I could snap-shot the information then go back and examine it later. Whether or not my conscious mind is actually reading the words, my subconscious is – and filing them away.
After a couple weeks with the affirmations, I didn’t think I’d *feel* any different – but I feel I’m making better choices with my self-talk and what I allow in my mind and my environment. So the psychologist in me calls this one proven – daily affirmations can indeed improve your daily attitude with the world, whether you believe they will or not. Coupled with other small, quiet actions of mindfulness, they help me find patience.
I don’t have to be happy today.
I don’t have to be sad today.
I just have to be, today.