Healing is a non-linear process. Whether you have spoken up recently about what happened to you, have in the past, or have yet to tell anyone: living with trauma is complicated. I have found affirmations to be incredibly helpful along my journey. Research shows affirmations trigger the reward circuits in our brain known to lessen pain and maintain balance when threatened. MRIs revealed self-affirmations increased activity in areas of the brain connected to self-related processing.
If you’ve never done them before, they may feel silly for a little while. I encourage you to keep at it. Pick one—or a few that you like and put them someplace you’ll see them regularly. When I first started, I put them on Post-Its on the lamp next to my bed, the bathroom mirror, and cupboards I opened daily. It helped me get in the practice of positive self-talk. I hope it helps it you too!
1. Their actions are not my shame to carry. Guilt does not serve my healing.
In a society that minimizes predatory behavior and encourages sweeping problems under the rug instead of working through them in a healthy way, speaking up can stir feelings of guilt and shame. If you find yourself feeling this way, be gentle toward yourself. Unpack those feelings and the underlying beliefs that support them. Over time I think you’ll find those beliefs are not your own, but rather ones passed to you.
2. I am worthy of love just the way I am.
You are not what happened to you. You most certainly are not unloveable or hard to love as a result of it. Even on your bad days, you’re worthy of love! Just as I’m sure you love others through their bad days. Start to treat yourself as you would a friend.
3. I complete myself. I am a whole person.
The most important relationship you will ever have is with yourself. Places where you feel incomplete are areas that you have the power to fill. While we learn a lot about ourselves in our relationships (romantic and otherwise), we have so much to find within ourselves.
4. I recover at my own pace.
Do not compare your recovery to anyone else’s. Drop the thought of wherever you think you should be. Healing is giving yourself permission to be exactly where you are without judgment.
5. I believe in myself.
The more you believe, the more you will achieve. Self-belief is the foundation of confidence.
6. I am strong and courageous.
Speaking up is brave af!!! Own it. It’s another layer to build confidence. Trauma destroys our confidence and self-esteem. It can make us feel weak and undeserving. Some days those feelings can be overwhelming. If you enjoy yoga, this is a great one to say or think in warrior poses!
7. My future holds endless possibilities
The unknown can either bring us anxiety or hope. You’ve made through all of your days so far. Set goals for yourself. Try those things you never thought you could do, but always wanted to. I don’t care how old you are, you can always try new things. You can cultivate new experiences.