Like many people undergoing therapy for mental reasons, I was told by my doctor to try out saying affirmations to myself. I remember that I had three in particular that we both decided were ‘right’ for me. I don’t remember them exactly, but I know that they all had something to do with my ability and my motivation since I’m a very action-motivated person. Daily Gratitude didn’t work out for me because of this. Instead, I focus on things I achieved or did during the day that make me feel proud of myself.
And so, I had affirmations pertaining to my achievements, you could say. I was told to tell myself these 20 times everyday. It wasn’t really important that I was facing a mirror, but it was important that I had time to focus on them and them alone.
Right up front, I told my doctor that I did not believe this would work, since I saw other people trying it and I felt that it just didn’t apply to me. I don’t have anything against those people, don’t get me wrong, but recovery is different for everyone, and I just believed that affirmations did not align with my personal beliefs. At worst, they felt like lies I told myself. I wasn’t brave that day, I didn’t do that much good, or I didn’t really help make the world a better place. At best, they were statements that I was obligated to say.
I respect my doctor a lot and I understand that she asked me to try this out for a reason. I’m not complaining about her work. This is nothing like that. I’m just disappointed.
If you know how it feels to be depressed and completely dislike yourself, you will know that you hate how it is. Like you, I hate that I have to be sad and tired and unproductive all the time. I wish I could just think happy thoughts and skip around. However, that’s just not how I was wired. That’s not me. You’ll understand that I would do anything to get rid of this and that I’m kind of open to anything that will maybe sort of help me and I would and I am.
I tried so hard to get myself used to the affirmations and then for them to have a positive effect on my life. But that just didn’t happen.
I would make time everyday and I would take deep breaths and then I would tell myself my affirmations. This happened for about a week and the task never achieved what it was supposed to achieve: I still had my negative thoughts and I wasn’t using my affirmations when I was feeling sad. It didn’t really do anything for me except for take half an hour from my day.
Of course, affirmations work for a lot of people and I firmly believe that everyone is different and that everyone recovers differently. I strongly urge everyone to try it at least for a week and see if it works. It didn’t work for me, but it might work for you.
And if you’re someone who practices telling yourself affirmations, that’s great. I’m so happy for you and for what you’ve done. Continue doing what you’re doing, my friend.
At the end of the day, we’re all just trying to be better.