In this article, you will learn how different religions and cultures from around the world use affirmations in their health and spiritual practices.
Part 1. Affirmations in Asian Culture
In Asian culture, everything is measured in terms of balance. Yin and Yang are the terms that describe two polar-opposite, yet complementary, forces. Yin is the feminine, soft, and intuitive force, while Yang is the more masculine, forceful, and analytical force. Both Yin and Yang co-exist in all things, but in different proportions. Asian culture states that all illness is a result of one of these elements being out of alignment, or the body being out of alignment with the five elements of nature.
The five elements of nature are:
In Asian philosophy, each individual's personality and body contains varying degrees of these elements, which shape their characteristics. For example, someone with a strong "earth" association will be gentle, nurturing, and happy. While someone with a strong metal constitution may be flexible, yet extremely strong and purposeful.
At times, a person may wish to re-balance themself or to attain the characteristics of a particular element. In this case, they can use meditation and affirmations to program their subconscious with the desired trait.
Below are some sample affirmations using the five elements of nature:
- I possess the heart and courage of fire.
- I am as fertile and giving as the earth.
- I possess the ancient strength and wisdom that is wood.
Section 2. Affirmations in Native American Culture
The Native Americans are also very in tune with nature and the spirit world. They often commune with the universe through vision quests, sweat lodge sessions, and other rituals. Native Americans believe in speaking their intention to the Creator in order to manifest that which is desired, and retrain the subconscious to seek the same thing.
Native Americans thrive on ritual and have a distinct way that they apply affirmations. They believe you should state a particular affirmation over a period of 40 days to really see the best effect. If you miss a day or two, you should restart the 40 day cycle. To aid in this, it is recommended to fill a jar or a bowl with small stones or beads and remove one for each day you complete your affirmation routine. By the end of 40 days, you should have rewired your subconscious and fully placed your desires in the hands of the Creator to fulfill.
Buddhism relies heavily on the use of mantras, which are affirmations and prayers that are chanted repetitively. Buddhists highly value meditation and their ability to quiet the mind and "go within" is a skill practiced from a young age by those seeking enlightenment. It is Buddhists that popularized meditation in the West and have been using this practice for over 2,500 years.
Buddhist mantras focus on peace, letting go of the material world, kindness to others, and the attainment of spirituality. Buddhist mantras are often a few lines long and they are a staple in religious ceremonies, rites of passage, and personal spiritual journeys.
Section 4. Contemporary Scholars in the Mind/Body Space
Emile Coue was a French psychologist who pioneered the modern use of auto-suggestion and affirmations in healing. Emile was also a pharmacist, but sought training in hypnosis and used it considerably in his practice. Dr. Coue believed the subconscious mind could be programmed to carry out the orders and state of being, as dictated by affirmations and suggestion, when in a relaxed or hypnotized state. His work validated this theory, with many patients showing remarkable recoveries -- more so than their counterparts, who did not use affirmations or hypnosis.
Dr. Coue published a book on the subject of self mastery and auto-suggestion called Self-Mastery through Conscious Auto-suggestion. It detailed his premise that, "You have within yourself the instrument to your cure." Dr. Coue's book spread throughout England and America in the early 18th century and to him is attributed the famous quote "Every day, in every way, I am getting better and better"
Dr. Shad Helmstetter is a recognized authority in the field of positive self-talk and affirmations. He has published 13 books in the motivational and self-development field, and his original book, What to Say When You Talk to Yourself, has been sold in over 65 countries around the world.
Dr. Helmstetter is a firm believer that our situations are a result of our mental conditioning, personal choices, and experiences. However, we have the power to rewire our consciousness to produce different and better outcomes. Dr. Helmstetter advocates taking personal responsibility in your life and health, and provides audios and books with positive affirmations to help override the negative self-talk most of us engage in.
Some of the scripts from Dr. Helmstetter's audios include:
- "Choosing to live your life by your own choice is the greatest freedom you will ever have."
- "It is your programming that has created your choices in the past. It is the choices you make today that are creating the programs of your future."
- "It is the big choices we make that set our direction. It is the smallest choices we make that get us to the destination."
- "Each day that passes, your choices will come and go. They are like diamonds in a chest of jewels, each waiting to be discovered."
Food for Thought
Does your ancestry include any of the groups mentioned? Is there any particular tradition that resonates most with you?
Affirmations for Specific Illnesses
In this brief article, you will learn about some of the illnesses and conditions that it is possible to heal through affirmations. You will also review sample affirmations for each condition and then work on affirmations to address your specific health or life concern.
Section 1. Affirmations for Emotional Issues
Many of the emotional problems we suffer from are the result of negative self talk, feelings of inadequacy, and negative input from others with whom we are in close relationships. This can include the parent/child relationship, the bond of marriage, or the employer/employee relationship.
As a result of this input over time, the individual may develop low self esteem, dysfunctional relationships, and any number of other emotional issues. Applying the technique of affirmations allows the person to work through those emotions and separate the truth from falsehood. By using the meditation methods we described and incorporating positive self talk, it is possible to raise self worth and ditch the negative programming that can often cripple people in their personal interactions.
Here are some possible affirmations for healing emotional issues:
I am worthy of love.
I am beautiful and perfect just the way I am.
I do not need to change who I am to please others.
I possess the power to uplift myself.
I am not to blame for my abuser's actions.
It is safe to express my thoughts and ideas.
People struggle to lose weight every day and fail to do so. This is because they are trying to address the topical issue (increased size), without dealing with the root cause of the excess weight.
Very often, being overweight is the manifestation of a deeper issue. For some people, being overweight is a way to hide from the world. They fear that if they were to slim down and people paid attention to them, they would realize how inept or unworthy they were. So the weight becomes a comfortable padding between them and society.
Another reason for overeating is to escape and numb oneself from the reality of life. A person could be in a bad relationship, have money problems, or have not progressed as far as they would have liked in their career. So, they eat as a means of comfort and avoidance of these things that are out of balance in their lives. Once identified however, a person can very much change their eating habits as they do the inner work of rising to meet their personal challenges.
By vanquishing these demons and letting go of the weight, an individual can cure a whole host of health problems, such as hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease. Learning to live a happier life on your own terms sets the stage for a lifetime of health and wellness.
Here are some sample affirmations for weight related illnesses and conditions:
It is safe for me to shine my light in the world.
I will not be a victim of my circumstances.
I am intelligent and capable.
I am a likable person with much to offer.
I will no longer hide from the world.
I love myself.
Like food, many people use substances, such as drugs and alcohol, to escape from reality and numb themselves to trauma, disappointment, or just the ups and downs of everyday life. Some people with substance abuse problems have suffered terrible trauma, such as rape, child abuse, or war. However, in continuing to medicate themselves this way, they will not find closure and instead risk serious health problems, such as lack of mental cognition, overdose, and burst blood vessels.
The issues that cause substance abuse are usually very serious. Because of this, the actual trauma that prompted the condition may be deeply buried. Therapies such as guided meditations and color play are excellent ways of calling those issues forth. However, it is recommended that this be done under the guidance of a therapist or someone trained to deal with the raw emotion that will likely surface. The therapist can also help craft affirmations that truly speak to the deep-seated issues plaguing the patient.
Section 4. Affirmations for Menstrual and Reproductive Issues
Increasingly, more women are dealing with problems of infertility and related illness, such as cystic fibrosis, painful intercourse, and infrequent or painful periods. While some of this is genetic or induced by environmental factors, many cases are the result of sexual trauma, unresolved resentment or other emotional issues, or being disconnected from their womanhood.
Women are delicate creatures and despite our ability to excel in academia and the workforce, we have distinctly different needs than men. Unfortunately, our innate need for acknowledgment, tenderness, and a deep soul connection sometimes goes unmet. When this happens, it can manifest itself in all types of bodily ailments.
As the author of Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus states, what men need to thrive is appreciation. However, what women need is love and affection. No matter how liberated we become and how far we ascend, it rings empty without a deeply committed relationship as the foundation. From that place of love and security, a woman is empowered to reach her highest potential.
Here are some possible affirmations to help women with illness related to their femininity, sexuality, and fertility:
I am a fertile vessel of life.
I embody the strength and beauty of all the women that have come before me.
I am not to blame for the sexual abuse I endured.
Despite what was done to me, no one can take my soul.
I am desirable.
As you can see, there are many ways affirmations can be used to unlock and heal issues you may be dealing with. It is a myth that the experiences we go through do not result in the physical manifestation of illness. By understanding this principle, you have the power to affect change in almost any set of circumstances. People have worked to heal their inner trauma and had success in healing cancer, auto-immune diseases, depression, and so much more. The power is in your hands.
Section 5. Craft Your Own Affirmations.
Now it's your turn!
If you haven't yet done some of the creative or meditation exercises to tap into your subconscious, do so now. Once you've done that, use your realizations and journal entries to craft personal affirmations that address your specific situation. Even if you do not suffer from a specific illness, pick an area of your life that you would like to improve and focus your affirmations there.
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