And so it is.

I recently wrote about the incredible little shift from future tense to present tense, and the power of positive self-affirmation. You can read that post here.

Positive self-talk and daily affirmations phrased in the present tense are action-oriented and empowering. For example, “I fear nothing” rather than “I will not be afraid.” Or “I am powerful” rather than “I will stand in my power.”  This is a form of “acting-as-if.” Acting-as-if or speaking-as-if tells my brain that ‘this is the way it is’.  When I do that repeatedly, my brain responds accordingly by creating the neural circuity to support that statement. And so it is.

I wanted to share some “behind-the-scenes” information about what is actually happening within our brains and our neural circuitry when we are speaking to ourselves (whether aloud or silently) and why positive self-talk is so important.

The human brain is a super-efficient machine. Our brains’ version of “not reinventing the wheel” is to constantly be on the lookout for repetitious thoughts and thought patterns that can be hardwired or encoded, thereby automating the brain functionality necessary to generate our most frequent thinking patterns. Our most frequent thoughts are literally programmed in.

So…if all day long, I think thoughts like:

  • What was I thinking?! I should know better.
  • I can’t believe I did that again. How stupid!
  • I knew this wouldn’t go well.
  • etc etc etc

my brain will hardwire the neural circuitry necessary to perpetuate – even automate – my self-doubt, second-guessing, and self-criticizing thought patterns.

On the other hand…

When those thoughts lessen or disappear altogether, my brain will prune the associated connections, since they will no longer be necessary, relevant, or useful.

In God’s great wisdom, He designed our human brains to be “plastic” (you may have heard the term neuroplasticity), meaning malleable. As we expand our self-awareness, and desire to evolve our thinking, we truly can be transformed through the renewing of our minds (Reference Romans 12:2).

Practicing positive self-talk and daily affirmations means we essentially:

stop giving energy and attention to old, unhelpful thoughts.

begin giving repeated energy and attention to new desired thoughts.

Our brains prune the unnecessary connections to those old thoughts, and hardwire connections to the new desired thoughts. Over time, we literally re-create our “default thinking.”  What would that be like?! To default to POSITIVE, AFFIRMATIVE thinking about ourselves?! Let’s do it, girls!

Exercise:

  1. Choose an affirmative, self-supportive statement that you will work with for 1 week. (Examples: I am loved; I handle all things with Christ who strengthens me; I choose peace).
  2. Commit to telling yourself your affirmation at least 15 times each day. Say it aloud or silently. Write it on an index card and tape it to your mirror, refrigerator, car dashboard. Program an alarm into your phone to go off every hour.
  3. If it feels right to you, share your affirmation with a loved one or close friend. Ask him or her to tell you your affirmation randomly throughout the week.
  4. After one week, either continue with the same affirmation or choose a different one to try on next. Always have an intentionally planned self-supportive affirmation at the ready!
  5. Be on the lookout for the subtle ways that this daily practice will positively impact your relationships – most especially your relationship with yourself.

May God bless you with His abundant blessings!
With love,
De

Sharing this devotion with Motivation Monday, Mommy Monday Blog Hop, Woman to Woman, Winsome Wednesdays, Thought Provoking Thursday,Tell His Story,,Essential Fridays, Fellowship Friday, Faith Filled Fridays,

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