A 3-step process on how to use affirmations to talk down your anxiety!
Most of us have been introduced to affirmations as using a phrase about something you desire for yourself written on a sticky note and put it on your mirror, refrigerator, or notebook. This is a great way to remind yourself daily of how you choose to perceive yourself and the world around you as every time you expose yourself to this positive thought (the affirmation) you teach your brain to have more positive and supporting thoughts.. but what about when you’re triggered? How do you use affirmations then?
This 3-step process will help you calm down and ground your energy, teach you how to re-parent yourself (inner child work), and be able to anticipate and respond to triggers with tools that help dissipate anxiety quickly.
Let’s go right into STEP 1: Learn what your triggers are. A TRIGGER is a person, place, or thing that “triggers” or activates your fight or flight or STRESS RESPONSE. You may feel a tightness in your chest and shoulders, upset stomach or loss of appetite, quickness of breath heartbeat, your face may feel red and hot; you may get a surge or energy, anger, or completely clam up and freeze.
The first symptoms you experience will be the initial “tell” or indicator that you are becoming triggered. It may feel like your consciousness will cyclone above your head and your thoughts feel frantic. In this moment taking some deep belly breaths to begin to ground yourself.
When you understand what triggers you, you can be proactive about preparing yourself. Just like when we see a big storm in the forecast and prepare for the wind and rain to rip through our neighborhoods by strengthening our home, stocking up on food and water, and having a plan for safety whether is hunkering down or getting out, we can have a plan of action for our triggers too!
Write down on a piece of paper your top 3 triggers.
STEP 2: Discover what your limiting beliefs are. LIMITING BELIEFS are deep rooted thoughts that shape the way we perceive ourselves, how people treat us, and how the world treats us. We have created stories around these limiting beliefs from the events that happened to us.
We may feel unlovable or not valued because of some past drama in your family. Even though it was so long ago and so many huge life transitions and adversities the family unite went through together the family has forgotten or let go of that narrative but for you, but because of those limiting beliefs (which grew from the trauma of the drama) you still believe the story is still active and you conduct yourself from the mindset of the original trauma.
Some limiting beliefs: Unlovable, not good enough, a burden, unworthy, dumb- not smart enough, not capable, not feeling safe, feeling different or like the black sheep
Beside or underneath your 3 triggers, write down the corresponding limiting beliefs.
STEP 3: Create the affirmation and use it actively!
When we identify the limiting beliefs that are activated when we are triggered, now we know which affirmations to gravitate towards. If I feel like a burden then my affirmation may be, “I am an equal and deserve to have my needs met.”
When we are in anxiety mode a superb tool to use to dispel the anxious energy is movement while citing your affirmation. Go for a walk or run, do yoga, dance, EFT- Emotional Freedom Technique or Tapping, pushups or jumping in place anything to get the energy out so that you don’t internalize and suppress it down in your body.
Now how do we put this affirmation into an action step? By speaking up and asking for the barista to remake your latte the way you asked for it to be, correcting someone who keeps mispronouncing your name, asking for help big or small – needing help is always valid.
Write down an affirmation under each of your three triggers and add an option for movement. This is now your plan of action!
If someone wants to put you down about it, screw them! You have to validate and care for your wellbeing and your big emotions. You are doing something bigger than they understand. Don’t dim your light to make others more comfortable. NOT YOUR JOB!
You are learning how to turn up for yourself so that you can finally feel safe enough to feel your big emotions and move through them into the lite fresh air on the other side.
Baby steps are still steps forward. You’re doing wonderfully! Keep it up!
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