Affirmation - Mindset

Women often abuse themselves through negative self-talk. (Gray, John, PhD. Men, Women and Relationships. OR: Beyond Words Publishing, Inc., 1990, 1993, p 123)

In order to achieve anything, you must first decide it is possible—that you are capable of it. (Dodd, Ray. The Power of Belief. VA: Hampton Roads Pub. Co. Inc., 2003, p 88)

The subconscious is highly receptive to simple, positive statements. Mental states are particularly susceptible to affirmation. (Stine, Jean Marie. Double Your Brain Power. NJ: Prentice Hall, 1997, p 50)

Brain aging is directly related to the way you view life. A positive attitude and outlook have been shown to help keep the brain young and health. Free radical production is reduced and the levels of stress hormones are kept low. All these things contribute to mental sharpness. (Giuffre, Kenneth, MD., with Teresa Foy DiGeronimo. The Care and Feeding of Your Brain. NJ:Career Press, 1999, p 235)

Cultivating a grateful attitude is one of the seven strategies outlined by Hill to achieve a positive-aging experience. (Hill, Robert D. Seven Strategies for Positive Aging. NY:W.W. Norton & Company, 2008).

Studies by Berk of Loma Linda University: Anticipation of a eustress (positive stress) event initiates changes in neuroendocrine response prior to the onset of the event itself. Beta-Endorphin and Human Growth Hormone increase are associated with both the anticipation and experience of mirthful laughter. Reported April 3, 2006. (Berk, Lee S. PhD. Paper presented in an American Physiological Society session at Experimental Biology, 2006, article)

In any moment of crisis, just feel grateful for something, anything. Appreciation is one of the easiest things to feel and can take the edge off even the toughest situation. (Childre, Doc and Howard Martin. The HeartMath Solution. CA: Harper SF, 1999, pp 109-112)

You think what you believe and your behavior follows your beliefs. Changing behavior involves more than just changing your mind – you must change what you believe. (Dodd, Ray. The Power of Belief. VA: Hampton Roads Pub. Co. Inc., 2003, p 66)

Truly believing in yourself, even 51% of the time, is enough to change your behavior. (Fox, Arnold, MD, and Barry Fox, PhD. Wake Up! You’re Alive! FL: Health Communications, 1988, pp 56-57)

Beliefs control biology (e.g., placebo effect involves positive belief, nocebo effect involves negative belief). In more than half of clinical trials for six leading antidepressant, drugs did not outperform placebo sugar pills. (Lipton, Bruce, PhD. The Biology of Belief. CA: Mountain of Love/Elite Books, 2005, pp 135-142)

There is a constant flow of information between all the cells in our body. Specific behaviors have been shown to alter the psychosomatic network and positively impact the brain/body communication. These include: affirmation, meditation, and visualization. (Pert, Candace, PhD. Your Body is Your Subconscious Mind (audiocassettes). CO: Sounds True, 2000)

Refer to Cellular Memory (Epigenetics) for additional information

We eventually become the products of the mental images we entertain about ourselves. We can imagine ourselves already in possession of the things we want. This will change the brain. (Restak, Richard, MD. Mozart’s Brain and the Fighter Pilot. NY: Harmony Books, 2001, pp 47-52)

You choose your own thoughts. You can choose to think a positive or negative thought. You can refuse to think specific thoughts. (Hay, Louise L. You Can Heal Your Life. CA: Hay House, Inc., 1984, pp 11-13)

Virtually no energy is wasted when all components of a system are operating in harmony – are coherent. Positive emotional states create coherence within the human system. (Childre, Doc and Howard Martin. The HeartMath Solution. CA: Harper SF, 1999, pp 50-51)

Is important to limit time spent with pessimistic people. To accomplish something that demands determination and endurance, surround yourself with others who possess these qualities. (Restak, Richard, MD. The New Brain. PA: Rodale, 2003, pp 36-38)

You only have control over: where you put your attention and the decisions you make about what happens to you or around you. (Dodd, Ray. The Power of Belief. VA: Hampton Roads Pub. Co. Inc., 2003, pp 97-98)

Creativity thrives in an atmosphere of effusive encouragement. It dies under faultfinding criticism. (Greenwood-Robinson, Maggie, PhD. 20/20 Thinking. NY: Avery, Putnam Special Markets, 2003, p 368)

Refer to Functions of the BrainCreativity for additional, information.

Mayo Clinic Proceedings study:  People who scored high on optimism had a 50% lower risk of early death than those who were more pessimistic. (O’Brien, Mary, MD. Successful Aging. CA: Biomed General. 2007, p 102)

An affirmation is a short, positive, present tense, empowering statement. (Pert, Candace, PhD. Your Body is Your Subconscious Mind (audiocassettes). CO: Sounds True, 2000)

The most effect messages to the right hemisphere of the brain are short, simple, positive, and present tense words and phrases. (Wonder, Jacquelyn, and Priscilla Donovan. Whole-Brain Thinking. NY: Ballantine Books, 1984, p 196)

An affirmation is a positive verbal statement. It can describe how you feel about yourself, about others, or about life. This is a form of communication. (Fox, Arnold, MD, and Barry Fox, PhD. Wake Up! You’re Alive! FL: Health Communications, 1988, pp 44-45)

Physical problems often have a mental cause. Thoughts can trigger physical symptoms (e.g., bedwetting from fear of a parent). Provides examples of affirmations for a variety of diseases. (Hay, Louise L. You Can Heal Your Life. CA: Hay House, Inc., 1984, pp 149-191)

Any form of fear or anger shifts energy and attention from the neocortex to the reptilian brain. (Pearce, Joseph Chilton. The Biology of Transcendence. VT: Park Street Press, 2002, pp 30-36)

Refer to Downshifting of the Brain for additional information.

Explains how dreams are “top-down” events. The brain can interpret events that arise in the body or from the environment (bottom-up) as well as those that are just imagined in the brain (top-down). (Benson, Herbert, MD, with Marge Stark. Timeless Healing. NY: Schribner, 1996, pp 74-80)

The electromagnetic forces of the body can be increased and intensified by positive foods, exercise, cold-water treatments, and by the positive attitude of mind and will. (Linklahr, Henry, M.D. Nature Cure. Chicago:Nature Cure Publishing Company, 1914, p 148)

Refer to Electromagnetic Energy for additional information.

Endorphin levels can be increased by thoughts alone. Thoughts may impact other substances, as well. (Fox, Arnold, MD, and Barry Fox, PhD. Wake Up! You’re Alive! FL: Health Communications, 1988, pp 30-32)

Positive thoughts and feelings add energy to your system and are energy assets. Negative thoughts and feelings deplete your store of energy and are energy deficits. Anxiety and anger are “energy eaters.” (Childre, Doc and Howard Martin. The HeartMath Solution. CA: Harper SF, 1999, pp 18-20, 91)

Refer to Energy and the Brain for additional information.

Changing internal negative programs results in changed external behavior. Provides 9 steps for an affirmation exercise. (Schaeffer, Brenda. Is It Love Or Is It Addiction? CA: Harper & Row, 1987, pp 140-142)

Those who say the glass is half empty are dealing with a mental abstraction of emptiness and lack. The optimist is describing a measure of physical reality, a substance that is actually in the glass. (Zander, Rosamund Stone, and Benjamin Zander. The Art of Possibility: Transforming Professional and Personal Life. NY: Penguin (Non-Classics), 2002)

Studies have shown the importance of the company people keep. People who are surrounded by many happy people are more likely to be happy in the future than those who are surrounded by unhappy people. (Dotinga, Randy. Being Happy Affects Even Those You Don’t Know. US News & World Report. 2008, article)

Refer to Emotions and Feelings and to Relationships and the Brain for additional information.

Harvard Medical School study: While an individual becoming happy increases his/her friend’s chances, a friend of that friend experiences a nearly 10 percent chance of increased happiness, and a friend of “that” friend has a 5.6 percent increased chance—a three-degree cascade. (Cameron, David. Happiness is a collective - not just individual – phenomenon. News Release, 2008, article)

Begin with the body and good nutrition; explore visualizations, meditation, and affirmations for the mind; practice forgiveness, unconditional love, prayer/meditation, and connection with your Higher Power for the spirit. (Hay, Louise L. You Can Heal Your Life. CA: Hay House, Inc., 1984, pp 88-89)

Hope is a special type of positive expectation. It is a coping strategy that focuses and concentrates on positive aspects. (Hafen, Brent Q., et al. Mind/Body Health. MA: Simon & Schuster, 1996, pp 444-446)

A person’s own beliefs (positive or negative) can improve health or produce actual symptoms of illness. Study: 64% of patients improved within 14 days when given good news compared to 39% improvement in patients who received negative news. (Benson, Herbert, MD, with Marge Stark. Timeless Healing. NY: Scribner, 1996, pp 22-45)

Positive imagery can reinforce positive thought patterns and make them more effective (e.g., cancer patients envision white blood cells destroying tumor cells). (Padus, Emrika, et al. The Complete Guide to Your Emotions & Your Health. PA: Rodale Press, 1992, pp 392-393)

Two types of mental imagery: preverbal (acts upon one’s own physical being to change its physiological activity); transpersonal (the consciousness of one person can affect the physiological activity of another). (Dossey, Larry. MD. Healing Words. NY: HarperPaperbacks, 1993, pp 65-69)

Imagination is the ability to consciously create a picture in your mind, repeat it, and have things turn out as imagined. It is important for positive thinking. (Siebert, Al, PhD. The Survivor Personality. NY: A Perigee Book, 1996, pp 68-70)

Johns Hopkins study: Events that happen during heightened states of emotion such as fear, anger and joy are far more memorable than less dramatic occurrences. During emotional peaks, the hormone norepinephrine dramatically sensitizes synapses (the site where nerve cells make an electro-chemical connection) to enhance the sculpting of a memory. (Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. Why Emotionally Charged Events Are So Memorable. ScienceDaily. Oct 2007, article)

Refer to Laughter and the Brain for additional information.

The universe recognizes, records, and rewards generosity—whatever you give (e.g., time, money, work, material) will eventually come back to you. (O’Brien, Mary, MD. Successful Aging. CA: Biomed General. 2007, pp 118-120)

The use of affirmations can, over time, become equally powerful compared to negative statements that were typically used in the past. (Sobel, David S., and Robert Ornstein, MD. The Healthy Mind, Healthy Body Handbook. NY: Patient Education Media, Inc., 1996, p 47)

Refer to Learning and the Brain for additional information.

In a state of deep love or appreciation the brain synchronizes or entrains (comes into harmony) with the heart’ harmonious rhythms, creating a sense of well-being and heightened intuitive clarity. (Childre, Doc and Howard Martin. The HeartMath Solution. CA: Harper SF, 1999, pp 38-39)

Describes how to do positive humor meditation for 5-10 minutes each day, and Aikido (how to deflect verbal aggressors with the use of humor) based on a form of Japanese self-defense. (Padus, Emrika, et al. The Complete Guide to Your Emotions & Your Health. PA: Rodale Press, 1992, p 548)

Body energy is closely connected with one’s mental images. What you think, you become. Create and concentrate on positive images and old ones will fade and lose power. (Schaeffer, Brenda. Is It Love Or Is It Addiction? CA: Harper & Row, 1987, pp 138-140)

PET scans have shown the benefits of mental rehearsal: imagining complex/skillful movement can help improve performance. People eventually become the products of the mental images they entertain. (Restak, Richard, MD. Mozart’s Brain and the Fighter Pilot. NY: Harmony Books, 2001, pp 50-52)

Study: PET Scans showed same brain area activation when participants actually handled a grid or simply envisioned it from memory. (Benson, Herbert, MD, with Marge Stark. Timeless Healing. NY: Scribner, 1996, pp 78-80)

There are two general mindsets and the way in which you lead your life is profoundly impacted by the mindset you adopt for yourself: A fixed mindset (a belief that your qualities are set in stone creates an urgency to prove yourself over and over); A growth mindset (a belief that your basic qualities are things you can cultivate through your efforts. It’s not that anyone can become anything but that one’s individual potential is unknowable and that it is impossible to foresee what can be accomplished with years of passion, toil, and training). The fixed mindset makes you concerned with how you’ll be judged; the growth mindset makes you concerned with improving. You can change your mindset. (Dweck, Carol S., PhD. Mindset. Mindset. p 6-13. NY: Ballantine Books, 2006.)

The fastest way to get positive results is to look at yourself in the mirror and verbally affirm yourself. (Hay, Louise L. You Can Heal Your Life. CA: Hay House, Inc., 1984, pp 50-52, 60-62)

Behavioral Kinesiology (the study of muscles and their movements in the presence of positive or negative emotional, intellectual, and physical stimuli). Say “I hate you” and muscles will test weak. Smile, and they will test strong. (Hawkins, David R., MD, PhD. Power versus Force. CA: Hay House, Inc., 1995, 2002, pp 2-4)

Love, friendship, passion, and romance cannot survive in a negative environment. (O’Brien, Mary, MD. Successful Aging. CA: Biomed General. 2007, p 95)

When a person thinks a negative thought (even if he/she thinks it is a secret), that negative thought strengthens negativity in the outside world. (Pearce, Joseph Chilton. The Biology of Transcendence. VT: Park Street Press, 2002, pp 79-81)

Negative thinking and pessimism affect the body just as stress does. Pessimism triggers a fall in catecholamines, which triggers endorphins, which suppresses immune system function. (Hafen, Brent Q., et al. Mind/Body Health. MA: Simon & Schuster, 1996, pp 502-504)

A negative thought is as dangerous as a physical germ. It can harm health, disrupt personal relationships, and contribute to failure. (Fox, Arnold, MD, and Barry Fox, PhD. Wake Up! You’re Alive! FL: Health Communications, 1988. pp 16-17)

Negativity can be counteracted by using affirmations and visualizations. These strategies can actually rewire the way in which the brain works. (Benson, Herbert, MD, with Marge Stark. Timeless Healing. NY: Scribner, 1996, pp 275-277)

Pessimists tend to turn the proverbial mole hill into a mountain (e.g., catastrophize). Or they worry about situations over which they have no control. (Greenwood-Robinson, Maggie, PhD. 20/20 Thinking. NY: Avery, Putnam Special Markets, 2003, p 99)

Studies: Negative feelings (e.g., disgust, hostility, contempt) can be lethal and can contribute to heart attacks. (Ornstein, Robert, PhD, and David Sobel, MD. Health Pleasures. NY: Addison-Wesley, 1989, pp 28-30)

The conscious mind may be sabotaged by the more powerful subconscious mind (self-destructive behaviors) as a direct result of early negative childhood programming. The more “you can’t messages you got as a child,” the more “you can’t” experiences you may be having in adulthood. (Lipton, Bruce, PhD, and Robert M. Williams, MA. "Mind or Genes: What Controls Your LIfe?")

If you want to know what your thoughts were like in the past, look at your body today. If you want to know what your body will be like in the future, look at your thoughts today. Neuroplasticity is better than mind over matter. It’s mind turning into matter as your thoughts create new neural growth. (Tanzi, Rudolph E., PhD, and Deepak Chopra, MD. Super Brain. p 22-23. NY: Random House Inc., 2012)

Women generally aren’t taught how to love, nurture, and take care of themselves. (Shaevitz, Marjorie Hansen. The Confident Woman. NY: Harmony Books, 1999, pp 34-35)

Reports on studies: an optimistic attitude can actually help to prevent you from getting sick. (Hafen, Brent Q., et al. Mind/Body Health. MA: Simon & Schuster, 1996, 510-512)

Those who say the glass is half empty are dealing with a mental abstraction of emptiness and lack. The optimist is describing a measure of physical reality, a substance that is actually in the glass. (Zander, Rosamund Stone and Benjamin Zander. The Art of Possibility. MA: Harvard Business School Press, 2000, pp 109-110)

Making praise a consistent and predictable part of your management style can stimulate excellent performances from your employees. (Buckingham, Marcus. The One Thing You Need to Know. NY: Free Press, 2005. pp 78.80)

Placebos work by changing belief into biochemical changes in the body. Positive thoughts such as “I am getting better” are turned into a physical reality. (Fox, Arnold, MD, and Barry Fox, PhD. Wake Up! You’re Alive! FL: Health Communications, 1988, pp 30-32)

Up to 70% of the effects of a medication or treatment is believed result because of the person’s own belief (known as the placebo effect). Also see Remembered Wellness. (Pert, Candace, PhD. Your Body is Your Subconscious Mind (audiocassettes). CO: Sounds True, 2000)

Every positive thought encourages happiness, health, loving relationships, and success in all aspects of life. (Fox, Arnold, MD, and Barry Fox, PhD. Wake Up! You’re Alive! FL: Health Communications, 1988, pp 16-17)

We can shift our brain’s activity from the right to the left prefrontal cortex by adopting a positive attitude. (Restak, Richard, MD. The New Brain. PA: Rodale, 2003, pp 118-119)

To process a negative instruction (e.g., don’t fall down), the child must access some representation of “falling down.” That internal representation, especially if it is kinesthetic, will usually result in the behavior you are trying to prevent. A positive instruction (e.g., be careful, move slowly) will access a representation that will help the child cope with the situation. (Bandler, Richard, and John Grinder. Frogs into Princes. p 64-65. UT: Real People Press. 1979.)

To change patterns of negative thinking, change your brain chemistry by recalling pleasant memories. The brain takes on the same chemical patterns inputted when the event occurred. (Amen, Daniel G., MD. Change Your Brain Change Your Life. NY: Times Books, 1998, pp 76-78)

You can set events in motion that enhance health and happiness by acting, feeling, believing, and saying that you are healthy and happy. Belief is a self-fulfilling prophecy. (Fox, Arnold, MD, and Barry Fox, PhD. Wake Up! You’re Alive! FL: Health Communications, 1988, pp 68-70)

People need to pray and believe and affirm they have received what they prayed for (e.g., thanking one’s Higher Power for health affirms the presence of good health). (Fox, Arnold, MD, and Barry Fox, PhD. Wake Up! You’re Alive! FL: Health Communications, 1988, pp 61-63)

Refer to Spirituality and the Brain for additional information.

Always craft your affirmations in the present tense. If you use future tense, this will register in your subconscious and your goal will always stay just out of reach. (Hay, Louise L. You Can Heal Your Life. CA: Hay House, Inc., 1984, pp 82-84)

Mental states are particularly susceptible to affirmation. Affirmation is the mind’s programming language. The subconscious is highly receptive to simple, positive statements. (Stine, Jean Marie. Double Your Brain Power. NJ: Prentice Hall, 1997, p 50)

Saying information aloud helps to transfer the material into long-term memory. (Greenwood-Robinson, Maggie, PhD. 20/20 Thinking. NY: Avery, Putnam Special Markets, 2003, p 126)

Reframing means looking at situations in a new way, finding the silver lining. (Greenwood-Robinson, Maggie, PhD. 20/20 Thinking. NY: Avery, Putnam Special Markets, 2003, p 99)

Refer to Relationships and the Brain for additional information.

A term coined by Dr. Benson to replace what is often called rather negatively the “placebo effect.” Benson believes it more accurately describes brain functions involved when affirmative messages/beliefs positively impact the brain/body. (Benson, Herbert, MD., with Marg Stark. Timeless Healing. NY: Scribner, 1996, pp 20-22)

Your habitual attitudes form neural circuits in the brain. If you choose to maintain a specific attitude, the brain can literally rewire itself to facilitate that attitude. (Childre, Doc and Howard Martin. The HeartMath Solution. CA: Harper SF, 1999, pp 195-196)

Self-image—your mental blueprint and the foundation upon which your behavior/personality are built—is the key to health and success. It determines what is possible or impossible, what you can or cannot accomplish. It is possible to rewrite your mental blueprint by using affirmations. (Fox, Arnold, MD, and Barry Fox, PhD. Wake Up! You’re Alive! FL: Health Communications, 1988, pp 77-81)

Change your self talk. Say “that was a valuable learning experience” rather than “I made a big mistake.” (Greenwood-Robinson, Maggie, PhD. 20/20 Thinking. NY: Avery, Putnam Special Markets, 2003, pp 98-99)

Refer to Stress and the Brain for additional information.

An affirmation is an instruction to your subconscious that must be acted upon. Repeat them aloud and affirm only the positive. Speak as if what you want to happen has already happened (e.g., “I have...”). (Fox, Arnold, MD, and Barry Fox, PhD. Wake Up! You’re Alive! FL: Health Communications, 1988, pp 44-45)

You can instruct and guide your subconscious simply by talking to it. People can become what they repeatedly tell themselves they are. (O’Brien, Mary, MD. Successful Aging. CA: Biomed General. 2007, pp 27-30)

Once programmed into the subconscious, verbal abuses (e.g., stupid child) become defined as “truths” that unconsciously shape both the behavior and potential of the child throughout life. (Lipton, Bruce, PhD. The Biology of Belief. CA: Mountain of Love/Elite Books, 2005. pp 60-164)

The brain can keep only one thought at a time in the foreground of consciousness. It is important to emphasize uplifting thoughts. (Restak, Richard, MD. Mozart’s Brain and the Fighter Pilot. NY: Harmony Books, 2001, pp 113-114)

Explains that virtual reality (e.g., video games) can confuse thought processing (between what starts in the brain and what is reality in the environment). Can be used positively in treatment (e.g., acrophobia, rehearsal). Reports on the Grid experiment. (Benson, Herbert, MD., with Marg Stark. Timeless Healing. NY: Scribner, 1996, pp 78-80)

Refer to Visualizing and the Brain for additional information.

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