Don’t call it a fortune cookie.
Call it a plan.
I was talking to one of my favorite friends last month about A Healing Spirit affirmations.
“I use affirmations all the time– I keep them nearby so I can meditate on one day,” she said. “But sometimes, they piss me off!”
I asked what she meant and she pointed to this affirmation (left) from my deck of Healing Affirmations:
“This condition isn’t going to ever be anything but chronic,” she said. “I don’t believe fortunate cookies!”
“It’s not a fortune cookie,” I told her. “It’s not a prediction at all. It’s a PLAN.” And an attitude adjustment. It’s connecting to the possibility of good happening.
So here’s how affirmations work: they’re meant to program your mind to believe what it says. In this case, the concept of perfect health. The mind can believe anything–think about people who enjoy horror movies. They know the story is fake, but they’re still scared. That’s the mind, believing it’s real.
Can an affirmation manifest perfect health for someone? I don’t know the answer to that. Researchers are only now looking at these kinds of ideas, concepts that used to be considered ridiculous, but are now not so silly at all.
I just know that recent brain imaging studies show that something does go on in the brain during affirmations. So there’s neural evidence that affirmations do make changes in the brain. And we don’t know what we don’t know–which is to say that the number of studies to date have been very limited–too limited to draw any conclusion. I believe that we may well discover that reprogramming the brain does have an impact on health outcomes.
In the meantime, having a more optimistic and positive attitude about illness has repeatedly shown to have positive impact on surgical and cardiac patients. So to the extent that affirmations help redirect our attitudes about our health, they may well be helpful and we can be pretty sure that they don’t hurt. So for that reason alone, I believe affirmations should be a part of treatment for every serious disease.
I see two options: wallow in the bad or live in possibility. I know what my choice is.
I hope you’ll take a look at all of our supportive products and services for people who are working hard to recover from any big disease. Or a small one that won’t go away.