The Power of Words: I AM RESILIENT.
The power of words is profound. I remember walking into a restaurant called Cafe Gratitude in LA. The menu was filled with “I am” statements including “I am grateful” and “I am nourished”. One can’t help but feel a sense of inner strength when leaving. Being the keen gratitude journaling person that I grew to be, I had experienced this ease before after extensive practice. I feel a sense of awe reflecting on how powerful reading and being present with affirming words can be.
When we become aware of the importance of the words we say to ourselves, we can intentionally cultivate inner strength and resilience.
I remember walking to the hospital to work night shifts as a student and feeling nervous and sad about all of the patients I was caring for with terminal illness and acute cancer treatment reactions. I would tell myself “I am making a positive impact in a caring way” and “I am confident in what I know”. Repeating affirming statements helped me to show up and ease my feelings of uncertainty. I am convinced that if it weren’t for this affirming self talk, I would not have been able to cope with the life/ death situations that I was facing every day as someone new to a profession in healthcare.
Now, I use words in my daily life when things get stressful. I also use positive affirmations on other people, which is essential in a self-critical culture.
Words as Mantras
The word mantra is derived from two sanskrit words, manas (mind) and tra (tool), meaning a tool for the mind. With each repetition, the mantra sinks deeper into the consciousness. Mantras are often in sanskrit and the sound creates a profound vibration to unlock certain benefits in the body and mind.
While in India, I had the honour of learning mantra before meals, at temples, and while studying Ayurvedic concepts. I learned that there are specific mantras for things like health and prosperity. Listening to the beautiful mantras chanted by my Indian sister, Ganga, in Coimbatore India is still one of my favourite memories. To this day, we have adopted chanting the Dhanvantri Mantra for health before consuming main meals.
I learned from my teacher and doctor that mantras are most powerful when said in our head.
This makes it easy to practice throughout the day.
All of the words we say to ourselves have a lasting impact in the mind.
The goal of positive affirmations is not to promote narcissism, but instead to promote neuro-resilience and healthy self-esteem so that people can contribute to the world in a positive way without being blocked by negativity, stress, and self-criticism that is all too common in today’s modern culture.
When we think a thought, the thought creates a path in our brain which is strengthened with each time it is thought. That pathway can become a default and due to the negativity bias we have, we are more likely to think the negative thoughts because historically, they protected us. Today, we do not need most of the life-threatening hypervigilance that our brain is ready for, and instead, we can tap in to more love and creativity if we step out of the fight/ flight response that is not contributing to our lives in a positive way.
Positive affirmations can be practiced over time, which strengthens our self esteem.
When we have more self esteem, we treat ourselves better, and in turn, make better decisions, making us healthier.
When we are healthy, we can contribute to the world and others in a positive way.
The science of positive psychology also outlines the effects of optimism and wellbeing. Optimism has been correlated with a multitude of positive health benefits including the prevention of many chronic diseases.
Rick Hanson, a highly respected psychologist and author states that the primary way to grow resilience is to have experiences in it in order to hardwire it into our own nervous system.
Remember, you are NOT being selfish by taking care of yourself.
You deserve it.
I AM RESILIENT.
Just reading the title of the I AM RESILIENT journal while carrying it with you will give you a positive affirmation. This may be one of the healthiest books to have around. Write #IAMRESILIENT in your social media, or alternatively, purchase one of the stickers in the online shop. Even the days you do not fill your journal, you will benefit from saying the “I AM RESILIENT” statement in your head. Repeat it as many times as you like. See if you notice a difference.
If you find this practice valuable, share it with someone who may benefit.
Mantras to practice
Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu- May all beings everywhere be happy and free.
Om Gam Ganapati Namaha- We call in Ganesha, the remover of obstacles.
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti- Om Peace Peace Peace
I am resilient
I am grateful
I am a positive and important force in this world
I am safe
I am nourished
May you be well. May you be well. May you be well.