Monday, October 31, 2016

Audio and Video recordings of Positive Affirmations

In my last post, I was discussing a technique of practicing exposure to recordings of upsetting thoughts.

This same idea can be applied to positive thoughts too!

I encourage you to collect ideas, quotations, and encouragements.  Write them down, and then make an audio or video recording, using your own voice.

Choose a time when you are feeling calm and comfortable.  Make your recording a type of message to yourself, a message of support and encouragement.

Your encouragements could be quotations from a cognitive therapy exercise, in which you were reasoning or problem solving in response to negative thoughts.  Or they could be passages from a gratitude journal, in which you express thanks for any positives in your life.  Or they could be things you might say to someone else who has struggled or suffered in the same way that you did.  Or they could simply be simple, kind encouragements directed towards yourself.  For example, you could record something like "You are a beautiful person, full of kindness, love, and potential.  The world needs you. Take care of yourself...whatever hard times you are having now will pass..."   If you make a video, smile at yourself, and gaze at yourself with loving, compassionate eyes.

After you make your recording, it would be something to listen to or watch frequently.

Unlike the exposure therapy exercise, the goal here would not be to face a fear and strengthen yourself against it, but rather the goal would be to practice absorbing and accepting the positive messages.  If you listen to a piece of music frequently, the tune will eventually "play itself" in your mind, and your memory for this music will become more and more effortless.  Similarly, these positive recorded messages could become more naturally integrated into your memory.

I think that hearing your own voice, and seeing your own image, are more powerful influences on your mind and your thinking, compared to only working with your ideas using written text.  Hearing yourself speak is much more like experiencing your own thoughts, compared to reading your own written words.

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