self-love meditation

The science of self-love: Using affirmations to rewire your mind

There’s a statement I now live by. 

It’s from my favorite poet, INQ.

“You’ll always find the evidence for what you choose to believe.” 

For many years, I chose to believe negative things about myself. This mindset blocked me in my romantic relationships, career, and mental health. 

On the surface, I thought, “Of course, I want to expand and experience more goodness in my life.” But deep down, I was afraid of stepping out of my comfort zone—to be creative, vulnerable, or risk stepping into the unknown.

Understanding the subconscious mind's fear

The subconscious mind prioritizes staying safe and alive. So when we’re blocked in an area of our life, it's often because we subconsciously feel safer that way. 

But when we’re ready to change our current circumstances, stepping into the unknown requires taking a risk. And to the subconscious mind, that vulnerability feels threatening and could result in pain. As a result, we often avoid taking risks, which can significantly harm our mental health.

Instead of taking a leap of faith to see what could happen, we might unconsciously decide to stay blocked in our safe (yet miserable) zone. This fear of the unknown develops into negative self-talk and limiting beliefs designed to rule our decisions to avoid unfamiliar territory. For the subconscious mind, being “safe” and alive in our comfort zone is what matters most, even if it doesn’t make sense to our logical, conscious mind. 

Recognizing and questioning negative self-talk

Often, our fears about taking risks come from our childhood role models, like our parents, teachers, or risk-averse friends. Sadly, those fears transform into sabotaging, negative self-talk. We start telling ourselves, “You’re dumb, disappointing, embarrassing, ugly, always going to be alone, and a loser.” 

The saddest part is that we often choose to believe these thoughts as truth. 

In meditation, however, we can learn how to observe our thoughts passing by—instead of being completely absorbed and identified with them. Once we’re in the observer's seat, we can reflect on how these thoughts are not necessarily true but merely opinions. Before, when we were identified with our thoughts, we’d automatically take everything as factual. But by questioning our thoughts and beliefs, we recognize that much of our self-talk is neither true nor kind.

Transforming self-talk with 10 self-love affirmations

Once we address the root cause of fears, we can work on replacing them with healthier thoughts. However, saying nice things about ourselves is notoriously difficult. So, to start, ask yourself this during your next meditation: “What do I choose to believe?” Then, repeat a positive affirmation statement to yourself, either out loud or silently. 

At first, it might feel a little silly. But over time, see what it reveals and how it can help you feel safer and more hopeful.

Here are some positive affirmations to help you get started: 

  1. I have the power to accomplish my dreams. 
  2. I make a difference. 
  3. I am enough.
  4. I have real talent. 
  5. I am capable and thriving. 
  6. I am deserving.
  7. I have come a long way. 
  8. I am supported. 
  9. I'm always improving, even in moments I don’t realize it. 
  10. I’m making progress, and I don’t have to be perfect.

Affirmations are great during and after meditation because your mind is relaxed and ready to learn new concepts. Repeating these affirmations consistently will help you reap the benefits because the neurons that fire together wire together. So the more frequently you fire neurons through repetition—whether in your thinking, speaking, or behavior—the more permanent that new brain wiring becomes. 

Embrace self-love and change your story

If affirmations feel too far-fetched, work your way up to them in small steps. 

For example, if you’ve been telling yourself, “I’m a screw-up, and my life is falling apart,” but you’d like to start believing, “I am capable and thriving,” it might be too big of a stretch for your subconscious mind to agree with that statement outright. So start here: “It’s possible I’m going to be okay.” Then, when you start believing it, repeat: “I can be okay and capable.” With more time, you’ll get to: “I am okay and capable.” Finally, set the bar higher for yourself: "I am capable and thriving.” 

Not only is this a powerful practice in self-love, but it will change your reality because you’re retraining your mind to see your worth and potential. With consistent effort and patience, you can transform negative self-talk into a source of self-love and positivity. And if you’d like even more support, using a guided meditation app like the Balance app for self-love meditation is the perfect addition to your daily self-love routine. You can get your entire first year of Balance for free when you download it now

Remember, you have the power to change your story. Choose to believe in yourself, and you'll find the evidence to support your growth and happiness.

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