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Heather's Health Habits, LLC

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  • Heather L. Donahue, CHN

The Truth About Affirmations And Self-Care

Self-care is a very important aspect of living a healthy life. The saying is true: If you don't take care of yourself, you can't take care of others. One aspect of self-care is creating affirmations that you can either view every day or say to yourself every day. Affirmations work to reduce stress in our lives.

Stress is a major contributor of illness and disease. Stress is such a prevalent part of lives that there is actually an American Institute of Stress. In 2017, the American Institute of Stress noted the following as the most common cause of stress:


✨Future of our nation 63%

✨Money 62%

✨Work 61%

✨Political Climate 57%

✨Violence / Crime 51%


While the above are the most common, clearly there are other sources of stress such as taking care of children, elderly parents and loved ones. Left uncontrolled, stress affects our health, such as our digestive and immune systems.


Stress negatively affects our digestive system in many ways. It can cause a decrease in blood and oxygen flow to the stomach, cramping, an imbalance in gut bacteria and inflammation.  These symptoms can further develop into gastro intestinal (GI) disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), irritable bowel disease (IBD), peptic ulcers or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). (Source: Jamaica Hospital) Since 70% of our immune system is located in our gut, when we have a weakened digestive system, our immune system suffers.

How do you know if your digestive system is being affected by stress? If you suffer from gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, fatigue, lack of energy, moodiness, skin rashes, abdominal pain, anxiety, frequent belching or stomach gurgling, your gut health is at risk! You can heal your gut and overcome these embarrassing symptoms with a ritual of self-care.


How would eliminating your symptoms improve your life? You could:


✅Be more present with your children

✅Thrive in your career

✅Improve your communication and your relationships

✅Have more fun!

✅Move your body and improve your fitness

✅Lose weight and feel better about yourself

✅Be able to cook healthy meals for you and your family

✅Take an active vacation

✅Reclaim your life!


Not sure where to start? I am here to help!


I am a Certified Holistic Nutritionist teaching people just like you how to stop suffering from the embarrassing effects of an unhealthy gut so you can get back to living. The TAKE YOUR LIFE BACK coaching call is a FREE 30 minute call where we will talk about your specific symptoms and start creating a plan on how to heal your gut using the Simply Great Gut Health program.


Simply Great Gut Health is a customized 5 Step plan that heals your gut and fits your busy lifestyle. Self-care is just one of the 5 steps you can take to heal the gut.


Book your call directly here.

It’s very simple. No jumping through hoops and NO PRESSURE.

If we determine it’s not a fit, we’ll go our separate ways for now.

If it is a fit, we can take the next step and get you started on the path to healing your gut.


You can also join our email list by clicking here. You'll receive healthy living tips and gut friendly recipes for free. As a thank you for signing up, I'll send you the 5 Tips To Fight Bloating e-book for free.


Now that you know stress could be one of the root causes of your digestive health issues, reducing it needs to be a top priority. This is where affirmations can help. What is an affirmation and how do we create them? By definition, an affirmation is:

...the assertion that something is true.... (Source: Dictionary.com)

Affirmations are positive statements that can help you to challenge and overcome self-sabotaging and negative thoughts. When you repeat them often, and believe in them, you can start to make positive changes. Self-affirmation mitigated the effects of stress. In one study, a short affirmation exercise boosted the problem-solving abilities of "chronically stressed" subjects to the same level as those with low stress. (Source: Mind Tools)

Once you are in the habit of creating affirmations, don't be surprised if they need to be changed over time. Just as we grow and change as we age, have different experiences or learn something new, affirmations will change. The power of the affirmation is the statement, word or phrase that you create tells and supports your efforts to achieve the affirmation.


How to get started creating affirmations as part of your self-care ritual?


Here are three tips:


FOCUS ON YOU


Think about your current situation, personally or professionally. What stresses you out? What negative thoughts do you have about your situation? How is this stress hurting your self-care? You may be balancing work, family, finances and trying to improve your health. What one area do you feel is the most stressful and that you need to change? Pick that situation to focus on when creating an affirmation. The affirmation needs to be specific to YOU and your situation. No one else.

USE POSITIVE WORDS


Positive words and emotionally charged words make the affirmation real. Start the affirmation with "I am...". Often it is hard for us to use positive words when we are thinking about creating an affirmation for ourselves. A trick is to take a negative statement you normally use about yourself and turn it into a positive statement.

For example, I often catch myself thinking, "I wish my hips were smaller" or "I wish my stomach was flatter". Instead, I change the negative thoughts into a positive affirmation: "I workout 5 days a week, as a result my hips are small and my stomach is flat."


START WITH ONE AFFIRMATION


When starting a lifestyle change, it is easy to go a little overboard. We all know how that goes if we try to do too much in a very short period of time. We set up unrealistic expectations and when we don't meet those expectations, we feel like a failure. It takes 21 days to create a new habit, good or bad.


Starting with one affirmation that is easy to remember will ensure a successful lifestyle change. Write it down on a small piece of paper to remind yourself, make it a screen saver on your computer or save it as a note in your phone. That way you can look at it whenever you want! When one affirmation becomes part of our routine, feel free to create another one.

If you are still struggling to write an affirmation for yourself, here are a few of my favorites from DoYouYoga.com:





I hope this post inspired you to create affirmations to reduce stress in your life. Reducing stress has significant health benefits for our bodies, including our digestive and immune systems.


Do you think you will create an affirmation? Let me know by leaving a comment below.

#selfcare #wellness #mindfulness #lifestyle #mindset #healthymind #healthyliving #guthealth #gut #digestivehealth