Where negative statements can be accepted as true in our children’s mind, so too can positive statements. We call these Affirmations, and they can be used to counteract and overcome a negative, unhelpful belief, or reaffirm something wanted, bringing about positive thoughts and feelings. They’re positive statements said as if they are already true.
As adults we may feel a bit silly saying them at first, but children are less self-conscious. They’ll find affirmations a fun way to program their minds and to plant and grow positive suggestions in their subconscious. But what’s really great is if they can accept these positive suggestions while young, then there will be less reprogramming to be done as they get older.
To encourage this habit, they need to think of a positive statement in the present tense that they can relate to. The language needs to be simple, using words they would use in everyday speech and that’s appropriate for their understanding. If too complex, they’ll be less likely to understand or take the statements on board. It’s better they choose their own affirmations they feel comfortable with saying, these can be written if the child is old enough, to compliment and reinforce the verbal affirmation but are best said aloud repeatedly. They need to be short, simple, positive, uplifting, motivating, and believable. Such as; ‘I am now learning more and more every day.’ Repetition is key to affirmations and the more they practise using positive affirmations, the easier they get and the better they start to feel about themselves and their capabilities.
This probably won’t surprise you to know, but while children are speaking and thinking positively about themselves, it’s impossible for them to think negatively, and then fear, worry, anxiety, anger, and frustration disappear. This is useful if they are struggling in some area, such as learning how to read, instead of listening to their self-defeating mental chatter, they can replace it with positive self-talk and could say; ‘I enjoy learning how to read, reading is fun, and I am now finding it easier and easier to read.’
We can clearly understand how this approach is more helpful than what children usually say such as;
‘I can’t read, I hate reading, it’s hard.’ Convincing themselves with their own words that they cannot read, not realising that they are the ones holding themselves back. Children confuse lack of experience and confidence in something, such as reading, as a lack of ability, and believe they do not, cannot, and will never be able to do it. Any mistakes they encounter only reinforce this, knocking their confidence further, we can minimise the risk of this happening by introducing our children to affirmations.
I like the affirmation bowl. Write out some affirmations on some post it notes and mix them up in a bowl and ask your child to pick one each morning and evening before bed. Then notice how their behaviour and language becomes more positive and how their self- esteem and confidence improves.
During the last 9-10 weeks, the focus has been on how families will manage all confined to the home together, mum guilt over working from home and being there but unavailable to our children, home schooling, managing unwanted behaviour and siblings fighting and arguing. Now it seems there’s a concern more on returning to work, sending our children back to school and childcare and re adjusting to some sort of normality that we all lived before lock down.
To address these fears and anxieties I’ve put together a brief video on EFT -Emotional Freedom Technique, known as Tapping. I have to admit, even as a hypnotherapist I was initially sceptical that something so simple like tapping on parts of my body, could be an effective tool for transformation and healing body and mind, and overcoming addictions, fears and phobias. But I was wrong!
Since sharing that video on IG TV and Youtube, I’ve had a few messages asking some good questions, so I’ve written this blog to address those and explain in more detail about what EFT is and how to do it.
How to do it?
Basically, take two fingers your index and middle finger on the hand you use most, I’m right-handed so I’d use my right-hand fingers, then on the opposite hand (my left) tap the fleshy side of your hand where you’d do a karate chop. You don’t want to hurt yourself; you’re not actually fighting you but apply enough pressure so you can feel it. That vibration should shoot some energy down that point, while saying three times this sentence’ –
‘Although I have this fear (or you can say anxiety), I am willing to love, approve and accept of myself anyway.’
Say this out loud, you may feel a little self-conscious, silly or cynical even to begin with but that’s that voice, your ego, trying to stop you, trying to maintain the norm. Don’t listen to that resistance within you telling you you’re fine as you are, you wouldn’t be reading this blog in the first place if that was true or this was stupid.
How bad do you want to relieve your anxiety?
There’s nine tapping points we are going to tap on, you can watch the video here, https://youtu.be/zLX8YlfJ4QY to see how it’s done. We start with the sentence and tap on our karate chop. If you don’t believe you’ll relieve your fear or anxiety you could say the following sentence;
‘Although I don’t believe I’ll relieve this fear / anxiety I am willing to love, approve and accept myself anyway’
When you say this sentence tap three times on the karate chop with 4 fingers on this point, see the video on where this is and how to do it. It can be hard for many of us to say we love accept or approve of ourselves, so if you can’t bring yourself to say that either yet say-
‘Although I don’t believe I’ll relieve this fear / anxiety, I am okay.’
Then follow with 2 fingers tapping;
Beginning of the eyebrow ‘I can’t get rid of this fear’
Side of the eye- I just can’t do it
Under the eye on the bone ‘this anxiety’
Under the nose – ‘this fear won’t go away’
Chin- ‘no way is this anxiety going to go’
Collarbone where a tie knot would go- ‘’this fear / this anxiety’
Under the arm in line with the nipples- ‘I’ll never be free of this anxiety’
Top of your head using all your fingers in a claw shape- ‘this fear / anxiety’
What can I use it for?
I’ve found Tapping can work for most things. A couple of weeks ago I had a fit of the hiccups, as you’ll more than likely know getting rid of these annoying little beggars is not easy. In the past I’ve tried everything from being shocked, punched, holding my breath, drinking water but nothing ever worked but this time, I decided to tap saying-
That’s all I said while tapping on the 8 points, 3 times each and instantly like magic, they just stopped!
Despite having seen this tapping work for many of my clients in the past for all sorts of different issues, it even amazes me now how something so seemingly simple and quite absurd, can work so effectively well. But no matter how bizarre, I never question anything that works for anyone!
How does it work?
We are all made up of energy, in fact everything is, even that lifeless looking rock on the ground. When our energy becomes unbalanced or disrupted in some way, we have energy blockages. This was first identified by Dr Callahan in 1980 and termed TFT- Thought Field Therapy and later in the 1990s Gary Craig continued Callahan’s work and founded EFT Emotional Freedom Technique.
Emotions are not bad; we need them, they are what lets us know we are alive and helps us to understand how we are feeling. Through tapping we can reconnect to our emotions and restore balance. Usually we adopt habits such as eating or drinking alcohol which is how many of us, I know, have coped with being in lock down. These habits or addictions try to numb and supress those emotions or stress that we find uncomfortable. Tapping brings them to the surface helping to reconnect our mind and body in a healthy way. It brings us present to the problem, this is important and the reason why we will use a negative statement to address the problem, while tapping on certain parts of our body.
COMMON Q & A
Should I just be saying my anxiety or can I say something positive when tapping?’
I said ‘This anxiety’ in my video and in this blog to keep it simple but I usually ask clients to say-
‘This anxiety won’t go or I’ll never get rid of this anxiety’ And variations on the issue, so for weight loss I’d ask them to say-
‘I’ll never reach my dream weight’ ‘I just can’t stop eating crisps’ or whatever cravings they have, etc….
We don’t say positive statements or affirmations as we would in hypnotherapy because we are working on the issue, of approving and accepting ourselves despite our issues. And the subconscious part of our minds can’t reject this, as we are telling the truth, so if you feel anxious and you say – ‘I’m feeling great’ the anxiety will be heightened by your mind telling you that’s not true and so you feel like the tapping doesn’t work. The tapping unblocks the energy that has been caused by the issue, so tapping to unblock the positive doesn’t make sense, that’s why we tap on a negative statement.
Measure your anxiety levels before & after tapping.
I recommend you write down on a scale of 1-10 your level of anxiety before you do the tapping exercise – 10 unbearable -1 feeling no anxiety.
Then do a round of tapping and then rate you level each time. You do initially invoke your anxiety because that’s what you are bringing to the surface. In our everyday lives we try to ignore it, so it manifests in different ways, in EFT we are acknowledging we have it and trying to work through it. 😊
The Enemy Within.
Sometimes we can be our own worst enemy, this is the block we are working on and the block that’s causing your fear or anxiety.
We spend so much of our time and energy disapproving of ourselves and speaking unlovingly towards ourselves, never accepting who we are fully. But if we want to change, we have to do the opposite of what we’ve been doing if that hasn’t been working for us, and if that means trying something new, then so be it!
When we tackle our self-doubt head on with juxtapositions that mix the negative statement with the positive, our sub conscious is not on the alert. We get to sneak in the back door. This way we aren’t lying to ourselves or putting pressure on ourselves.
I’d love to hear how you get on with EFT, so please do get in touch or if you are interested in booking a 1 on 1 Mumatherapy Coaching or Hypnotherapy session with me after lock down, you can email me firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet me on Twitter anytime.
Then you can get a- FREE 35-minute hypnotherapy anxiety relief down load, simply by signing up to our Happy Childcare Newsletter now (you’ll get invited to do so each time you visit our site and we’d love to have you in our club!)
Cancer doesn’t care if you are a mum, dad, sister, brother, daughter, son, husband or wife?
A nice person or a bad person?
It doesn’t discriminate,
so it can feel like there’s nothing we can do to prevent it destroying lives.
Since losing my Nan who raised me to cancer in 2001 and then my Brother to Cancer in 2015 and various close family members having cancer at around the same time, it’s a subject I wanted to learn more about.
In essence I
want to understand it.
education is key.
is better than cure.
proactive is better than living in fear.
I myself have had pre-cancerous cells and numerous large polyps removed surgically and have undergone genetic testing.
As part of the genetic testing process, I had to go through what they call a family tree with a consultant at the hospital. This family tree showed all the other members in my close family, highlighting those who have had cancer, and which type of cancer. The Doctor had accessed my Mothers’ medical records (with her written permission) in order to do this. I can’t tell you my shock when it was revealed to me that in 2004, while I was giving birth to my first child, my Mum had been diagnosed with bladder cancer and years before she had also had cervical cancer! How I didn’t know, I don’t know????
Had I not undergone this testing process, I probably would never have found out?
Genetic testing can impact you in ways you never expected and can uncover things you may or may not want to find out?
I’m lucky, I found out that my brothers’ cancer was not genetical. I could temporarily take a sigh of relief on hearing that news…. Then I realised as over ninety percent of cancers are due to environmental factors and not genetical, I now had more control and responsibility over whether I increased or decreased my chances of getting it.
I don’t know which thought is scarier, having no control or having an element of control and responsibility?
All I knew was it was time to understand the disease from a molecular perspective, so I studied advanced cancer biology.
I was being proactive.
I don’t have cancer, so I have the time and inclination to do this, but what about someone going through this experience?
Chances are they won’t have either of those
Time as a
cancer patient is taken up on consultations, treatment appointments and worry.
patients full of unanswered questions, that they haven’t thought to ask or may
not have felt appropriate to ask a doctor?
It can feel
like you’re given a diagnosis and then you are left to discover what that
But one of the best books I’ve read, written on the subject of cancer since Rebecca Skloots ‘The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, is Alison Porters book ‘STRONGER than Before Take Charge of your Healing to Survive and Thrive with Breast Cancer.
Alison’s book is a practical yet loving guide book that offers a proactive, informative approach to managing breast cancer. That places the person at the centre, not the illness. Showing there is freedom to make informed choices, suited to each individual. Early detection of cancer is vital, but as Alison points out, weighing up all the options and taking some breathing space before deciding on treatment is a must.
Her book focuses on being unique and individual in your approach to your illness and its treatment. This is important because there are different types of breast cancer and every person is different in how and why they are affected and their treatment?
Genetic testing can help doctors to provide a more personalised treatment for a specific sub type and its cause. So, knowing all the options is vital.
Conversations with Family and Friends supporting a Loved one through Breast Cancer
I wish I had read the part on ‘Conversations with Family and Friends supporting a Loved one through Breast Cancer’ while my Brother and also my Friend, were going through their journey’s with cancer.
Alison’s advice in this section of the book applies to all people going through any type of cancer, or even any type of serious illness for that matter. It helps you to see things from the other persons point of view and offers some great suggestions on what to do and say?
I feel that’s so important for friends and loved
ones to have an insight into, as it’s really hard to know what to say?
You know the person living with cancer that you care about is having an awful time in their lives. Yet, you think you are doing them a favour by acting normal?
And sometimes you are.
But I’m sure there are times when all they want is to let out how they are feeling with those closest to them and this can be so hard to do when they’re worrying about other people’s feelings too. I know when I found out about my friend’s diagnosis, the first thing I did was book us afternoon tea and prosecco in a nice hotel, to help take her mind off things.
Looking back, I can see how me going on about staying positive and offering books and meditations to my Brother, may not have always been what he needed at that time. I mean, given only months to live, I can now see how impossible staying positive would have been for him. But Pre-cancer diagnoses that is what we always did for one another. We boosted each other up with positivity and we always searched for that silver lining.
I guess old
habits were hard to break?
On reflection, I wonder if there were times when he just wanted to let it all out and release how he felt?
Although he was always so strong, proud and private, I think this would have been hard for him to do. Especially as he was my big brother who always tried to fix things and look after me.
Listen & Trust
The exercises, meditations and suggestions on self -care and love, scattered throughout Alison’s book, help you to stay more present. Enabling you to listen to yourself and your body, while learning to trust what you feel and hear. All these combined seem to hold your hand and guide you down an uncertain road, laced with fear and anxiety. Helping to shed light and love on a dark journey, to discovering who you really are and what you really want from life?
She encourages you to see your illness as a transformational journey.
And this is exactly what my friend Selena did. Selena was diagnosed with HER2 positive stage 2, grade 4, breast cancer on December the 6th 2016. When I asked her recently what she had learnt from her experience with cancer this is what she said;
‘Overcoming breast cancer has shown me to appreciate all the little things we take for granted in our life. I have grown more confident and stronger through my experience. I live for today. Embrace everyday as life is a gift…it is precious!’
Freedom to Change
As Alison also discovered herself, you will change, but those changes can be for the better?
Although honestly admitting that even after recovery the fear never goes away. But feeling that fear and carrying on with life on purpose, will help to set you free on a path you may never have dreamed of pre-cancer. Knowing there will come a time when you can free yourself from identifying with cancer and move forward. Showing it’s never too late to start over and reclaim your life by changing your mindset, and positively supporting your body to return to balance.
‘What have you learnt from your dance with breast cancer?’ And that lesson or insight, I believe, is the key takeaway from her book.