The Power of Suggestion

The Power of Suggestion

Part Two  . . .

Self-Care for People Who Care

Each of these posts (yesterday, today, and tomorrow) work together. You need the relaxation techniques from yesterday to complete today’s techniques, and you’ll need today’s techniques in the front of your mind for tomorrow’s grand finale!

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Suggestions and the Worry Box

We begin by thinking about this, “You are drawn to what you suggest to yourself.”

So if you wake up suggesting that you have a busy day and you don’t know how you will fit it all in and while you are trying to fit it all in you remember just what a horrible day you had yesterday and it’s only Tuesday and how can you make it through the rest of the week and you woke up tired and maybe you have a sore throat, and so on, well then you are welcoming those things to happen to you. It is these things we say to ourselves in the morning that causes us to spill coffee before we leave the house, sit in traffic on our way to work, and drop your keys on the floor four times before actually placing it in the keyhole. Sending us into a self-fulfilling prophecy.

So Jennifer Norris-Nielson (if you don’t know who I’m talking about check her out here, here, or here) taught us the 4 rules to making powerful suggestions to yourself.

Screen Shot 2014-11-18 at 3.41.35 PMSuggestion Rules:

  • Present tense – “I can” “I am” “Thank you”
  • Positive – Our brains aren’t able to process words such as no, not, never. So when we say things like, “Do not hit your friends,” all we are really saying is, “Do hit your friends.” We have to do the same with ourselves. We must only tell ourselves positive, encouraging things to help set ourselves up for success.
  • Simple – something you can repeat to yourself all day long
  • Achievable – something that requires baby steps, we aren’t talking long term goals here

Here are some examples:

“I am confident.” “I am positive and cheerful.” “I can solve problems.” “I can calm myself down.” “I am clam and relaxed.” “Thank you mind for working hard throughout today.”

Best time to give yourself powerful suggestions?

  • Right when you open your eyes! Give your sub-conscious something positive to think about when it is at it’s most wide awake. Someone in our session said she had a yoga instructor that told her to say, “I’m Back!” each morning. If you can’t think of a positive suggestion right away try, “I’m Back!” I thought it would be helpful to place sticky notes on your alarm clock, lamp, mirror, light switch … basically anywhere that would remind you of your day’s suggestion. I rehearse it at night in my head so that it’s the last thing I think about before falling asleep and the first thing I think about when I wake up.
  • Right before bed. Repeat you suggestion over and over again in your head until you think it’s stuck, or until you’ve fallen asleep … whichever comes first. I have another tip before bedtime, too. It’ll come in just a minute.
  • When you are exercising, showering, driving… Anything repetitive or any time you need some positive reinforcements. Repeat, repeat, repeat. It’s almost like you are somehow brainwashing yourself.

Screen Shot 2014-11-18 at 3.43.09 PMJust how do I end my day so that I can wake up thinking about my powerful suggestions?

Jennifer recommended that each night before going to bed that we place our worries/to-do lists/stressors into a box. She instructed us to first begin by using one of favorite relaxation techniques. Next she had us take all of our worries, items on our to-do list, all the things that stress us out, all the things keeping us from resting, she had us take them and place them in a box … any type of box. She had us place a lid on our box. Now all these things were trapped inside. That lid is secure.

Up until this point, I was very familiar with this strategy. In fact, I do it a lot with my 3rd and 4th graders. The next part was the cool part.

Jennifer had us imagine that our box had a very special feature. During the night, our box would process through all the things we placed in it … without us even having to think about it. Our box would weed out the “small” things, fixing them as best it could in our sub-concious, and leaving the “bigger” things behind, but not in a demanding way, in a way that says to us, “Hey, when you get some time, and you have a clear head, and you are repeating powerful suggestions to yourself, come back and visit us, we will wait patiently here for you.”

So each night since Friday night, I put myself to sleep by doing my favorite “hands breathing” relaxation, placing all my worries into a box, and repeating my powerful suggestion to myself as I fall asleep.

Please note that I have the WORST time falling asleep at night. I am notorious for taking every last sleep aid I can to get to sleep as fast as I can before all my worries overcome me. Take my word for it, this visualization is supremely powerful!

Screen Shot 2014-11-18 at 3.46.52 PMHere is my last example: On Sunday morning, after feeling terrible because I had been out of town and didn’t work out one day, I was tempted to tell myself how disappointed I was, how fat I was starting to look, how I shouldn’t have eaten all those chocolate covered almonds … instead I thought to myself, “You are strong.”

That morning I drank my coffee saying, “You are strong.” I ate my breakfast saying, “You are strong.” I drove my car saying, “You are strong.” And throughout my entire spin class I said, “You are strong.” So many great thoughts were filling my head and I could feel my body responding as I pushed harder each pedal and rode for an hour and a half straight.

What a powerful suggestion!

Give this technique a try, come let me know how it worked out. Just one little positive suggestion a day, see how it changes your entire outlook, please try it . . .

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