Positive affirmations in the mirror is said by the great Louise Hay to be one of the most effective lessons for learning how to love yourself. She developed the system of ‘mirror work’ alongside her iconic affirmation work.
Affirmations are a series of positive statements you say to yourself over and over, as you say them the brain begins to rewire. You see we are constantly telling ourselves a stream of words, there is always an inner dialogue. Over time we identify with the words, they become our inner reality.
Unfortunately so many of us are repeating negative words, we are all guilty of it. For years I have beaten myself up for having a curvy body, telling myself I look horrible in clothes and so on. We say things to ourselves we would never repeat to another soul, stopping this negative self-talk is such an important thing to do.
When we repeat healthy, positive statements our overall perception of ourselves changes, our self esteem grows, our confidence changes and we begin to see ourselves in a more positive loving light.
To take this one step further we introduce mirror work, the practice of repeating positive affirmations in the mirror. Louise Hay considered this the most important work you can do. She believed this to be so as when you are looking at yourself whilst repeating positive affirmations it highlights how you really feel about yourself.
For instance if you for years have told yourself your fat as I have, to then say I love my body, I love my curves, you see a deeper part of yourself. You see how that wounded part of yourself needs healing. You begin to notice how much pain the negative talk has been causing you. The loving part of you, your protector part wants to stop that narrative, and change how it's making you feel.
I know people who avoid mirrors as it's easier to not look at themselves, it avoids introspection, they live in fear of being confronted by it. But it is not to be feared or avoided, this is the place we can really change and grow. Looking into your soul reflects a deep connection within, it reveals your pain, it reveals all you have been holding onto. Once we see that pain we can begin the work of letting it go, and we can begin the work of loving yourself.
Mirror work has the ability to change your relationship with the self on an incredible level. Old wounds can be healed deeply, and you can begin to transform how you see and think about yourself.
Incorporate the mirror technique into your daily life, practicing positive affirmations in the morning is a great way to start your day. It's also really easy to incorporate into your morning routine. Repeat them silently as you're brushing your teeth, and then finish with a round out loud as your teeth brushing commences. As you get dressed, do so in front of a mirror, repeat the affirmations out loud (if it's possible) as you put your clothes on. Place a mirror where you hang your coats, say some affirmations as you put your coat on before leaving the house.
Alternatively before you sleep, sit in bed, get a mirror and repeat the affirmations to yourself.
Place post-it notes around your mirrors as reminders, or set alarms on your phone until this becomes a habitual habit.
There are many easy ways to practice this into your day, and to do it daily.
Here are a few of my favourite affirmations I like to say to myself in front of the mirror.
I am worthy
I am a beautiful soul
Thankyou ‘(your name)’ for showing up for yourself today and doing the work
I am here for you
I love you
Today will be a good day
I am capable of so much
I have inner strength
I can do this, I've got this
I am deserving
I reach my goals
I am the master of my mind, and I choose positivity
I am capable, I am determined, I am a winner
I love you
I love my body and how it carries me throughout the day
I thank you body for staying healthy
Today I will look after you fully, today I will show you love
Today I am making healthy loving choices for myself
Show Yourself Kindness
The practice of mirror work can be very emotional to begin with, we are seeing ourselves through a very different lens, and so much can come up. Be kind to yourself as you begin this work, show compassion and self love as you begin.
When it gets hard say to yourself ‘it's OK, your are safe, I see you, and I love you’
You will find over time the practice evolves, as will you. What was once an emotional practice will become your empowering best friend.