Mental Support Through The Affirmation Card Routine
Have you ever been down or even depressed due to your gut symptoms?
I’ve been there. It’s definitely not easy dealing with a GI disorder like SIBO or IBS.
I remember a time period in my life where I was really struggling with severe digestive symptoms like gas, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation.
I was really down. Even sometimes today when I experience a relapse of symptoms it can be really difficult.
Unfortunately, when you deal with a chronic illness for any length of time you will start to train your mind a certain way. A lot of times your thoughts can become negative and self-limiting.
In this article, I’m going to share with you the strategy I developed and still use to this day that helps me get through the toughest times and allowed me to change my negative thoughts.
This routine helped me go from isolation to living a more normal lifestyle where I could accomplish goals and build relationships again.
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The Affirmation Card Routine
The process I use to help program my mind is really simple. Anyone can do this in about 10 minutes and I highly recommend it. Like I said before, this routine helped me heal and allowed me to get back to living a more normal life alongside treatment.
Below, I’ll walk you through the basic concept, what you’ll need, and the process to develop your own affirmation card routine.
The Basic Concept
Whether we realize it or not our thoughts can really affect the quality of life we live. Due to our environment, life circumstances, and stressors we experience our subconscious mind is constantly picking up new thoughts.
For those of us who live with a GI illness like IBS or SIBO, our minds can become saturated with negative beliefs since it is frustrating dealing with the digestive symptoms that occur.
For example, when we wake up in the morning if our stomach is feeling bad we might automatically assume the rest of the day is going to be horrible.
Or, if we start to feel our bowels act up we might automatically resort to anxiety and stress.
Over time, even if we are improving or feeling good our minds can feed us negative thoughts. They become accustomed to negative thoughts through repetition.
The goal of the affirmation card routine is to help break those thought patterns and develop a strong mind even when we aren’t feeling so hot.
In the affirmation card routine, you will simply write down an attitude to take each day, a life goal your working towards, and how you will accomplish these things.
Then you will simply read them each morning before going out and each night before going to bed. This allows you to start reprogramming your mind to have a more positive attitude towards circumstances you encounter throughout the day.
What You Need:
- 1 notecard or small piece of paper
- A pen to write with
- Your thinking cap
What to Brainstorm in Notebook Before
- The attitude you want to live each day with that you can be proud of even when your gut symptoms are acting up.
- Your current goals that you are working towards.
- How exactly you will accomplish these goals. What are some specific steps you can take to accomplish the tasks you’re working towards?
- Your purpose or main reason for choosing a positive attitude and the reason you want to accomplish your goals. This is a reason that’s unique to you and your life.
The Steps to Create Your Affirmation Card
1. Do a quick brainstorming session to think about your personal goals, purpose, a healthy attitude you want to work on, and specific steps you can take to accomplish your goals.
For the attitude, think about what kind of mindset you can try to work on when you feel your worst. You need some mental encouragement to help you get through a tough day or when your symptoms are acting up.
2. Take your notecard and write 3 different headings:
- I will make the decision to:
- Goals I will accomplish:
3. Fill in the first section on your notecard by writing down the decision or attitude you will be choosing to make each morning and night with a simple sentence.
A phrase I use is “I will make the decision to have a positive attitude even if I don’t feel good because every problem is an opportunity”. You can see how in my phrase I’ve included the attitude I will take, the worst case scenario where I might not feel good, and why I want to take this attitude. In the third part of my phrase, I also re-frame the problem I may deal with and ask myself how could I make the most of a challenging situation and be a better person.
4. Fill in the goals you want to accomplish this month. I personally do a new card each month and re-write my goals. You can do it for any time period.
5. Fill in the third section of your card with the specific details you will need to take to accomplish your goals from the last section.
6. Lastly, at the bottom of the card write your why. Having a strong purpose for what you are doing helps the most when life is tough.
Here is an example of my affirmation card:
Notice how the details on my card are specific to my current life situation, business goals, dreams, and what I’m working towards. You should do the same for your life. They can be health goals, work goals or anything you want to work towards. Make it unique to you!
How to Implement The Routine
To implement: Read your card to yourself once in the morning and once at night before going to bed. Believe in yourself when you do it! I like to place my card on my nightstand.
The most important thing about making your own affirmation card is that it is personalized to your own dreams, goals, and purpose. I usually don’t share my card with a lot of people because it is very personal.
Also, in order to help program your mind with a more positive attitude and encourage yourself when life gets challenging it’s important that you read the card to yourself once in the morning and once before going to bed.
By doing this, you can start to retrain your subconscious mind so that your first reaction to life events becomes your affirmations, not negative thoughts.
This can take time because your mind has been programmed a certain way for a long time.
If you do this you will notice that at the beginning when you first start telling yourself the affirmation and goals your mind will want to combat the positive attitude with negative thoughts.
You will start making up tons of reasons why you can’t do these things.
When you are having a tough day or morning in the beginning, your mind will want to resort back to negative thoughts. This is normal. Just work on repeating the positive thoughts to yourself each day and do the best you can!
Over time if you do your best to take the attitude you wrote down each day you will gradually change your thought patterns.
This is a gradual process and it takes time to work. You will have some tough days where you feel bad. This is normal for any healing journey. Just do the best you can each day.
If you have a day where all you can do is a few errands and a walk around the block, be proud of that small task and get your body some rest. As always, this is not meant to be a medical treatment so it’s most important that you work on treating your gut issue with a great doctor.
This routine and any other mental health routines are meant to be a healthy addition to medical treatment. The reason why I’m sharing this is that I’ve personally found this technique to be very helpful in my own health journey!