Many family caregivers find themselves beset by negative thoughts that come in many forms. They may think of themselves as failures . They may not feel worthy of love or respect. They may question whether every decision they make is the right or wrong thing to do.
Whatever form they take, negative thoughts are insidious and self-destructive. Positive affirmations for caregivers can combat these thoughts. However, just like physical exercise, they benefit people best when they practice them every day.
When caregivers commit to making positive affirmations every day, they help dispel negative thoughts and reduce stress. They also open the door to feeling more hope.
What Are Positive Affirmations?
Positive affirmations are positive statements about yourself either thought or said aloud. They help you overcome the sort of self-sabotaging negative thoughts that keep people, including family caregivers, from enjoying life.
A dementia consultant who works with family caregivers wrote that people can think of positive affirmations as a form of “wishful thinking.” She added: “It may be difficult at the beginning to actually believe each affirmation that you repeat but when practiced regularly, affirmations can become a reality. You are what you think!”
Science has backed up this hypothesis in many different studies. Recent research reported by Stanford University reveals the power of the mind. For example, people who believe physical labor at work counts as exercise live longer, no matter how much exercise they actually get. Also, people who focus on positive feelings experience less pain, spend less time in hospitals and require fewer pain medications.
Giving yourself inspiring words of support can make a difference in your physical health, overall wellbeing and even life expectancy.
Examples of Positive Affirmations for Caregivers
Practicing positive affirmations for caregivers can seem a waste of time or even silly, at first. But give it time. If you start doing pushups today, you don’t see your triceps grow stronger tomorrow. Like physical exercise, mental health exercises take time to make a difference.
Here are 11 examples of positive affirmations that can help you get started on battling negative thoughts.
- I deserve to take time for myself to address my own emotional, physical and spiritual needs without feeling guilty or needing to apologize to anyone
- I deserve to explore ways to get respite from my caregiving duties on a daily, weekly and monthly basis
- I am an essential part of maintaining my loved one’s health – what I do is important and deserves respect from others
- I deserve to be happy and joyful
- I accept myself for who I am, not what others think I should be
- I will not feel guilty. I know I am doing the best job I can for my loved one.
- I am strong, smart and courageous enough to overcome challenges that come my way
- I am grateful for all the good things I have in life
- I deserve to ask for help when I need it. I cannot do this all the time on my own.
- I will focus on the positive things in life rather than dwell on the negative
- I love and respect myself
The last one is often the hardest. But being a good caregiver is like using an oxygen mask during an emergency on an airplane. You have to make sure you are getting oxygen first before you can help others. In this same way, you have to love and respect yourself in order to best provide love and respect to others.
Inspiring Words and The Importance of Hope
Hope Grows offers many programs to help caregivers get the support and the respite they need. Those who take the time to work on themselves get the most out of these services. To truly find joy in a gift, one must first believe they deserve to get it. What you think about yourself and how you perceive the world around you can influence your mental and physical health, as well as your outlook on life. Practicing positive affirmations for caregivers can help you think more positively about both.