Yesterday afternoon I was in my car, and a song that I hadn’t heard since I was a kid came on the radio. I was surprised that I could remember every word. Where had I been storing that? I started thinking about how amazing the mind is. It houses all of the memories of our past, and then, as quickly as hearing the tune of a song, can retrieve them as though they happened yesterday.

The mind is responsible for memory, creativity, imagination, dreaming, problem solving, and so much more. The mind can also have a dark side though. When it’s allowed to run wild, it can start to work against you, causing paranoia, shame, guilt, worry, and fear.

While fear has its purpose, most fear is falsely based. If we allow it, the mind can go off on its own tangents. Take, for example, preparing to give a speech. During times like this, it is common to start imagining all sorts of negative things. Instead of picturing the perfect speech, your mind starts imagining anything and everything that could possibly go wrong. You imagine yourself tripping and falling on the way to the podium, stumbling over your words, and looking like a fool. It’s no wonder so many people suffer from stage freight.

Most of us were never taught that we have control over our thinking. We go through our lives believing that our thoughts and feelings are just a result of what is happening around us. We assume that they are an automatic response.

To become more aware of your current mental focus, ask yourself the following questions:

-What things do you tend to think about the most?

-Are there certain thoughts that keep you up at night?

-Are you more aware of what you have, or what you are lacking?

-What habits do you have?

-How much time do you spend thinking about each of these habits?

-Do your thoughts tend to focus more on the negative or the positive?

Use your answers to these questions as a guideline for where you may need to make some changes. While it would be impossible to control every thought that goes through your mind, you do have control over your thinking. You choose whether to think positively or negatively. You decide whether to see the glass half-full or half-empty. You make the choice whether to be fearful or hopeful for the best possible outcome.

Our minds are constantly going. Most of the time we are unaware of how much clatter goes on. Your mind is like a hyperactive child who’s constantly bored and looking for something to keep it busy. Why not give it a game to play? Affirmations are the perfect game!

The mind likes to repeat things. The good news is that you have control over what it repeats. By coming up with some positive affirmations, and repeating them during the times when your mind tends to wander the most, you will be teaching your mind a new healthy habit. They say that spoiled children actually desire some discipline. Well, your mind is like that spoiled child, and it will thrive in its new positive environment.

What kind of life do you want to lead from here on out? What changes need to be made to create that life? Now design the affirmations that will keep you focused on those changes. Here are some guidelines to follow when designing your affirmations:

-They should be written and spoken in the present tense, I am, I have, or I feel. If you use words that express that you are hoping for something, or that something is on its way, then you are only creating more hoping and waiting.

-Keep them positive. For example, don’t say, "I am no longer tired all of the time". Instead say, "I am full of vibrant energy all day long".

-It can be helpful to create an affirmation rhyme or jingle. This makes it attractive to your mind.

-It’s good to say your affirmations out loud as often as you can. This helps to give them a strong voice.

-Have faith in your affirmations. You can only achieve your desires once you believe that they are possible.

Make affirmations a part of your daily ritual. For example, you can repeat your affirmations daily in the shower, on your way to work, or while you’re doing the dishes. As your mind learns this new game, you will probably catch it repeating your affirmations when you aren’t even trying. You are teaching it a new healthy habit!

So let your mind have fun. Teach it the game of affirmations and you will be rewarded with higher self-esteem, a positive outlook, and a healthy mind!

Author's Bio: 

Lisa Espich is the author of "Soaring Above Co-Addiction". She is married to a recovering alcoholic and drug addict. After nearly two decades of living through the turbulence of an addictive relationship, she created a plan to gain back control of her life. As a result, she not only turned her own life around, but also encouraged her husband to seek help and overcome his addiction. She is a manager and coach for a Fortune 500 company, and now utilizes her fifteen years of experience as a professional trainer and coach to facilitate workshops based on the principles shared in her book. After witnessing the remarkable transformation in her own life, she is now passionate about helping other families to heal from the devastating effects of addiction. If you'd like to find out more about Lisa, her books, and her workshops please visit her website at