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What You Say After These Two Words Can Determine How Well You Cope Under Quarantine

How having the right inner dialogue can help you survive daily life in isolation due to COVID-19.

I am tired. I am unmotivated. I am hungry. I am bored. Do any of these sound familiar? I’ve heard them in my head lately more times than I would like to admit. We are all struggling right now, but that does not mean we should accept or engage in self-defeating behavior. We need to have compassion for ourselves while also doing whatever we can to be happy and productive. 

On a recent episode of Super Soul Sunday, Pastor Joel Osteen discussed his sermon “The Power of ‘I AM” with Oprah Winfrey. His statement, “whatever follows ‘I AM’ will determine what your experience will be,” gave me a much-needed kick in my way too familiar flannel pajama pants. I have been letting I AM statements invite lethargy and melancholy into my life for weeks.

I’ve always known that our words shape our reality, and we should choose them wisely if we want to be successful. Verbally affirming our ambitions in the positive not only keeps us focused on our goals and reduces negative self-talk, but we also feel empowered and get a deep sense of reassurance we can make our dreams a reality. At this point though, I’m watching my words to simply survive being isolated at home. In the middle of a worldwide crisis like the coronavirus, it’s not always about the big picture. Sometimes it’s just about getting through the day.

Now, I know what you are thinking, but I am bored, I am tired, I am lacking motivation. This is not about lying to ourselves. It’s about shifting to a place where we can move out of those states. Not sit in them and feel sorry for ourselves.

We have all experienced days where we have said, “this is going to be the worst day ever,” and everything seemed to go wrong, and we felt incredibly emotional. And then there were other days where we woke up and said, “this is going to be the best day ever,” and everything seemed to work out perfectly. Even if something didn’t go our way, it didn’t have the impact it would have if we were in a negative state of mind. It’s the same concept here. Your words have power.

The fact is, whatever you put after “I AM” shapes your experiences and sets you up for success or failure. In order to ensure your internal dialogue works for you, instead of against you, take the time to choose your words deliberately before you start your day. 

How to create positive I AM affirmations:

  • Start with the words “I Am”
  • Use the present tense
  • State it in the positive. Affirm what you want, not what you don’t want
  • Keep it brief
  • Make it specific

Here are a few of my favorites!

  • I AM Energized
  • I AM Motived
  • I AM Healthy
  • I AM Inspired

I find it helps to write your affirmations on sticky notes or index cards. Put them someplace you can see them easily every morning when you get up and every night before you go to bed. If you can add meditation or visualization to the process, it’s even more powerful!

If you say these statements out loud or in your head several times a day, you will notice that your mood improves, your patience with others increases, and you will start to feel lighter and more energized.

We have to be mindful not to speak defeat into our lives right now. Whether you are trying to survive one more day at home or remain motivated for when this all ends, what you say after “I AM” will impact you on some level. So, decide how you want to feel and what you want to accomplish, write it down, hang it up, and repeat it as much as possible! 

Pastor Joel Osteen’s Sermon 

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