At Randwick's T's Book Cafe this weekend I was chatting with my grandmother-in-law. She is pretty funky for a grandmother and a really good storyteller. She got to telling me about a recent fall she had down a flight of steps in her back porch onto concrete. It had just started raining, and she was hurrying out to get some towels off the line. She slipped on the top step and took a big tumble. At the bottom of the steps, she froze. She was facing the sky above her, and could not yet see what the damage of her fall might be. Knowing that falls can be disastrous for the elderly, she decided then and there that she simply couldn't tolerate an injury.
She closed her eyes and started to thank her body for 78 years of wellbeing. She spoke to her hips, her knees, her toes, and her shoulders. She told her back that it was strong and could heal itself. She repeated her conversation with her body over and over again, until she finally decided she could face the damage that the fall had done to her body.
When she looked down she felt nothing. There were already some severe bruises appearing (they happen so quickly in older people), and her body was in an odd position - limbs akimbo. But she had no pain at all. She kissed every part of her body that she could reach before standing up and repeated her affirmations throughout the day about how wonderfully healthy and strong she was.
Shirley, my grandmother, told me that she emphatically believes that your thoughts can not only promote good health, but can help you recover from injury. And this isn't just the ramblings of a somewhat eccentric old lady. Psychologists and doctors agree; positive thinking promotes injury recovery. (Of course, I'd be stupid to imply that you don't need a physiotherapist! But I see these techniques as working hand-in-hand with professional care to promote swifter, faster recovery).
Here are some affirmations to help you getting better, quicker, using nothing but your mind - courtesy of my gran.
My body heals itself. Believing first-up that your body is capable of self-healing is important because no other affirmations or meditations will work if you don't believe you can recover in the first place!
I am in charge of my own recovery. Taking responsibility for your healing puts you in control. It gives you power. A lot of patients I see feel defeated, like there's no point in doing any treatment because it simply won't help. This kind of thinking keeps you 'stuck' as the victim.
I feel better. We all know about the placebo effect; your mind tells your body what to feel. Say this every day; every single day; and your body will believe it and your recovery will be quicker!