Posted by: Donna Cunningham | June 11, 2010

Internet Find of the Week—Research into Affirmations, Jealousy, and other Psychological Issues

©6-11-2010 by Donna Cunningham, MSW

 Deborah Bier, my co-editor in creating Vibration, the flower essence journal, shares my questions about the reasons affirmations fail for so many earnest spiritual seekers. Today she sent me to see a report of a new research study of affirmations, and in the process, I discovered a blog with a wealth of interesting topics.

The blogger, Michael Lovitch, presents fascinating though often controversial perspectives on the mind, hypnosis, and weight loss. Often irreverent, clearly a Uranian type, he will probably rile some of us while still informing us about what research is discovering on these topics. Don’t go there if you have a closed mind, but do go if you like funny, intelligent, stimulating writing.

Me, I’m in the middle somewhere…I never claim to be a model of open-mindedness, and I sometimes think that scientists shouldn’t be allowed to reproduce, but that’s only when I’m really, really cranky. However, I do fall into the realm of a more than occasional skeptic about some sacred cows of metaphysics, and that’s how Mr. Lovitch got me to subscribe, with an eagle eye on the unsubscribe button.  Here are links to some of his most interesting posts.

 The Truth About Affirmations

Here he reports on a psychologist’s study of the effectiveness of affirmations that demonstrates that forming your target goal in the form of a question rather than an affirmation of positive outcome gets surprisingly more effective results. The report stirred up a firestorm of debate in the comment section, in which I happily participated.

I have seen too many earnest seekers whose affirmations didn’t work and who were told by their metaphysical teachers and practitioners that it didn’t work because they weren’t thinking right—in essence that the seeker is a metaphysical moron. Maybe we just weren’t going at it the right way. As many of the readers pointed out in their heated replies, there are flaws in the research, but it still raises interesting questions and possibilities.

Your Brain on Social Networking…   A cool study which measured the level before and after social networking of Oxytocin (not Oxycontin, the addicting painkiller) which is called the “love” hormone because it stimulates empathy, generosity and trust .  Also research into networking habits of Facebook and other users.

The Hidden Cost of Jealousy  

“We all know deep down that feeling jealous isn’t pleasant. You probably know intuitively that it isn’t so good for our stress levels. But a new study, done at The University of Delaware, shows the effects of jealousy to be far more detrimental. So detrimental that it can affect your ability to see and perform effectively.”

Avatars and Weight Loss, The Future of Motivation  

Here’s a fascinating New Millennium model of weight loss. A study used avatar technology in which the researchers created a computer user’s representation of his or her self online in a study aimed at increasing participants’ use of exercise.

Here’s what he says in introducing the results, “You may already be familiar with the concept: there are plenty of websites where digital beings direct you around the site. There are also video games that encourage you to create a digital you to play online and interact with other gamers. More recently, Stanford University has utilized Avatar technology for a very different, much healthier means.

There are many more worthwhile articles on the site, Exploring The Mind!  It also has podcasts, if that’s a way you enjoy learning. If he riles you, don’t say I didn’t warn you. But do come back and tell us how you liked the site.

Links to other past sites featured as Internet Find of the Week:Donna Cunningham Skywriter

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  1. I love it!

  2. Great stuff, Donna, thanks for sharing!

  3. Great and interesting as usual, Donna!
    The reason affirmations don’t work for me is that I feel like a stupefied idiotic bliss ninny when I do them.
    One thing that has helped is saying them into a tape recorder then playing them back to myself as I go to sleep.
    Despite my visual talents, my first learning channel is aural. Uranus conj. Moon on MC maybe is the aspect that shows that?
    Another reason I’ve heard that affirmations don’t work is that they are often so sweeping that our minds will not believe them. So do incremental affirmations.
    Instead of I am a millionaire, try I get a raise or I find new sources of income. Instead of I am now slender, try (if you have a lot of weight to lose) try I am now losing weight or I have lost 20 pounds. Instead of I love myself, I am beautiful, try I now have self-respect and acceptance.
    After those affirmations sink in and you manifest their effects, increase the affirmations incrementally. Your mind will now start believing you where before it said” You are a stinking baldfaced liar or you gotta be kidding.”

    • Yes, I like what you’re saying, Meloh. We could affirm until the end of time and still get no results if what we’re asking for is out of range. As you say, do it by achievable stages. Donna

  4. Hi Donna,

    Interesting blog. Affirmations work for me. I write them out.
    I can be a little anal, but I write one out as many times as my hand can bear it. And I MEAN BUSINESS 100%. This means, as I am writing, I get totally focused on my intentions. I feel the burn. I want this ‘whatever’ it is. And I do not go for too many affirmations or too too much. Yellow pads work great.

    The only way affirmations will not work is if the affirmer ( is that a word ?) has doubts.

    Enjoy Mercury in Gemini.

    Molly (Kaufmann)

  5. It’s too bad they used “I will” which implies the future, and as we know…tomorrow never comes. I wonder what the results would have been if they used a present tense affirmation like… “I quickly and easily complete anagrams”

    • So I went back to the affirmations article and read through ALL of the responses. It opened my mind to other viable approaches to affirmations and their use.

      I can see how phrasing affirmations as questions can activate that part of us that has the answers which in turn can motivate the affirmation into action. I’m hit or miss when it comes to using affirmations…which is probably why they fail to work for me most of the time. Self doubt creeps in an tends to overwrite the affirmation statement.

      so here’s my first one…”How can I make affirmations work for me?”

  6. Hey Donna:
    Thanks for the link to this guy’s website. He picks some controversial subjects and i find people’s comments fascinating.
    When i do affirmations – i am careful to look at all my beliefs surrounding the issue. One of my core beliefs is i must work hard for money. I keep that in mind if i’m doing $ affirmations. When my affirmations don’t work, i look (and don’t always see) what beliefs i may have around the issue. For years, i held the belief i could not afford to live alone. And so, i thought it real and put up with a lot of @#$% until one day i realized it was a belief and could be changed. And yes i worked hard to change it!
    No amount of visualizing, writing or chanting can can bring us what we say we want if on some level we believe we don’t deserve it. Only by self examination can we recognize what we believe to be factual and true and allow for that in our affirmations. And/or we can change our beliefs.
    I thought the other site’s article on botox was interesting. Very small study found people who had botox injected into their foreheads were happier than before they were injected. Some speculations about not being able to frown shortcircuits the loop of being upset or depressed.
    Anyone else find that interesting?

    • HI, Iris, great example of a type of affirmation that doesn’t work for you. You’re right about core beliefs. One tool that helps with those is to work on identifying and getting rid of thought forms. There are several articles on Skywriter about thought forms that may be useful–use the search engine at the top of the right hand column. Donna

  7. Interesting blog. Affirmations work for me. The only way affirmations will not work is if the affirmer ( is that a word ?) has doubts.

  8. Thanks for the link to this guy’s website. He picks some controversial subjects and i find people’s comments fascinating.

  9. You’ve probably heard that saying affirmations over and over again can change your life. Or that viewing your affirmations on a daily basis will help you realize your goals. But do affirmations really work? The answer is yes and no. Read on to discover how to use affirmations successfully and how to avoid creating disappointing results!

    see video here

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