This is the first time I have written about Yaro Starak, although he is probably someone whose work I have read more than anyone since I started this blog. Yaro writes about blogging – so whilst of interest to me, I have assumed he won’t be of interest to anyone visiting this site. If you do blog, Yaro has a free blueprint which is worth reading – I can also recommend his Blog Mastermind course when he next runs one.
I mention him, because I happened on one of his posts from 2006 called The Key to Happiness. Yaro doesn’t normally venture into self improvement posts, but I found it quite an eye opener. By accident, rather than design, my recent posts have all featured successful people who had overcome various adversities in their youth. I now found out that Yaro had suffered from panic attacks in his late teens and early twenties.
Anxiety related problems sometimes get short shrift in the media, as we all get anxious at times. Our physiological make up has programmed in a fight or flight response, so our body can get suitably “prepared” if confronted by danger. Unfortunately, this hasn’t evolved over the years to take on board that usually most of us don’t encounter life threatening danger – tigers and other wild animals are now enclosed in cages.
Most of the “danger” we encounter is generated by our thinking, or is verbal rather than physical. But our body still reacts as if it needs to “fight” or “flight”. An extreme, but not infrequent, result of this is panic attacks. Several sufferers have told me that it feels like they’re about to die. Their body systems go into over drive and at worst they feel unable to breath.
What impressed me about Yaro’s post was his journey into overcoming panic attacks. Recognizing that his then current self talk was a major part of the problem, he embarked on “positivity training”. This is Yaro’s name for tackling his negative thinking – his negative affirmations.
One of my frustrations is that using affirmations seems to be only linked with using the “Law of Attraction” – even the affirmation software I have uses that in its promotional material! Personally I don’t have any such belief, but do believe positive thinking and positive affirmations are vitally important. So does Yaro:-
Some people scoff at positive affirmations and consider them useless but as anyone who has had panic attacks will tell you, at the root cause of them are the opposite – negative affirmations. As a result of spending most days thinking negatively and repeating self-talk that beat myself up my body reacted with panic attacks. In your case you may not have the same reaction as I did, but if your self-talk is negative itâ€™s holding you back from achieving your dreams and can certainly be a cause of things like depression, feeling like you have no control over you life and an inability to feel happiness.
Yaro describes how gaining control over his thinking to get over his panic attacks. He also explains that this effort has also helped him “day to day”, as he is mentally stronger to combat negative thoughts – or negative affirmations:-
As a result of that experience I gained a very powerful skillset – the ability to control my thought process. The benefits of being able to do this go way beyond helping me deal with panic and anxiety – I can now control my emotional state by changing the way I think.
If we start thinking of negative thoughts as negative affirmations, we might take the use of positive affirmations more seriously. We forget how often we absorb negative messages throughout our day – in effect we are constantly giving ourselves negative affirmations.
As Yaro says “By changing the dialogue in your mind you become the greatest life coach you could ever have“. If you want to build great self confidence you need positive affirmations, not negative.
We all use affirmations during the day – whether or not we call them that. You can chose to use positive ones instead of negative. You can take time out to create and write out positive affirmations that you think will be helpful – affirmations that reinforce what is good about you and your life, and what you are looking to become and achieve. You can use affirmation software, audio tapes or photo boards to help.
Yaro suggests monitoring yourself throughout the day to identify how you “self talk”, to what extent you help or hinder yourself – or mentally beat yourself up. Try it – you may shock yourself into doing something about it.
photo by kiolero on Flickr