“Good Morning Gorgeous” Reminds Us to Affirm Ourselves
“Good Morning Gorgeous” is Mary J Blige’s latest Grammy nominated earworm that reminds us of how affirmations can change your life. In the interlude before the song, we overhear Blige talking about how she conceptualized the song from her own experience of waking up and saying, “Good Morning, Gorgeous.” She describes this ritual as a way to take care of herself like she never has before. She says that no matter what she was doing, she made the decision to start looking in the mirror and affirming herself every morning.
Blige’s career has titled her the “Queen of Hip Hop and Soul,” and the “Queen of R&B,” in honor of how she passionately shares her talents, her life, and her emotions through the genres. “Good Morning Gorgeous,” is the title track for her 14th studio album, which is also nominated for a big Grammy: “Album of the Year.”
The title line is plenty catchy and affirming, but my very favorite line in the song is actually a throwback to an overused line from music past, “no one else can make me feel this way.” There are a ton of songs that use this line, or something like it, in reference to another person. In this song, however, the line is given new life as Blige takes it to empower herself as her own source of confidence.
Affirmations are a key therapeutic intervention for many people working to increase positive thinking and self-love. They can be a reminder of things you’ve worked on in therapy, or they can be THE work itself as a practice to change your thinking. There is no shortage of therapy-related articles about affirmations. Here are three good examples:
This Forbes article reviews how positive affirmations work. It points us to studies that showed repeating positive affirmations can improve performance. The article advises to ground in reality and “avoid toxic positivity.” For example, you don’t need to affirm that you’re going to be amazing at something you’ve just started. It’s better to affirm that you are dedicated to practice and getting better each day:
This Good Therapy article tells us how affirmations can help “rewire” our brains by redirecting negative thinking habits to a positive place. It reviews research that intentional positive thinking can increase feel-good chemicals in our brains. It lists 15 types of affirmations that can improve your life in various ways:
This PsychCentral article also recognizes research demonstrating the power of positive affirmations to motivate desired behavior. It offers 10 affirmation activities that go beyond looking in the mirror and saying them. And yes, listening to affirming music is one of them:
If you haven’t found your perfect affirmation, I recommend you use some guidelines I’ll call “REST,” for short.
Expansive (not comparative)
Realistic can include subjective truth. It just takes one person to believe you are gorgeous for it to be true, so that person can be you! Realistic can also include things that you are working to become such as, “I am a mom,” or, “I am a college grad.” It is within your power to become a parent to a child, or to complete all the classes for a diploma. So “Realistic” when it comes to affirmations has room for hope and creativity. Just avoid trying to affirm things outside of your control such as “I will win the lottery,” or “Ticketmaster will sell me the tickets I want for a reasonable price.” Don’t give your power over to another source for this. Affirmations should affirm the power within.
Expansive (not comparative) means there is always room for wonderful people in all kinds of wonderful ways. Stay away from superlatives like, “I am the best dancer,” or comparisons like, “I am smarter than everyone else.” Affirmations should inspire you to jump off the comparison ladder and embrace boundless possibily for yourself and others.
Simple means that you don’t have to memorize an entire paragraph. Most powerful affirmations are short and sweet, such as, “Good Morning, Gorgeous.” They should easily travel around on loop in your mind, drowning out negativity.
Transformative means that you should feel something when you state this affirmation. Try a few on and go with what moves you. It’s okay if sometimes it feels scary to say, so long as you feel a pull in the direction you want to go.