The students felt that the biggest issue facing them and their peers was a lack of encouragement, and their solution was set aside a day to remind us all to pay attention to the way we interact with others, and with ourselves. These students found a way to improve the lives of those around them using the power of their words. Their idea eventually became a Senate resolution.
Andrew Baker, the organizer of the National Day of Encouragement and executive director of The Encouragement Foundation, shared this about the intentions of the day:
“The National Day of Encouragement is about inspiring Americans to make deliberate words and acts of encouragement a part of this day first, and then a part of every day of their lives."
The resolution, passed in 2007 reads:
Whereas negative images, stories, and influences in the day-to-day lives of the people of the United States can detrimentally affect their emotional well-being, interactions with others, and general demeanor;
Whereas a group of teenagers participating in a leadership forum at Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas, identified a lack of encouragement as one of the greatest problems facing young people today;
Whereas the youth of the United States need guidance, inspiration, and reassurance to counteract this negativity and to develop the qualities of character essential for future leadership in the United States;
Whereas a National Day of Encouragement would serve as a reminder to counterbalance and overcome negative influences, and would also provide much-needed encouragement and support to others;
Whereas, following the events of September 11, 2001, thousands of people made sacrifices in order to bring help and healing to the victims and their families, inspiring and encouraging the people of the United States; and
Whereas the renewed feelings of unity, hope, selflessness, and encouragement that began on September 12, 2001, are the same feelings that the National Day of Encouragement is meant to recapture and spread: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Senate--
(1) designates September 12, 2011, as ‘National Day of Encouragement’;
(2) acknowledges the importance of encouragement and positive influences in the lives of all people; and
(3) urges the people of the United States to encourage others, whether through an act of service, a thoughtful letter, or words of kindness and inspiration, and by that encouragement to boost the morale of all people of the United States.
The Importance of Language
Language may be the most powerful tool we have. The words we use have the ability to evoke strong emotional states, create patterns of behaviors, and shape the way we think. Each of us can think of examples of this in our everyday lives, and most of us have had the experience of realizing that changing the way something was said could change the way someone felt.
You can take a moment and think about something that was said to you that made you feel confident, happy, or important. Those words were so powerful, that even now, by remembering the experience you can begin to feel those positive feelings again. The same is true for negative experiences. The words we use are how we identify our feelings, and that makes them very powerful.
Use Your Words
Encouragement works by anchoring a good feeling to doing something. This drive to feel good can be strong enough to motivate us to do more. When we attach the good feeling to accomplishing something, we want to do it again so that we’ll get the good feeling again.
I suggest you start with yourself. When you finish the next task you’re working on, sit back a moment and tell yourself that you did a great job. Notice how good you feel? Great! Now do it again after you complete the next few tasks, and notice how that good feeling just keeps feeling better.
Don’t worry about whether or not your accomplishment deserves praise. Starting with the little things, like getting through your inbox, folding the laundry, meeting a deadline are great places to start building the encouragement momentum.
Now that you have a taste of how easy it is to encourage yourself, you can start spreading the encouragement around! It is as easy as giving a compliment, a smile, or recognizing something someone else did.
High five someone for a job well done. Take notice when a co-worker or friend is getting close to a hard-earned goal. Send a card, call, or text to a family member who may be struggling and remind them how important they are to you. As you’ve already noticed, these little acts of encouragement can build up fast.
The Role of Hypnosis
Hypnosis uses language, emotions, and neuroscience to give people the tools they need to create lasting positive changes in their lives. Encouragement is an excellent way to reinforce positive behaviors, and when we tap into those positive emotions we feel when we are being encouraged, we create new patterns of behavior.
Hypnosis can remind you of how awesome you are by tapping into that part of your mind where those feelings are stored. Try this self-hypnosis exercise for self-encouragement:
Sit in a safe and comfortable position and think of an area in your life where you could use a little encouragement. Once you have that in mind, imagine yourself how you’d like things to be. Imagine your own desired outcome, so that you can see you there with everything going just how you want it to go.
Now, let yourself remember a time in your life where you did something you didn't think you could do before. A time when you used your own abilities to get something done. Whatever first comes to mind is perfect.
Now really get into that memory with as much detail as you can. Remember the sights, sounds, people, the things around you. Go into that memory as if you were there again, seeing it through your own eyes, hearing the sounds around you in your own body, the smells and temperatures. Make it as real as possible, almost as though you’re there again now.
Now remember that feeling in your body, that feeling of accomplishment, pride, strength - however you label that feeling - let it build up inside you until it fills you up and becomes the dominant sensation in your body.
Now with that feeling of your own awesomeness filling you up from the top of your head to the bottom of your feet, project yourself into your desired outcome. Don’t just observe your success. Make it vivid. Make it clear, as if it was never really a question that this was a possibility. That’s right.
Take a couple slow, deep breaths and let yourself enjoy that feeling, reminding yourself that this is nothing new, this is who you are.∎
Use this link to get a free 15 minute hypnosis audio for stress relief.
Karen Gray is a Certified Professional Hypnotist, a Certified Hypnosis Instructor, a Registered Nurse, and the Director of Green Mountain Hypnosis. For more information on how you can use hypnosis to change your life, contact Karen at email@example.com, or (802) 566-0464.