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Harnessing the Power of Affirmations to Manage Your Emetophobia

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Image source: Colton Sturgeon (via Unsplash)

It can be all too easy to get bogged down in negative thought patterns when you’re living with a condition like emetophobia. Having to restrict everything from your eating habits to your social interactions can cause your confidence, mood and overall outlook to plummet.

If you choose instead to focus your attention on positive thoughts, you can enact positive change in your life. The best way to do this is through affirmations!

We’re going to share five powerful affirmations that can help you improve your mood and confidence so that you can manage your emetophobia with ease. Let’s go!

What are affirmations?

Before we share our favourite affirmations with you, we’re first going to explain what they are.

Put simply, affirmations are positive statements that you repeat to yourself in order to challenge unhelpful or negative thoughts. An example of this would be something like “I am strong and capable” or “All I can do is try my best”.

These statements get you to focus on your strengths, rather than your supposed weaknesses and failures.

How do they work?

Affirmations might seem like wishful thinking, but they can be very effective at helping you shift your mindset. Think of them as exercises for your brain. The more you train (repeating affirmations daily), the more you can encourage your brain to believe these statements.

As an example, you might replace this negative thought:

“I can’t go to my friend’s party, because someone might be sick in front of me.”

With a positive affirmation like:

“I know that I can find a nearby exit, or depend on a friend for help, if that kind of situation did happen.”

Regular affirmations will gradually help you adjust your thought patterns, cultivate a positive mindset and increase your self-confidence. In essence, fake it ’til you make it!

How to maximise the effectiveness of your affirmations

To get the most out of the affirmations we’ve provided below, you’ll want to practise your affirmations daily:

  • Pick an affirmation or two to repeat to yourself when you wake up and just before you go to bed every day—it only has to be for 5 minutes or so.
  • Repeat these affirmations 8 to 10 times and really focus on the words—try to believe in yourself when you say them.
  • You might find it more effective to write down these affirmations and stick them up on your wall so that you can see them regularly.
  • Be as consistent as you can with your practice. The only way this will work is if you commit and avoid skipping.

Five affirmations for people with emetophobia

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Image source: Zan (via Unsplash)

1. “I am safe and supported in my journey to overcoming fear.”

One of the most important things to remember is that you are not alone in your struggle with emetophobia. You have a support system you can rely on for help when you need it—whether that’s your friends, family or the r/emetophobia community on Reddit.

So, the next time you feel overwhelmed or triggered, reach out to your support system to vent or receive advice. The knowledge that you have people to rely on will make you feel much more secure as you work towards overcoming your fear of vomiting.

2. “I trust in my ability to manage and navigate challenging situations.”

It might not seem like it sometimes, but you can handle yourself in challenging situations.

Over the course of living with your phobia, you will have developed various helpful strategies and skills to help you manage your symptoms. For example, when you’re feeling slightly queasy, you (like most emetophobes) know you can drink ‘safe’ liquids like ginger ale and peppermint tea to soothe your stomach.

Trust in your abilities, and you can navigate any tricky situation successfully.

3. “I choose to focus on the present moment and let go of fear.”

Most people living with emetophobia spend their time worrying about future possibilities. When you’re invited to a party, for example, you might spend the days leading up to it panicking about all the horrible things that could happen if you go. However, dwelling on these ‘what ifs’ will only increase your stress and anxiety—not to mention cause you to miss out on living in the present moment.

When you feel the fear creep back into your thoughts, guide yourself back to the present moment by using grounding techniques and mindfulness. This will allow you to regain control over your thoughts and embrace the here and now.

4. “I am in control of my thoughts and emotions.”

When you’re confronted by triggers, it can be difficult to stop yourself from panicking. In no time at all, your body starts responding to the situation with intense and uncomfortable symptoms, like nausea and stomach pain, which can make you think you’ll actually be sick.

The more you worry about it, the more scared you get and the more you exacerbate your symptoms—creating an endless cycle of misery.

You can, however, take back control of the situation by challenging and reframing your negative thoughts.

Instead of thinking, “My stomach is churning, so I’m going to be sick,” focus on a more rational thought, such as “[Trigger] has kickstarted my body’s fight-or-flight response, which is why my stomach feels funny.”

It takes time, but learning to focus on realistic thoughts can help you manage your symptoms successfully when facing triggering situations.

5. “I celebrate my progress, no matter how small, as I move forward on my path.”

Overcoming emetophobia is a journey with ups and downs. You might go weeks without a hitch, only to face a challenge that makes you feel like you’re back at square one.

Rather than fixating on the fact that you’re not “cured” yet, you need to focus on your small wins. This will help you maintain a positive attitude and stay motivated.

Whether you’re just starting to warm up to the idea of going to a restaurant or have finally become comfortable with eating chicken, every step, no matter how small, is an important milestone on your path to a life without limits.

Want to create your own affirmations?

If you’d like to have a go at crafting your own daily affirmations for managing your emetophobia, give our worksheet below a try. We’ve included a sheet with our affirmations and an additional one for your own that can be filled in online!

What if affirmations don’t work for me?

Unfortunately, affirmations aren’t a 100% fool-proof way to manage your emetophobia symptoms. Though positive thinking can help many improve their mental health and wellbeing, some people need more help to tackle their problems—so don’t worry if you’re not seeing any improvements!

The best way to deal with complex conditions like emetophobia is through the help of a professional. Only with a therapist can you identify the cause of your phobia and receive the tools necessary to manage your symptoms.

If you’d like to explore this option, call us on 0330 390 3960 or use our contact form.