You’re living in a digital age. Don’t you want your affirmations practice to match that? Perhaps you’re wondering if it’s time to try typing out your affirmations instead of speaking them. But before you try it, consider whether typing will produce the same effects.
Does typing affirmations work? Written affirmations can be useful, but they’re not as effective as spoken affirmations. There’s power in speaking your affirmations out loud.
Does typing affirmations work? No, it misses out on the power of spoken language.
Typing and writing are secondary expression modalities to the spoken word. Whew, that’s a mouthful. What do I mean by it?
Basically, writing evolved out of speaking. The spoken word came before the written language.
Speaking is a higher-order, more conceptual thing. It’s more fluid and more organic.
Spoken Words and the Act of Creation
Spoken language holds power. We can look back at history and mythology and see just how true that is.
Invention of Language
Of course, we weren’t there when the first words were spoken, but we can imagine what it might have been like.
Picture that it’s you getting ready to utter the first word. You’re going to put a name to something really useful — water, perhaps.
You’ve noticed that thing before, and you want to be able to find it again. It’s important to you and your life.
Imagine that you’re pointing to that thing. But you’re not just pointing with your hand. You’re also trying to express to another being the complex set of awarenesses and experiences that come from pointing at something specific and distinct.
You do that through a sound that you make with your mouth. And with that, the first word comes into being.
When you think of it this way, you can understand that the language you use is a complicated way of expressing feelings — an auditory version of basic body language.
And as we put auditory speech to our feelings, we create our reality.
To look at this another way, let’s go to the Bible. If you’re familiar with the Bible, you may know that the book of Genesis is all about beginnings. It starts with a narrative about the beginning of the world.
It goes like this: “Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light” (Genesis 1:2-3, New International Version).
That’s not the only beginning in the Bible, though. The Gospel of John also opens with a beginnings narrative.
It reads, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made” (John 1:1-3, New International Version).
The Gospel of John was written in Greek. The word translated into English as “Word” is the Greek word logos. It encompasses more than our English version does. It also deals with reason and intellect.
To frame this dual telling in a more modern light, think about when you watch a television show and season 2 goes back and shows you the events that led up to what you watched in season 1. Or a movie starts in the middle of things and then later goes back to give you the exposition of how the characters ended up in that situation.
Maybe the Bible is doing something similar, and so John is re-narrating what happened in Genesis. He’s re-contextualizing it.
So in the beginning, God spoke, “Let there be light,” and the creation of that word was a realization of light and what it was. It discerned and distinguished light from dark. It gave a name to it.
That is the power of the spoken word. It creates. It distinguishes. It grants a name to reality.
You see this same sort of story throughout many different mythic archetypes. Take Ali Baba in One Thousand and One Nights, for instance.
When he arrives at the mouth of the cave, he bids it to grant him entrance with the phrase “Open, sesame!” He speaks, and his words bring the door into existence.
Ali Baba goes home with armfuls of gold. He and his descendants are rich forevermore.
Just two small words created a lifetime of wealth for his family.
“Open, sesame” fits right into our cultural understanding of magic words. “Abracadabra” is one that we’re particularly familiar with.
No one is exactly sure where this word originated, but etymologists have some theories. One idea is that it comes from Aramaic. Avra kehdabra is an Aramaic phrase that can be translated to “I will create as I speak.”
Even if that’s not the actual origin, that’s the concept that we associate with it. You speak the word, and something happens. You create something; you bring about a new reality.
The Fullness of Expression
The above stories make it clear that people have long known the power of spoken language.
Writing words is one way of expressing them, sure. But it doesn’t have the full power that speaking them aloud possesses.
With our verbal language, we can speak things into existence. We can create through the power of speech.
We want to take hold of that power and use it in our affirmations. By speaking our affirmations aloud, we give them their fullest expression.
Does typing affirmations work? No, it limits your affirmation practice.
In addition to this rather philosophical way of looking at this topic, there are also practical reasons to say your affirmations out loud.
A Matter of When
There are a lot of times when speaking your affirmations will be available to you in a way that writing your affirmations won’t.
Let’s look at some examples. Driving in the car, for instance. You can’t write and drive at the same time. You can, however, speak affirmations aloud while you drive.
That’s not the only one. You could also say your affirmations while you’re making a sandwich or walking on the treadmill. You can give it a try while out for a bike ride or taking a jog through the park. For all I care, you can repeat affirmations while pooping or showering.
Will it work while you’re trying to count exercise reps? Probably not. But when you’re engaged in tasks that don’t require your verbal capacity, then why not put those opportunities to work for affirmation practice?
For that, you’ll need to say your affirmations out loud rather than trying to type them. Just imagine how hard it would be to accurately type affirmations on your laptop while jogging through the park. It sounds like a disaster in the making. Fortunately, it’s a lot more feasible to utter the words aloud as you go.
A Matter of How Often
Affirmations take time. Even saying them aloud over and over again is a commitment. Writing them out can take even longer.
If you use beads to count your affirmations, then one set of affirmations is 108 repetitions. For a short affirmation, you can get that done in five to eight minutes. A longer phrase may take closer to 12 minutes.
But if you want to write out your phrase 108 times, you’ll probably end up devoting at least 25 or 30 minutes to the task. Sure, you could copy and paste it more quickly, but that would entirely defeat the purpose of the repetition.
When you speak your affirmation aloud, you can make the most of the eight or 12 minutes it takes. As you say the words, you can fill your head with related thoughts.
The affirmation is just the figurehead at the top of the wave that gets us back to an emotional experience, a way of being in the world. The words pull us back to that.
Typing or writing requires more attention. But when you’re speaking your affirmations, there’s brain space available. As you rep your phrase aloud, you can find the thoughts, memories, and associations that go along with your affirmation and the reality you are creating.
Does typing affirmations work? Yes, it’s more effective than doing nothing.
Whenever possible, I’d encourage you to speak your affirmations aloud rather than handwriting or typing them. But I’d rather you practice your affirmations in some way — in any way — than not do them at all.
I’d certainly prefer you to type affirmations than fill your head with negative thoughts. Negative affirmations that run through your head will tear you down and lower your vibration.
To think any positive thought — whether it be through speaking, typing, writing, Morse code, or whatever — is going to be more useful for you.
While any positive affirmation practice is better than none, speak your affirmations aloud whenever you can. Not only is spoken language more powerful, but it’s also more convenient.