Earlier this week I found myself in front of an entire wall of Valentines. Brightly decorated cards with adorable “punny” phrases and comical characters. As a child, ok more a teen, I found giving out valentines incredibly tedious (as a kid I loved making hearts and throwing glitter on them, like most kids do). As a preteen figuring themselves out in the world nothing seemed more embarrassing then gifting someone a glittery card of loving encouragement. Now fast forward a couple of decades my visceral reaction has much decreased and I’m able to see valentines through fresh nonjudgmental eyes. And this is what I’ve realized – the kid friendly valentines are just affirmation cards in sparkly disguise! For those who don’t know what affirmations are they are empowering statements (such as I am enough or I am amazing) that are repeated, similar to positive self talk, to be implemented into a person’s subconscious resulting in improved mood and self esteem. A common practice is to write these empowering statements on a card and look at them daily, repeating them until they become true.
If we are to look at the simplistic and adorable children’s valentine, they are similar to an affirmation card. They are meant to lift up the receiver with an empowering message to boost their mood and self esteem. They also employ the powerful technique of humour and pictures to make the message more memorable (something that affirmation cards do not use but should). When you activate the amygdala through emotion (such as humour) and pictures you cement the memory more permanently in to the conscious mind. Hence valentines card are actually an effective tool in promoting affirmations and positivity! If only I know that more as a kid…… Perhaps as an adult I’ll be gifting people valentine “affirmation” cards instead of chocolates! Hmmm… Or affirmative statements written on chocolate… now there’s a Hallmark idea!