Hughes explains the difference between an affirmation and his mental instruction method.
"An affirmation is basically lying to yourself.
For example, say you want to lose weight but you just can’t resist doughnuts.
So you get up in the morning, look at yourself in the mirror, and say, “I don’t want to eat doughnuts, I don’t want to eat doughnuts, I don’t want to eat doughnuts.”
Now, even as you’re saying this, there’s a little voice in the back of your head saying, “But I DO want to eat doughnuts!"
But the mental instruction method is different.
"For instance, say you’re prone to worrying about things. And you get lost in a downward spiral of worry.
Whatever it may be – your kids, wife, husband, job, boyfriend, girlfriend, school, – everything! And you need to break that spiral.
Now, worry is an ego thing – as if you had the power to change things by worrying about them.
So you'd construct a mental instruction to defeat the negative one."
Hughes gives the full details in his recent post,