Affirmations are really popular these days. You see content from all sorts of companies that share affirmations. Before it was limited to self-help and mental health pages but now it’s omnipresent.
I see more and more people using and looking for affirmations and it makes me really happy. And, in this post, let me help you understand what they are, do they work, and give you examples of affirmations catered to different goals.
Let’s begin by answering the first point:
What are affirmations?
Let’s look at the different ways that others have defined it:
Mindtools says, “Affirmations are positive statements that can help you to challenge and overcome self-sabotaging and negative thoughts. When you repeat them often and believe in them, you can start to make positive changes.”
Positive psychology blog puts them as “positive affirmations are almost as easy to define as they are to practice. Put simply, they are positive phrases or statements used to challenge negative or unhelpful thoughts.”
So, in the simplest sense, affirmations are the words that you say to yourself in response to a situation or feeling. They can be both positive and negative. Positive affirmations sound like this:
- I am worthy just as I am.
- I believe in myself.
- I can do this.
- I have all the strength I need.
And, negative affirmations, as you might guess and have often said without thought are words like:
- I am so stupid!
- I can’t do this.
- I’m not good enough.
- I hate myself.
- It won’t be okay.
Think about it. Affirmations are inherently nothing new. We have been saying affirmations to ourselves all of our lives. The only thing is that they haven’t largely been positive, and now we need to learn to switch to that.
Affirmations are what form the tone of our self-dialogue. Our choice of words determines our relationship with ourselves.
If a person says positive affirmations to themselves, it’s highly likely that they are more loving towards themselves or are trying to be (which is why affirmations are a big part of my self-love course)
Now, let’s address the natural question:
Do affirmations work?
The Science Behind Positive Affirmations
Spoiler alert, YES, there is science behind affirmations.
“In the 1980s, Claude Steele, social psychologist and emeritus professor at Stanford University, popularized self-affirmation theory, propelling it to become a well-studied theory in the research sector of social psychology.”
“Self-affirmation theory posits that people are motivated to maintain a positive self-view and that threats to perceived self-competence are met with resistance. When threatened, self-affirmations can restore self-competence by allowing individuals to reflect on sources of self-worth, such as core values^”
“With the aid of MRI evidence, one study indicates that the neural pathways in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex increase when a person practices self-affirmation. This cortex is the part of the human brain associated with self-related information processing and positive valuation.^”
Albeit there was heavy use of jargon above, it is clear enough that is evidence of the efficacy of affirmations.
So, definitely give affirmations a chance. And, switch from negative to positive depending on how your current situation is.
If you’re going through a tough time, moving from “I am hopeless” to “I am full of hope!” might not feel natural, so try saying, “I am learning to feel that there is hope in my heart day by day.”
Take small steps and help yourself be more compassionate towards yourself. You deserve it. This is an important activity and well worth the effort, believe me. I have benefited greatly by saying affirmations and they’ve helped me a lot over time.
So, now let me share some helpful affirmations that you can begin saying to yourself and switch the negative self-talk to a positive one.
In fact, you can download our Gratitude app right now, which has 600+ affirmations with recorded sessions that you can simply listen to and bring the beauty of affirmations into your life.
- I am calm and relaxed in all situations.
- My muscles are relaxed.
- My tension is melting away.
- I am comfortable around other people.
- I am thankful and grateful for the good in my life.
- Calmness washes over me with every deep breath I take.
- I am releasing all negative emotions from my system.
- I deserve a peaceful and loving life.
- I am breathing slowly and deeply, filling myself with calmness.
- I am letting go of all my worries and fears.
- I deserve happiness and joy.
- I am calm and at ease.
- I give myself permission to heal.
- I am willing to be at peace with myself and everyone.
- My immune system is healthy and strong.
- I am grateful for my body.
- I am healing gently.
- I allow myself to give and receive love.
- I am capable of unconditional love.
- I trust that everything in my life is unfolding perfectly.
- I am willing to be at peace with myself and everyone.
- I am healthy, happy, and radiant.
- I choose my choices.
- I have control over what I do.
- I am brave.
- I have immense strength.
- I am stronger than I know.
- I choose my battles.
- I give my time and energy mindfully.
- I do what is important to me.
- I am improving myself and getting closer to my goals every day.
- I may make mistakes, but I can recover and keep going. I don’t need to lose hope over a minor setback.
Louise Hay Affirmations
Louise Hay is really popular for her heartfelt and impactful affirmations. Through affirmations and other alternative approaches like positive thinking, she argued, we have the power to transform our lives and health.
- Life supports me in every possible way.
- I am in the process of making positive changes in all areas of my life.
- It does not matter what other people say or do. What matters is how I choose to react and what I choose to believe about myself.
- I am good enough.
- I forgive everyone in my past for all the perceived wrongs.
- I let go of all fear and doubt, and life becomes simple and easy for me.
- Everything I need comes to me at the perfect time.
- I feel glorious, dynamic energy. I am active and alive.
- Today is going to be a really, really good day.
- All that I need to know at any given moment is revealed to me. My intuition is always on my side.
- I am grateful for many things in my life that bring me joy and comfort.
- I trust that what's meant for me is already mine, regardless of how and when it is mine.
- I am worthy of beautiful endings and exciting beginnings.
- I allow my voice to be heard, my thoughts to be expressed and my vision to be seen.
- I am open to things working out for me. I am open to receiving abundance. I am open to connecting with my highest self.
- I am eternally grateful for all of the blessings I have in my life.
- I am happy and grateful for everything I have and receive daily.
- I constantly remind myself to enjoy all the good I have in my life right now.
- I express deep appreciation for the small steps I achieve each day.
- With every breath I take, I am bringing more and more gratitude into my life.
I hope you found this post helpful and are willing to give positive affirmations a chance. I wish you the best!