What are affirmations?
Affirmations are positive statements used to help overcome negative and destructive thought patterns. They can be simple and general, or more specific and tailored to an individual's needs. They combat unhelpful self-talk with the goal of building self esteem and increasing motivation.
Does using affirmations actually work?
Although you may be skeptical of the efficacy of positive affirmations, there is a surprising amount of evidence leading scientists to believe in their power. If something feels silly, but it works, is it still silly?
Part of the reason why positive affirmations are effective is due to something called neuroplasticity. Simply put, this is the brain's ability to change and adapt neural pathways in response to learned behaviours. Think of it like exercising the parts of your brain that help you to develop confidence, gratitude and a positive attitude.
Another reason why affirmations are effective is because when you state your goals and intentions, you are more likely to search for the proof that those goals are being reached. You pay more attention to the small changes and that helps us to build resiliency. This keeps us on track when reaching our personal goals as it keeps it in our mind and lets us recognize our progress.
Positive affirmations help reduce our stress by helping to change the way we talk to ourselves. When we challenge our negative self talk, we are telling ourselves that we do not deserve to be spoken to in this way. With time, we find ourselves less likely to engage in negative self talk in the first place. Can you imagine what you could do with the energy you saved if you didn't spend that time worrying, doubting yourself or ruminating on pessimistic thoughts?
How do I get started?
When getting started with positive self affirmations, there isn't just one correct way. You can try one thing and if it doesn't work for you, there are lots of other ways to incorporate them into your daily routine.
For instance you can:
What are some examples?
If you're having trouble knowing where to start or which affirmations will work best for you, here are a few examples. Now remember, you can tailor them towards your own specific needs or situation.
Moore, C. (2019, March 4). Positive Daily Affirmations: Is There Science Behind It? PositivePsychology.com. https://positivepsychology.com/daily-affirmations/
The Science Behind Positive Affirmations. (2021, February 4). Third Space. https://www.thirdspace.london/this-space/2021/02/the-science-behind-positive-affirmations/#:~:text=It%20fires%20up%20your%20neural
Do Affirmations Work? Yes, but There’s a Catch. (2020, September 1). Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/mental-health/do-affirmations-work#how-they-work