Affirmations: Why You Should Use Them
Did you know that both negative and positive thoughts affect the structure of the brain? Learning to master your mindset through powerful thinking can make the difference in how successful or happy you are in life. In fact, there is ample research supporting the association between optimism and a longer life, improved wellbeing and life satisfaction. Therefore, it would make sense that repeating daily affirmations would improve brain function and reverse negative thoughts to positive optimism and well-being.
So, what is an affirmation? A positive statement repeated to yourself which helps to inspire a specific outcome. Each thought you possess will affect the motivation centers in your brain. Therefore, choose a phrase which encapsulates what you specifically desire your mindset to hold onto. Know that affirmations do not make your wishes come true; they just help to train your brain to act with more dedication and determination.
Below are some tips to help you begin:
- Intentionally choose a positive thought, purpose, or goal that you have a desire to manifest in your life. Make it something that aligns with your deepest values and beliefs.
- Buy yourself a journal or small notebook that you can use to write a word or simple phrase which describes your intention. (Note: writing activates unique language and motivational centers in your brain)
- Then, take about 60 seconds to intentionally relax your body: take a deep mindful yawn and perform a super slow mindful movement while breathing slowly.
- Lastly, say your affirmation, either to yourself or aloud, between 5 to 10 times. Repeat every hour if you can. (Set an alarm on your phone will help you remember to say your affirmation)
If you were to go to a neurologist in approximately 8 weeks after you started practicing your affirmations and they were to scan your brain, they would probably see a significant change in function. You would show less irritability, anxiety and depression and more than likely show greater confidence in yourself. In fact, many who practice affirmations religiously report that their productivity increased substantially, and stress levels decreased exponentially.
Some examples of affirmations include:
- “I deserve abundance in all areas of my life: health, wealth, love and relationships”
- “I am committed to my personal growth; every day I continue to evolve and expand”
- “I am enough; I will always be enough”
- “I consistently nourish my body with healthy foods and movement”
- “I genuinely love and accept myself; I am unique and perfect just the way I am”
- “I am now releasing this paralyzing fear that holds me back, so I can move forward with confidence and manifest my dreams”
Of course, these are examples of affirmations used by others. It is always best to create your own affirmation because it will be more effective if it comes from you and truly reflects what you want. Create your own affirmations that will have positive emotional effects on your life. If doubts happen to creep into your head at all, write them down in your notebook and as you look at those doubts, repeat your affirmation with certainty.
Use the affirmation tips and strategies below to enhance your affirmation experience- you can try one by one or all of them together until you become a pro at manifesting your desires!
- Change up/ modify your affirmations as needed. Your brain loves newness.
- Visualize your affirmation and incorporate different “senses” into the experience-like adding bright, vivid colors.
- Repeat your affirmation aloud, or try singing your affirmation at the sound of pleasant music or try dancing to it or adding ritualized movements – with your fingers, hands, arms or head.
- You can also try adding an emotional component while visualizing or reciting the affirmation- such as feeling joy or imagining how you will feel when manifesting your goal or affirmation.
- Download a mindfulness clock app to help you remember to say your affirmation.
- Use power words in your affirmations such as – relax, calm, focus, confidence, etc.
Keep in mind:
Just using or repeating words may not be enough: Reinforce your affirmation by visualizing it: see yourself living and being congruent with it. Anchor your affirmation with colors, images, symbols, power numbers or words. Remember to incorporate positive emotions while reciting your affirmation!
There is no right or wrong way to either create or practice doing affirmations. Allow your intuition to guide you naturally.
I encourage you to infuse your brain with some optimism.
What affirmation are you going to create today?
To your happiness and success,
Albalooshi, Sumaya et al. “Reinstating the Resourceful Self: When and How Self-Affirmations Improve Executive Performance of the Powerless.” Personality & social psychology bulletin vol. 46,2 (2020): 189-203. doi:10.1177/0146167219853840
Seligman, M.E.P., Flourish: A visionary new understanding of happiness and well-being. (2011) New York, NY: Free Press.