Whether you realize it or not, there’s a high likelihood that, at some point in your life, you’ve said positive affirmations to yourself. A simple ‘you can do it,’ or ‘you’ve got this’ might sound like a pep talk to you, but it’s the benefits of affirmations like these that make us go to using positive statements in times of need.
But, did you know that positive affirmations and positive statements like these, can actually lead to more positive changes in your life than simply making you feel good in the moment?
What Are Affirmations?
Affirmations are positive statements that help the subconscious mind change negative thought patterns and replace them with positive thought patterns.
The statements can be structured as “I am” statements, such as “I am confident” or “I am worthy”, and are used in the present tense to help focus the brain on the here and now.
Affirmations can be used to help boost self-esteem, increase motivation, and reduce stress, and are often used in conjunction with other psychotherapies like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).
What Are Self Affirmations?
Self affirmations are simply positive affirmations said in a way that focuses on ourselves, which can encourage us to create a different belief about a specific thought or thought pattern, and lead to increased self worth.
For example, rather than saying “It is going to be a wonderful day today”, which is positive affirmation, a self affirmation would state “I make decisions that ensure I have a wonderful day”.
The slight difference in the way the affirmation is worded can create more feelings of control over your life, and allow you to feel like you have more power in using positive affirmations to help overcome negative thinking.
10 Benefits Of Affirmations
The power of affirmations is often spoken about, but it’s the benefits we see from using affirmations regularly that can have an incredibly positive effect on our lives.
These are some of the more common benefits of positive affirmations:
1 – Increases Self Esteem and Self Confidence
When you are constantly bombarded with negative messages, it can be difficult to feel good about yourself, which is why we start to believe the negative messages we see.
Our mind, while very intelligent, tends to believe what we tell it, and if we are always telling our mind negative things, especially about ourselves, then that’s what our mind is going to default to.
However, by repeating positive affirmations, you can change your thoughts to more positive ones, create more positive beliefs about yourself, and in turn, increase your self esteem and self confidence.
2 – Increases Positive Thinking
Another one of the powerful benefits of using affirmations is that they help to increase positive thinking.
When we focus on the positive aspects of our lives, we are more likely to see more positive things happening. We attract what we focus on, and so by affirming the good in our lives, we bring more good into our lives.
Additionally, when we pay attention to the positive, we are less likely to dwell on negative thoughts and experiences.
As a result, affirmations can encourage us to default to a more positive thought pattern.
3 – Ability To Overcome Negative Thought Patterns
We all have those little voices in our heads that tell us we’re not good enough, or that we can’t do something.
These negative thought patterns can be incredibly destructive and lead to a whole host of problems, including anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, and low confidence.
By using affirmations, we can help to quiet those negative voices and instead concentrate on the positive. This can lead to a more positive outlook on life and increased happiness.
4 – Improved Mental Health
According to mental health experts, affirmations can assist in improving our mental wellbeing, especially when used as a powerful tool alongside other types of therapy.
One of the most common problems that people face is negative self-talk. When we constantly tell ourselves that we’re not good enough, or that we’ll never achieve our goals, it can lead to feelings of anxiety and low self-esteem.
By contrast, positive affirmations help to counter these negative thoughts and promote a more positive outlook.
Studies have shown that people who use affirmations regularly tend to have lower levels of anxiety and depression, and higher levels of self-confidence and self-esteem.
In addition, affirmations can encourage us to increase our resilience in the face of adversity, give us the motivation to achieve our goals, and help us to feel like we have a greater sense of control in our lives.
5 – Improved Focus and Performance
When we are constantly bombarded with negative thoughts, it can be difficult to stay focused on what we’re doing. Our mind is constantly jumping from one worry to the next, and as a result, our performance suffers.
Affirmations help to refocus our attention on the present moment and the task at hand. By doing so, we can improve our focus and performance.
This in turn can lead to success in different areas of our life, for example, better job performance, better physical health, having an all-round better mood, and being a more driven and determined person.
6 – Helps Us Achieve Our Goals
When we set our sights on a goal, it can be difficult to stay motivated, especially when we encounter setbacks.
Affirmations help us to keep our eye on the prize and remind us of why we’re doing what we’re doing. They give us the strength to persevere and the motivation to keep going, even when things get tough.
By saying positive affirmations each day, we are reminded to make positive changes that lead to us achieving our goals. Whether they’re personal goals, goals for our job or career, or other goals we have in life, daily affirmation practice can help us get there.
7 – Improved Sleep
If you’re having trouble sleeping, you might be surprised to hear that affirmations can be a helpful tool.
One of the reasons that people have difficulty sleeping is because their minds are racing with negative thoughts. This can lead to insomnia and other sleep problems.
Affirmations can allow us to calm our minds and promote relaxation. As a result, they can help to improve our sleep.
Using affirmations during meditation practice can create a sense of calm, and can shift our thinking patterns from negative thoughts that keep us awake, to more positive thoughts that allow our mind to rest and our body to relax.
8 – Increased Happiness and Positivity
It’s easy to see how saying positive affirmations every day can lead to increased positivity and increased happiness in our life.
When we pay more attention to the positive things in our lives, we are more likely to see more positive things happening. Kind of like a positive feedback loop – we see what we tell our mind we want to see, and therefore when we see the positive things, our mind shows us more positive things.
While it might seem such a simple thing to do, saying these affirmations has the power to improve our mood, change our thoughts and beliefs to more positive ones, and could literally make us happier, more positive people.
9 – Reduced Stress & Anxiety
We know stress can have a negative impact on our health. It can lead to a whole host of problems, including anxiety, depression, and high blood pressure.
Affirmations can help to reduce stress by reminding us of the positive things in life. When we are thinking of the good, it helps to take our mind off of the things that are causing us stress.
In addition, affirmations can help to increase our resilience in the face of adversity. They remind us that we are strong and capable of handling whatever comes our way.
10 – Improved Relationships
When we choose to practice positive thinking, and choose to speak to ourselves in a positive way, we are more likely to treat others with kindness and respect. We are also more likely to be forgiving and patient.
Affirmations help us to see the best in people and to nurture our relationships. As a result, they can lead to improved communication and closer bonds.
The increase in our own self worth from doing simple things like saying a positive affirmation each day, can lead us to make positive changes in the way we interact with others and the relationships we have.
Do Affirmations Work?
In short, yes, absolutely they work.
But, there are a few key things you need to be mindful of if you really want to see the benefits that come with using positive affirmations to change your thoughts.
Affirmations alone aren’t enough to overcome mental health challenges, but can be used alongside other psychotherapies like counseling and therapy.
With that being said, they are a great starting point that is easy for you to implement and can help you make some positive changes, feeling like you’re moving forwards and creating the belief that you have control over your own life.
In addition, the science also reiterates the need to use affirmations daily, and on a regular basis, in order to see the positive effects.
You can read more about the science behind affirmations and how they work here – Do Affirmations Work? Science Says Yes! But…
Examples Of Affirmations
There are so many different positive affirmations for you to use based on different aspects of your life and what you’re working on.
These are some examples of affirmations to help you get started:
- I am enough.
- I am worthy of love and respect.
- I am strong and capable.
- I am deserving of happiness and success.
- I am grateful for what I have.
- I am open to new possibilities.
- I make a difference.
- I choose joy.
How Daily Affirmations Can Help Mental Health
Our words have power.
The things we say to ourselves can have a profound impact on our emotions and mental state.
That’s why many experts encourage using daily affirmations as a tool for improving mental health.
By speaking words of encouragement and positivity, we can start to shift our mindset from negative to positive.
This, in turn, can lead to increased happiness, reduced stress, and improved self-esteem.
If you’re not sure where to start, try saying some of the following affirmations each day: “I am worthy of love and respect,” “I am capable of achieving great things,” or “I am strong and resilient.”
Just a few seconds of self-affirmation can make a world of difference for your mental health.
How To Use Affirmations
There are no set rules on how to use positive affirmations, and one of the best ways to see positive changes is to find a way that you can incorporate the affirmations into a daily practice, that suits your lifestyle.
When you repeat an affirmation to yourself, whether it’s spoken out loud or in your mind, written down or read to yourself, you are reprogramming your brain to start prioritizing more positive thoughts, changing your thinking patterns, and shifting away from negative thinking.
Affirmations can be used for a variety of purposes, but some tips on how to get the most out of them include:
1. Choose affirmations that resonate with you. If you don’t resonate with what you’re saying, it’s unlikely to be effective.
Spend some time thinking about areas of your life that you would like to improve, and then choose affirmations that speak to those specific goals.
2. Repeat, repeat, repeat. In order for affirmations to work, you need to repeat them frequently.
A good way to do this is to set aside some time each morning and evening for affirmative self-talk or keep a list of your chosen affirmations handy so that you can review them throughout the day.
3. Be patient. Change takes time, don’t expect miracles overnight. Give yourself some time to adjust to your new way of thinking, and you’ll eventually start to see results.
There are so many different ways of using positive affirmations, these are some ideas on how to use them every day:
- Repeat your chosen affirmation while standing in front of a mirror
- Pick one affirmation and repeat it during a meditation
- Use positive affirmations as journal prompts and write down any negative feelings you have when reading an affirmation, and what you could do to change these feelings and beliefs.
How Often Should I Use Positive Affirmations?
Ideally, you should use positive affirmations as often as possible – the more you repeat them, the more likely you are to see results.
You can’t overdo positive affirmations, but studies show saying your affirmations at least 3 times a day leads to better results.
When Is The Best Time Of Day To Use Positive Affirmations?
The best time to use positive affirmations is whenever you can fit them into your day.
If you’re looking for ideas on how to incorporate them into your daily routine, here are some suggestions:
In the morning: Start your day off on the right foot by repeating some positive affirmations when you wake up. This can help to set the tone for the day and give you a boost of confidence and motivation.
During your commute: If you have a long commute to your job, use that time to repeat your affirmations. This can help to ease any stress or anxiety you’re feeling about the day ahead.
Before bed: End your day on a positive note by repeating your affirmations before you go to bed. This can help to calm your mind and body as well as help prepare you for a good night’s rest.
How To Write Your Own Affirmation Statements
If you’re wanting to put your own personal touch on your affirmations, and work on creating more specific positive thought patterns, then writing your own affirmations may be ideal.
The key to writing effective affirmations is to make them specific and personal to you, your current situation, your goals, and what you want to achieve.
For example, rather than saying “I am happy,” try “I am grateful for my health, my family, and my wonderful life.”
The more specific you can be, the more powerful your affirmations will be.
Additionally, it is important to resonate with what you are saying. You don’t have to believe your affirmation at first, but repeating it several times a day will help your mind start to shift its beliefs.
If you find it difficult to believe your own affirmations at first, that’s okay. Keep going and with a little practice, you’ll be surprised at how quickly you see changes in your life.
Finally, be sure to write your affirmation statements in the present tense. This will help your mind to more easily accept the statements as truth.
So rather than writing “I will be more confident,” try “I am confident” instead.
When you write them down, be sure to use affirmative words and phrases such as “I am,” and avoid negative words and phrases like “I don’t” or “I won’t”.
These words are incredibly powerful, and you’ll want to infuse as much positivity into your affirmations as possible.
You can use the examples of affirmations from above and add your own unique touch to them.