What Are Affirmations?
An affirmation is simply a statement, which when frequently repeated, starts to affect both your conscious thinking processes and, more importantly, the subconscious.
By its very definition, an affirmation is a statement affirming, supporting, confirming, agreeing and approving a thought or belief. A statement considered factual.
Whilst we can (and should) make these affirmations consciously, more often than not, they are the way we naturally ‘talk’ to ourselves on a daily basis, based on our existing habits and past thinking.
What Are Positive Affirmations?
Affirmations can be powerful and profoundly affect you by wiring your brain to accept what’s repeated as truth. Therefore, it’s important to realize that an affirmation can be either positive or negative. They have the power to do great good or a great deal of damage, depending on how you use them.
When we consciously focus on using positive affirmations on a regular basis, they can be an effective tool to build optimism and turn around a negative mindset.
Positive affirmations are a powerful way to help you reach your goals and are what we refer to here when talking about ‘affirmations’.
Why Affirmations Are Powerful
Affirmations are powerful because they have the potential to change our thoughts and improve our overall mindset. And once your mindset is strong and focused on what you do want in your life, it’s a very powerful combination. It affects how you feel, and how you act. Your thoughts drive you to take inspired action towards the things that you need to do to achieve what you want.
Can you imagine if you were told and taught to say these positive affirmations from a young age?:
The good news is, affirmations that are well-directed can do us a lot of good in every aspect of our lives. In general, they have several powerful benefits, including:
Strong Motivation Towards Goals
Affirmations direct our thoughts in a particular direction. When combined with a goal, affirmations can really make things happen. By repeating the goal frequently in your mind through targeted affirmations, you never lose sight of where you’re going and why you’re going there.
Nothing spurs action better than the thought you’re going to succeed at what you’re going to do. After all, if the outcome is assured, why wouldn’t you get moving to make it happen?
Impact On Subconscious
One of the fascinating aspects of affirmations is how they work even when you think they’re not.
For example, after repeating to yourself how much you love your body and how amazing it is when it’s working well, you’re going to find yourself not feeling quite so drawn toward those bad habits which might impact your health negatively.
It becomes easier to turn down the old bad habits and patterns that weren’t working for you, opposed to what you need in your life to achieve what you want. You might not realize why you’re making either choice until you start examining your thoughts. Then you will notice that the affirmations had worked so deeply into your subconscious that you’re making the better and healthier choices.
Affirmations can help to create and reinforce positive habits leading to a host of benefits such as good health, a more organized life, and an approach to work that gets things done.
As your affirmations become more and more ingrained, you will find yourself correcting and moving towards better habits that are in line with what you affirming to be true in your life.
When you’re constantly feeding yourself a stream of positivity, you’re going to find you’re more positive in approaching life. This alone is a benefit, but it leads to another one you might not think about otherwise. As you become more positive, the people around you can’t help but notice. They’re going to be drawn to you, wanting to be near you solely because you do have such an upbeat outlook on things.
A positive outlook also pushes you toward new opportunities in all walks of life. When you feel good about who you are, and about how you’re growing and changing for the better, you naturally seek out more opportunities and are positioned better for whatever transformation awaits.
After all, when you’re happier and more confident, this positive outlook affects how you stand, how you walk, and how you conduct yourself physically. Positivity shows through in every aspect of your life and health.
Do Affirmations Work?
Affirmations can work extremely well. Imagine if everything you told yourself was upbeat, positive, inspiring and genuine. Think about what kind of person you’d be!
How different would you be if the negative self-talk was never there (or greatly minimalized!), or you had received only positive affirmations, like those in the above video?
These ‘high quality’ words become thoughts, which then impact how you feel and then impact how inspired you are to take action towards your desired outcomes.
So, yes affirmations can work really well.
The key though, is to be wise in choosing your affirmations. Then back them up by being consistent as you set about using them. In no time at all, you’re going to start seeing some incredible differences in your life.
Unfortunately, many of us are pre-programmed to have negative thoughts and beliefs. We constantly tell ourselves why we cannot succeed: not smart enough, not rich enough, not good enough. These messages run through your head on a sub-conscious level, and even though we may not consciously think about them often, they are still there.
Affirmations are about replacing those messages with ones that empower or heal. Ultimately, getting those on a sub-conscious level too. How? The same way you created the negative ones: with consistency and repetition.
What Is the Most Powerful Affirmation?
The most powerful affirmations are those that resonate with you personally. You don’t need to tap your heels together, jump 3 times and say your affirmations in a particular order.
You do however, need to make sure that your affirmations are:
- In the present tense
How to Use Affirmations
You can use positive affirmations for different areas of your life and for many different reasons.
Remember that we all ‘talk’ or ‘affirm’ statements to ourselves constantly throughout the day. The onus here, is making sure that we are saying and confirming the right things to ourselves – to create the feelings we want to feel and to take inspired action.
There are also many ways that you can use daily affirmations. Still, some specific techniques can help you make the most of affirmations:
List Your Current Thoughts
Checking in on your current thoughts is the most effective place to start. Pick an area of your life that you want to improve or a particular goal you want to achieve. What are your current thoughts around this? Write any or all of what you come up with. Consider:
- How do I currently feel about this?
- What do I currently think about this?
Take your time and list it all out, no matter how silly or ridiculous they may sound.
Are these current thoughts actually factual? Or just an existing belief system? Really question yourself on this.
Reword Your Thoughts
Are your current thoughts not conducive to where you want to be thinking, feeling and achieving in life? If so, it’s time to change those thoughts, by rewording these thoughts to a positive affirmation instead.
Easier said than done though, right?
Depending on the gap between your current thought and your ideal thought, you may need to gradually adjust your affirmation so that it’s believable. For example:
Current thought and situation: “I’m always broke.”
Ideal thought and situation: “I’m rich and can spend what I like, whenever I like.”
The gap here is huge!
Now, if you just start trying to tell yourself that you’re rich when you’re staring at unpaid bills and overdrawn bank accounts, these type of positive affirmations won’t get you far. Your mind is no fool.
So what would be more believable?
A more positive affirmation, that’s also believable. Then you can work your way up from your current thoughts to your ideal thoughts as you move along. For example:
“I always find a way to pay my bills”
“I’m grateful for my income”
“My needs are always met”
“Im grateful for the opportunities that present themselves to me”
Express Your Affirmations
Say your affirmation out loud. Or write them out by hand. Or both. Whatever works best for you.
Do not rush them. Say it and feel it with every cell in your body. You must say it clearly, mean every word, and focus on it.
Repeat your affirmations over and over. You can do it five or six times. Whatever makes you feel happy, whatever amount works for you. Focus on the meaning and intent. Be grateful for what you already have and the opportunities available to you.
When you start using affirmations to change your lifestyle, you will figure out a way to do them that best suits you. No matter what you choose, you can’t do affirmations “wrong’.
All you have to do is believe in yourself and what you’re saying, until they become second nature to you and you start noticing the amazing power of affirmations.
Positive Affirmations to Say Every Day
Do you love yourself? This can be a difficult question to answer. Most commonly, we all love ourselves a little bit-but could greatly benefit from loving ourselves more with positive affirmations.
Positive affirmations are statements that can be used to overcome negativity and increase self-worth. But is there any science behind the popularity of these exercises?
There is, according to a research report in Oxford University Press’ Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience journal. The report found study participants that exercised self-affirmation had increased activity in self-processing regions of the brain.
This means study participants who exercised positive affirmations were more strongly able to reflect on themselves and the future.
At the very least, exercising positive affirmations every day can help frame your day for the better. You may even find that some affirmations can turn your bad day into a good one. Here are our favorite positive affirmations to say every day.
“I am worthy of happiness, health, and tranquility.”
We often ask kids, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” But at the end of the day, it’s not our career that defines us. Our happiness and state of being reigns supreme. Today and every day, remind yourself that you deserve to be happy, healthy, and tranquil.
Life isn’t easy and you may not feel all of these things every single day, but simply reminding yourself that these feelings will continue to come can help you get through harder days and work.
“I deserve kindness and will give kindness today and every day.”
Our culture today often values productivity over self-care. However, humans are not machines, and working a 9-5 is not ideal in cultivating efficiency or focus. While some individuals can be productive during a typical 9-5 workday, many others thrive in more flexible schedules.
Whether your line of work requires you to work 9-5 or can be more flexible, remember to receive and give kindness today. By repeating and believing this affirmation, you can set your mindset up for success even if you don’t necessarily receive external kindness today. You can take it upon yourself to give yourself kindness, each and every day. Equip yourself to perhaps work on someone else’s schedule, but rest and value yourself on your own.
“Affirmations are like seed planted in soil. Poor soil, poor growth. Rich soil, abundant growth. The more you choose to think thoughts that make you feel good, the quicker the affirmations work.” Louise Hay
I may be getting a little meta here-but sometimes what you really need is an affirmation about affirmations! It’s easy to look in a mirror and think that you haven’t done enough in a day, week, or month.
Try saying this affirmation daily to remind yourself that positivity and growth take time. Sometimes, your soil is perfectly healthy and abundant, but the goal you are working toward is large and requires a lot of stamina and time.
And sometimes, we all succumb to worries and self-doubt. This can make our soil more poor and unhealthy and can cause a bump in the road toward accomplishing our goals. Use this affirmation on days when your progress feels slow or paused, and remind yourself that you can feed yourself healthy food and thoughts to start moving once more.
This quote by Louise Hay also serves a dual purpose of positivity in moving forward in growth and having faith in affirmations overall. You can read more of our favorite quotes on affirmations in our post, 35 Powerful Quotes on Affirmations.
“Instead of worrying about what you cannot control, shift your energy to what you can create.” Roy T. Bennett
Has anyone ever told you to simply stop worrying? And has hearing this just made you worry…more? We’re often told that instead of worrying about what we can’t control, we should focus on what we can.
However, focusing on an unnamed thing we can control can sometimes be too vague of a shift to ask of our brains. This affirmation instead asks you to focus your energy on something you can create.
When was the last time you used a Crayola crayon or wrote a poem? Even for non-creative types, exploring a new way to organize a spreadsheet or a new way to code a program can help expand the mind and shift focus away from negativity.
Try using this affirmation when you cannot shift your negative thoughts away from potential future problems. As we explored in my post about being full of worry despite being ridiculously happy, worrying does not protect you from future pain. Instead, try to shift your mind to a positive, new creative outlet and take each day in stride.
“You always pass failure on the way to success.” Mickey Rooney
Sometimes, we become too focused on the past to even worry about the future. What can we do when we find ourselves stuck on Groundhog Day, reliving past failures and embarrassments?
We have to turn our past failures into learning opportunities and stepping stones to success. This positive affirmation from actor Mickey Rooney exemplifies this. Instead of leaving our past failures as only embarrassing, sad stories, we can frame them to be stepping stones to success.
After all, not even a child genius gets everything right on the first try. It’s perfectly normal to fail on your first, second, or even 100th try. Every step brings us closer to success.
Conquering Your Life with Affirmations
Using positive affirmations can’t hurt a bad day, and even poses a potential solution to negativity. But is there additional science behind the effectiveness of affirmations, other than increased activity in the brain?
Shortly, yes! In addition to the effect affirmations have on your ability to reflect on yourself and your future, affirmations also relate to “self-affirmation theory.”
Self-affirmation theory deals with how strong our sense of self is, via our perceived ability to affect the world around us. If you believe you have a stronger grasp on what happens to and around you, you are more likely to have higher self-integrity.
And positive affirmations can help make you feel valued, secure, and self-aware. Try incorporating a few of our favorite positive affirmations above into your daily life today, and feel the difference in positivity tomorrow.
Looking for more inspirational on affirmations?:
- 35 Powerful Quotes About Affirmations
- 30 Neville Goddard Quotes & Affirmations
- 5 Abundance Mindset Exercises That Will Make All The Difference
- 22 of the Greatest Abundance Quotes That Will Shift Your Thinking
- 34 Abundance Affirmations To Encourage Possibility
- 46 Law Of Attraction Quotes from Inspiring Thought Leaders
- An Epic List of Affirmations for Self Esteem, Confidence & Self Love