Positive affirmations are positive phrases or statements that are used to challenge negative or unhelpful thoughts. They are used as a means of introducing new and adaptive cognitive processes.
All you need to do is pick a phrase and repeat it to yourself three to five times daily. This is to reinforce positive beliefs. The affirmations can be motivational, encouraging or self esteem boosting. Often our self talk is negative and the aim of affirmations is to change these subconscious patterns, by replacing them with positive affirmations.
There is a science behind it. By practicing positive affirmations regularly, you can make lasting, long term changes in the way you think and feel. The key psychological theory behind positive affirmations is the “Self-Affirmation Theory (Steele, 1988)”. You can read about it here:
There is definite evidence that suggests that certain neural pathways are increased when positive affirmations are practiced. Here are six examples of evidence that suggest that practicing these affirmations can be beneficial to you:
- It has shown to decrease health-deteriorating stress.
- It is used effectively in interventions that led people to increase their physical behavior.
- It helps you perceive “threatening” messages with less resistance.
- You will be less likely to dismiss harmful health messages and rather respond to them instead by changing for the better.
- They are linked positively to academic achievement.
- They lower stress and rumination (a deep or considered thought about something).
Positive Affirmations are designed to encourage an optimistic mindset and optimism is of course a powerful thing. Your thoughts can also influence your health for the better. They are useful for boosting self esteem and can sometimes help relieve anxiety.
It is good to print out these affirmations and place them in a journal or turn them into cards. You need to be able to see them.
There are also apps that can be downloaded which generate positive affirmations.
I have drawn up a Positive Affirmations List which can be downloaded for free under the Resources section of the blog. Here is a preview of the list. I hope that you will get benefit from using these. You are also encouraged to come up with your own positive affirmations. You are more than welcome to share some of your own affirmations with us.