If you haven’t been introduced to positive affirmations, the idea of them can be viewed as a bit awkward and embarrassing. However, they can really benefit your self-esteem and feelings of positivity - which are both key for a good day! So, what are they and how do they work?
Positive affirmations are positive phrases or statements - typically used to combat negative or unhelpful thoughts - but mostly to reinforce a positive mindset.
All you need to do is pick a phrase and repeat it. It can feel more powerful to say it out loud, write it down and/or say it in front of the mirror. This can be done alone or with others. In fact, many parents are starting to introduce positive affirmations to their children to promote a positive mindset from an early age.
If you’re wondering what kind of phrase to pick, think about what you’re trying to achieve. Do you want to motivate yourself? Boost your self-esteem? Dispel fear or nerves? Project something that’s important to you? Then decide what kind of phrase would help you. Here are some examples:
1. I am in charge of how I feel and today I am choosing happiness.
2. I embrace the rhythm of life and let it unfold.
3. I am worthy of great things.
4. I am optimistic because today is a new day.
5. I am a good person.
6. Asking for help is a sign of self-respect and self-awareness.
7. I am beautiful.
8. I will be present. I will be positive.
9. I’m proud of myself and who I am.
Are they worth doing? If they make you feel great - then yes! And there is some science behind them too. Positive Psychology reported the following…
- “Self-affirmations have been shown to decrease health-deteriorating stress (Sherman et al., 2009; Critcher & Dunning, 2015);
- “Self-affirmations have been used effectively in interventions that led people to increase their physical behaviour (Cooke et al., 2014);
- “They may help us to perceive otherwise “threatening” messages with less resistance, including interventions (Logel & Cohen, 2012);
- “They can make us less likely to dismiss harmful health messages, responding instead with the intention to change for the better (Harris et al., 2007) and to eat more fruit and vegetables (Epton & Harris, 2008);
- “They have been linked positively to academic achievement by mitigating GPA decline in students who feel left out at college (Layous et al., 2017);
- “Self-affirmation has been demonstrated to lower stress and rumination (Koole et al., 1999; Wiesenfeld et al., 2001).”