An affirmation by definition is a statement that is affirming something, but it goes so much deeper than that. Affirmations as they are used today are short phrases that you tell yourself, which can put you into a positive mindset.
There are affirmations used for many different things, from improving your body image to helping to improve your confidence. Here are some examples of what affirmations might look like:
- I achieve anything I put my mind to.
- I am confident and powerful.
- I will work hard to achieve my goals.
They are typically short phrases or statements, typically just long enough to get the point across, but short enough to where you can memorize them.
Affirmations are used in a variety of ways, but most often people repeat them multiple times to start shifting their mindset from negative to positive.
Below, you will learn more about how they actually work, and ways you can implement them in your own life.
Why Are affirmations Effective?
There are many benefits people get by using and repeating affirmations on a regular basis, though your own benefits might be different.
Some people like to use affirmations to help with a very specific problem they are experiencing, like having trouble letting go of a past mistake or needing to build courage for an upcoming presentation. Others like to use the same ones each day because they put them in the perfect mindset to keep being happy and feel loved.
Benefits of affirmations
Here is a short list of the ways you can benefit by using affirmations regularly, though keep in mind you may see other advantages in your own life.
- You increase your confidence
- They give you more self-love and self-compassion
- You have courage and get out of your comfort zone
- You improve your positive mindset
- You can develop a success and abundance mindset
- You learn to let go and forgive
- You feel more present and mindful in your life
- You can reduce stress and anxiety
Okay, but how do they actually work?
What you tell yourself, even just in your mind, you start to believe. This often happens without you ever realizing it. If you constantly berate yourself and tell yourself that you are a failure or unattractive or unworthy of love, that is exactly what your mind is going to believe. You then start taking actions to make this a reality.
But if you think positively, tell yourself over and over again how successful, beautiful, smart, and abundant you are, your mindset and actions change.
Your subconscious can’t always tell the difference between a dream and reality. So, the more you repeat affirmations to yourself, the more you actually start to believe them. When this happens, a ripple effect of positive thoughts and actions begin to occur in your life.
Selecting the Right Ones
One of the most important aspects to using affirmations is knowing which ones YOU need. The affirmations your best friend or co-worker use probably won’t be the ones that are most effective for you. Affirmations are highly personal and individual.
There are two categories of affirmations you will find:
1. Standard, generic, and broad affirmations.
2. Specific affirmations based on individual needs.
These are both amazing types of affirmations, they just benefit you in different ways and are needed at different times.
Here are some examples:
These are the ones you are probably most familiar with and have seen many times. Affirmations that are broad, fit a larger group of people, and can apply to many different situations at one time. These might include:
- I am loved.
- I am beautiful.
- I can achieve anything.
- I have power and determination.
- I am going to be successful.
You can use any of these standard affirmations and then apply them to a situation you are dealing with, just by tweaking a few words.
The other group of affirmations are more specific ones. They are similar, though they often fit within a more narrow category. Think of them as an individual or custom affirmation meant to invoke a very specific response. They are trying to help you with something you are struggling with and change your mindset about that one thing in your life.
Examples of these include:
- I will forgive (person’s name) and move past this indiscretion.
- I am working hard toward (goal) and will achieve it by (date).
- Today, my focus is on (your answer here).
- I love my body for everything it does for me.
- I will eat healthy and workout every day.
How Can You Use Them?
Okay, you understand what affirmations are, how they work, and which ones to use. Now what? Here is the fun part – using them!
The way you use your affirmations is completely up to you, but here are some ideas to help get you started:
Write them in your journal – A very popular way to use affirmations is to write them down in your journal. You might use a different affirmation each day that you write down, or you have the same one you write a certain number of times each day.
Put them on your mirror or fridge – If you have some affirmations that you want to be reminded of often, write them on sticky notes and place them somewhere you will see them often. This might be on your bathroom mirror, your refrigerator, or on your monitor. Every time you see the affirmation, say it to yourself or out loud to affirm it.
Say them to yourself silently throughout the day – Use the shorter, simpler affirmations to repeat as many times as you can throughout the day, especially for specific ones that you are using for challenges or upcoming goals. The more you say them, the more you start to believe them.
Keep important affirmations in your wallet – Another great way to have them accessible to you throughout the day is to write down the ones that are most effective, and keep them in your wallet or purse.
Add them to your morning or nighttime routine – Start making a routine out of using and writing down affirmations, so you remind yourself to use them often. Remember using affirmations once or twice isn’t going to be effective. You really need to create a habit out of this.
Writing Your Own Affirmations
When you get into the practice of using affirmations, you can go even deeper into this mindset shift by writing out some of your own. This is completely optional, so don’t worry if it doesn’t sound like something you are interested in. But, if you do want to write your own, here are some very simple guidelines:
1. Keep them positive. The single most important thing about an affirmation is that it is positive. It needs to be positive, optimistic, and create good energy, not bad. You don’t talk about something you are stressed out about, but instead focus on how you are stress-free.
2. Keep them short. For an affirmation to be effective and to repeat it to yourself often, it needs to be short so that you can memorize it. This also makes it easier to write it out multiple times if this is part of your routine.
3. Think of what you need the affirmations for. The easiest way to get started writing your own affirmations is to think of WHY you want to write them. Are you creating new goals? Are you struggling keeping up with your healthy routine? Do you want to find new direction in your life? Have you been dealing with low self-esteem? This should guide you in the right direction.
Affirmations can be very powerful if you are consistent and truly believe what you are saying.
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