How Positive Affirmations Shape the Way We Experience Our World
How do you talk to yourself? How do you talk about yourself? No, these are not trick questions and the answers really matter. What we think about ourselves has a lot of power, because those thoughts can affect our actions, and ultimately our reality. You have probably heard of positive affirmations or self-affirmations. Maybe you think the idea is kinda hokey, but transforming your inner dialogue is a powerful thing. If your inner thoughts are full of self-criticism and self-loathing, that actually saps your energy and can keep you from reaching the goals you have for yourself. Imagine transforming that inner space to a place of calm confidence. How empowering would that be?! And you can do it but you will need to start feeding your brain some positivity today. Don’t worry, we’ll show you how.
What Exactly Are Positive Affirmations?
Affirmations are positive statements that we can chose to use to help literally reprogram our conscious (and subconscious) mind. These statements help us to meet our goals by guiding us toward manifesting what we want out of life by believing we can do or have what we want. Think about it. If you are set in the belief that you can’t do something, you’re setting yourself up for a hard time if you attempt it. Even if you don’t believe the positive affirmations you are using at first, this is definitely a time when “faking it ‘till you make it,” is okay, and encouraged! With practice, you can change your tendencies of negative and narrow thinking that may be keeping you stuck. Affirmations can help you move toward the realm of positive possibilities. Now let’s get started.
What are some of the benefits of using Positive Affirmations?
- Keeps you more focused and directed on what you want out of life
- Keeps things in perspective and helps you feel less overwhelmed
- Encourages positive boundaries and daily routines
- Decreases negative effects of built of stress
- Increases your feelings of gratitude and blessings
The Power of “I am” Language and How to Use it
When forming affirmations, they are the most powerful when you start them with “I am.” Powerful. Present. And about YOU. Remember, the idea is to affirm that you already are something, not that you will be. And not affirming a negative. For example, instead of saying “I am not sad,” you would say “I am happy.” See the difference?
Some other examples:
- I am loved
- I am powerful
- I am more than enough
- I am capable
- I am competent
- I am beautiful right here, right now
- I am safe
- I am grounded
- I am smart
- I am strong!
Using Action Words in Your Affirmations
Now, let’s add some action words. These can be a bit more future-oriented, but still present-focused. You’ll see what we mean in a moment. Empowerment often entails action toward creating what you want. Feeling positive about yourself and life actually takes action and effort, and you can do that by starting to cultivate a positive “can-do” mindset.
- I am creating the life I want
- I am cultivating relationships that are important to me
- I am choosing the be present
- I am experiencing joy
- I am shedding what doesn’t serve me
- I am manifesting the connections I desire
- I am energizing the people around me
- I am facilitating my growth
- I am harmonizing different parts of myself
Positive Affirmation Practice
Now that you have a few ideas about what you may want to say to yourself, actually say them! Out loud! If these feels like too much to start off with, you can type them out or preferably write them out long-hand. You may even want to consider pairing an affirmation with a picture, scene, or positive memory to help reinforce them. One example could be saying an affirmation that you are loved and remember your Grandma telling you so as further proof. This links your present self with the strength and feelings of that past memory; making it and you feel stronger.
When you are ready, consider making it a morning routine to say one or two affirmations to yourself in the mirror when you’re getting ready for even just a week and see if you note a difference from the tone that you set for yourself in the beginning of the day.
Here are some other things to consider:
- Keeping an affirmation journal
- Write affirmation on sticky notes and placing them where you will see them
- Sharing your affirmations with others
- Maintaining a morning and night affirmation routine
- Journal when you start affirmations to see if your mood/anxiety are influenced
- Create some art or a doodle to go along with your affirmations
Why Belief Leads to Change
This isn’t waving a magic wand. Change likely won’t come overnight, but if you are diligent with this, you will notice how over time you will start to feel a bit lighter. No, affirmations won’t make your life perfect or all of your problems go away, but they can help you to feel better about yourself and the world around you. Creating positive beliefs about yourself is a sure-fire way to help you move toward your goals, because they will energize you to take action in the direction you want to go. Negative beliefs keep us sluggish and stuck and it can take time and energy to reverse those beliefs, but it’s well worth the effort.
Try some of these changes:
- Change “most people are jerks” to “I have been hurt, but most people are well-meaning”
- Change “the world is unsafe” to “scary things can happen, but right now I am safe”
- Change “My life is chaos” to “I am in control of my own life, emotions, and destiny”
If you’ve been in a habit of thinking mostly negative things about yourself, you may need some extra help in starting your affirmation practice and getting it to stick. And that’s ok! Consider talking to a friend and creating a routine that you may share to support each other in moving forward in your beliefs. If you feel like you may need help outside of your natural support system, that is ok too. Consider making an appointment with a counselor today. They can help you get started on the path to positive thinking, and ultimately positive beliefs and outcomes in your life. Over time, with a practice of positive self-affirmations, you’ll feel more resilient and better able to handle what life throws at you. We’d love to help you along that journey. In the meantime, here are some other ideas to jumpstart your positive affirmations.