What are affirmations?
Affirmations are brief, positive statements, that are said frequently to challenge negative or unhelpful thoughts and cultivate positive thinking.
Throughout our lives, we have been influenced by our environment, how we were raised and what society has taught us about ourselves and our place in the world. Significant life experiences and trauma can also shape the way we view ourselves and the world around us. Especially with what’s going on in the world right now, it’s easy to get into the cycle of negativity and hopelessness. This can shake our confidence and increase our negative self-talk.
Positive affirmations are a way to counteract that negative self-talk and sabotage to help you through difficult situations.
There is actual science behind the positive effect that affirmations can have on our outlook on life. There is a famous quote by Donald Hebb, a neuropsychologist who said that “neurons that fire together, wire together.” Neurons are those messengers in our brain that relay information to our body and the nervous system. What that statement means is that the more we repeat something, the more it gets hard wired into the brain. When we do certain tasks or when we repeat certain phrases, the neural network in our brain becomes stronger and stronger each time.
The concept of neuroplasticity also says that our brains have the amazing ability to reorganize itself, change, adapt, and create new connections. This is great news for us because even though we’ve had years of thinking and behaving a certain way, we can train our brains to do and think differently.
This is why the daily practice of saying positive affirmations can be so powerful. It creates and strengthens pathways in the brain that can lead to new habits, new behaviors, and new ways of thinking.
It’s not a magic tool that will change your life or circumstances suddenly. But what positive affirmations do is that it can give you the confidence, the hope, and a positive outlook that can give you a different perspective on life and the encouragement to overcome challenges that you may be facing.
It takes time and repetition and needs to be done regularly. To be effective, pick affirmations that ring true for you and acknowledge the reality of your current situation. So for example if you’re facing a difficult situation, acknowledge that and then add a positive statement on how you want to overcome it. Examples include:
“I’m going through a difficult situation right now, but I have it in me to overcome it.”
“I am doing what I can to nourish and love my body.”
“I feel sad and depressed, but I love and accept myself.”
“I make time to do the things that matter to me.”
“I support my wellness by taking a walk every day.”
“I speak to my body lovingly and accept it the way it is.”
“I feel nourished.”
“I say yes to things that support my wellness.”
“I choose healing.”
Say your positive affirmations several times throughout the day. Write them down. Put them up where you will see them regularly.
There are infinite possibilities and opportunities in life for us. Positive affirmations can help you be more receptive to receiving them.