Self-help books often promote the power of positive affirmations.
You, me, and almost everybody in the 21st century have heard of them. But if you’ve never tried them before, the idea can seem incredibly awkward.
Telling yourself how awesome you are can seem bizarre, but if that’s all you’re doing, there are probably more effective ways to go about it. And if you’re a sceptic, it doesn’t hurt to understand how and why positive affirmations became so popular.
And yes, there is genuine theory and a fair amount of neuroscience behind this practice.
There’s value in patting yourself (and your friends) on the back. Studies show that doing so not only combats stress, but also, using uplifting language can boost your overall health. That’s why reciting (or journaling) daily positive affirmations can turn your disposition a bit brighter.
According to Louise Hay, affirmations and positive thinking expert, the morning is a great opportunity to practice mirror work, in which you recite affirmations while looking at yourself in the mirror.
And the morning, Hay believes, is the best time to determine how you want the rest of the day to go. It’s why positive morning affirmations can be very powerful—and a great opportunity to practice repeating them in the mirror. Here are some of her suggestions:
- I am beautiful and everybody loves me;
- Life brings me only good experiences. I am open to new and wonderful changes;
- I feel glorious, dynamic energy. I am active and alive;
- Every experience I have is perfect for my growth;
- Today I create a wonderful day and a wonderful new future;
- Abundance flows freely through me;
- My self-esteem is high because I honour who I am.
We can however use positive affirmations for specific situations, such as
When you feel lonely and sad:
I feel the love of those who are not physically around me.
I take pleasure in my own solitude.
I am too big a gift to this world to feel self-pity.
I love and approve of myself.
When you feel terrified
I focus on breathing and grounding myself.
Following my intuition and my heart keeps me safe and sound.
I make the right choices every time.
I draw from my inner strength and light.
I trust myself.
When you feel insignificant:
I am a unique child of this world.
I have as much brightness to offer the world as the next person.
I matter and what I have to offer this world also matters.
I may be one in 7 billion but I am also one in 7 billion.
When you are at work:
I am doing work that I enjoy and find fulfilling.
I play a big role in my own career success.
I ask for and do meaningful, wonderful and rewarding work.
I engage in work that impacts this world positively.
I believe in my ability to change the world with the work that I do.
When you can’t sleep:
Peaceful sleep awaits me in dreamland.
I let go of all the false stories I make up in my head.
I release my mind of thought until the morning.
I embrace the peace and quiet of the night.
I sleep soundly and deeply and beautifully into this night.
When you don’t want to face the day:
This day brings me nothing but joy.
Today will be a gorgeous day to remember.
My thoughts are my reality so I think up a bright new day.
I fill my day with hope and face it with joy.
I choose to fully participate in my day.
When you worry about your future:
I let go of worries that drain my energy.
I make smart, calculated plans for my future.
I am a money magnet and attract wealth and abundance.
I am in complete charge of planning for my future.
I trust in my own ability to provide well for my family.