Last year some friends introduced me to the power of daily affirmations. I must confess, it was a bit of a leap of faith for me. But they assured me that if I stuck with it, it would make subtle changes to my outlook to keep me positive, grateful, happy ... and ultimately healthier.
I am pleased to say that it has made a big difference for me. It helps my outlook, my confidence, and general sense of wellbeing.
What is an affirmation?
The word affirmation comes from the Latin word affirmare, which means "to make steady, strengthen." It's a statement that describes your aim or goal, in the present tense. Simple examples include:
Another way to think about affirmations is ... You are what you think. Simple. Powerful. And if you reinforce it often enough, it is true.
How do they work?
Affirmations help make us stronger by slowly re-wiring our brain to believe the thing that we want to be true. So through repetition, our self-concept and actions start to align with it. Positive thoughts become positive actions. And the affirmation really does ... start to be true.
Because when we believe in our dreams and aspirations, they are much easier to achieve. They help us replace our fears and doubts, with feelings of confidence and certainty.
How to use them?
There are lots of different ways you can build affirmations into your daily routine. You could have a poster on your wall, a screensaver, or wear a bracelet with an affirmation on it. So anytime you see it, it reinforces those thoughts.
I have found it helpful to write my affirmations with pen and paper, as a way to focus my mind at the start of the day. A friend gave me the cutest little journal, and I use it to write out a daily affirmation. By repeating it 10 times, it helps it stick better in my mind (a little like revising at school).
I pick a new one each day depending on where I feel I need some extra support. Running my own business, I need to stay focussed on key tasks. But I also find it helpful to reinforce a positive outlook on relationships, creativity, and health.
Stuck for inspiration? Here's a few ideas to get you started:
Want to know more?
I found this article from Positive Psychology helpful, which gives some great info on how to structure an affirmation (if you want to get into this in more detail), and studies that have been done on their effectiveness.
What affirmations do you find helpful? How do you build them into your day? Add your thoughts below ...
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Explanation of Terminology