What are Affirmations? + How to Use Affirmations to Improve Your Life
You have more power than you know. There is no limit to what you can be, have, and do. You can change your life for the better. Everything you need exists within you. Love and success flow to you effortlessly.
Affirmations provide your subconscious mind with information about yourself, your potential, and your worldview. These instructions have the power to allow you to fulfill your potential. If you’re tired of replaying the same limiting beliefs over and over in your mind, know that you have the choice in this moment to affirm more positive thoughts. While your life won’t suddenly change overnight, you will certainly make positive shifts in your life through consistent positive affirmations.
What are Affirmations?
Affirmations are statements said with conviction. They’re statements that leave no room for doubt or question. In fact, this article began with five affirmations.
Maybe you’ve heard of “positive affirmations” before, or maybe the concept of affirmations is still new or unclear to you. The important point to note is that affirmations can be positive or negative, and both have consequences in your life. Unfortunately, a lot of the stories we tell ourselves and the thoughts we have are negative. Have you ever had thoughts like, “I’m so dumb, I’ll never lose the extra weight, I’m too poor to afford that?” By repeating these negative internal dialogues enough, we believe them to be true. Saying negative affirmations, even in our heads and not out loud, can increase self-doubt and repel great opportunities. The good news is that we have the power to shift to more positive narratives to strengthen our confidence and improve our lives.
The Power of Positive Affirmations
Your self-talk and the words you speak out loud are affirmations. These thoughts create your reality, so it’s important to keep them positive. When you affirm that you’re grateful for something, you find more things in your life to be grateful for. Affirming satisfaction with your body, mind, and spirit encourages more love to flow to and from you. Stay focused on your accomplishments, remain hopeful of your future, and give yourself grace when things don’t go as expected. Positive affirmations are a healthy alternative to dwelling on mistakes, choosing worry and fear, and putting yourself down.
Most people don’t realize that our thoughts create our experiences. Even if you have heard this before, you may not be aware of just how profound an impact your thoughts have on your life.
Getting the Most Out of Positive Affirmations
To get the most out of your positive affirmation practice, it’s important to feel the emotion behind the words you say. If your affirmations are focused on loving your body, actually feel the sensation of love for your body. Saying the words without truly meaning them will not make the impact you’re hoping to make.
Another key is to say your affirmations in the present tense, not the future tense. If you’ve been saying, “I will get in the best shape of my life,” shift that to, “I am getting healthier every day.” This subtle difference matters, because continuously affirming that something “will” happen one day keeps it out of your reach. Be sure to also affirm what you do want, not what you don’t want. Saying, “I am not depressed” keeps your mind focused on “depressed.” Instead, try, “I am full of joy.”
How to Use Positive Affirmations in Your Own Life
An affirmation practice should not feel like another chore on the to-do list. Make it fun! A great way to incorporate affirmations into your daily routine is to use sticky notes. Write one affirmation per sticky note and place them somewhere you will see them every day, like your bathroom mirror, bedroom wall, or on your desk at work. The visual reminders are great for getting into the habit of saying affirmations.
Saying affirmations out loud instead of in your head is another way to increase their power and reinforce your new beliefs. A great way to get a new habit to stick is to chain the behavior to another event you already do every day. Try saying affirmations right after you brush your teeth in the morning and before bed and see how seamlessly they become part of your daily routine.
What Happens if I Accidentally Say a Negative Affirmation?
Now that you know how powerful affirmations are, you may be feeling a bit concerned about what can happen when you affirm negative thoughts or statements. The good news is that affirmations do not change your reality immediately when you say them. This gives you time to correct negative affirmations to more positive ones.
If you catch yourself thinking, “I hate my legs,” try affirming, “My legs are beautiful just the way they are” instead. Maybe you missed the exit you were supposed to take on the highway and reacted with, “I can’t do anything right!” Take a deep breath and say, “Everything is working out as it’s meant to.”