All About Affirmations

Affirmation Blog Contents:

1. What are affirmations

2. Why do you use affirmations?

3. How do Affirmations work?

4. Caution about affirmations

5. When do I use Affirmations?

6. Examples of Affirmations

7. Summary





I. What are affirmations ?


An affirmation is a short, powerful positive statement that is declaring a thought and assertively stating it as a truth. You can use positive affirmations to encourage positive changes to occur. Words and thoughts have power, and as you say them or think them, gradually your mind will accept your affirmations and shape your reality. Regardless of your present circumstances, you can plant seeds to rise above your present reality and find great opportunities to improve your quality of life.





II. Why do you use affirmations?


Affirmations bring up related images in the mind, as well as inspire us to take action to change our habits, behaviors, points of view to reach our goal. Repeating the affirmations with full belief and attention changes the way you think, behave, and interact with the world. The affirmations make you feel positive and energetic, and put you in a position to transform your mentality to achieve your goals.


Some of the direct benefits of positive affirmations are:

Increase in self confidence

Increase in self esteem

Resilience to stress

Improvement in mental health

Shifting your mindset

Better control of anger & impatience

Increased productivity

Increased ability to overcome habits

Helping you reach your goals





III. How do Affirmations work?


Some may say that affirmations are just wishful thinking, but research shows that there is a science behind affirmations. To improve physical health, we do repetitive exercises with various intensities as we progress. If have physical therapy, an injury is rehabilitated so that you can have improved functional mobility. Your brain learns or unlearns habits that will improve the efficiency of your physical movements. Neuroplasticity is your brain’s ability to rewire itself when it recognizes the need to adapt to the situation. This can continue to change and develop throughout life as your repair old pathways or create new ones to protect against cognitive decline.


Affirmations are like exercises for our mind that can help reprogram our thinking patterns that will cause us to move and react differently to reach our desire. Similar to any sort of learning repetition, your affirmations are strongest when you see them in several forms such as thinking them, saying them, and writing them down. Repeating your affirmations is impressing on your conscious and subconscious mind any adjustments you may need to make to your to your habits, behaviors, and actions to the words. The words composing the affirmation both automatically and involuntarily bring up related mental imagery to inspire, energize, and motivate you to overcome negative self talk to reach your personal goals. Repetition helps you focus your mind on your goal and enhances your ability to recognize opportunities related to your achievements.


A study showed that MRI brain scans in both the areas for rewards, as well as with self processing, were more active with affirmations shows the neural correlation to positive affirmations. In comparison to neutral statements or negative affirmations, those same areas in brain scans showed less activity


Affirmations can be more effective when you use them with other positive thinking and goal achievement techniques such as visualization. Visualization is creating a strong mental image of an event. Seeing yourself succeed in your mind helps you believe that things can and will happen. When you imagine something going your way, you get your mind and body ready to take steps in real life. You can also use meditation tools such as incense, candles, singing bowls, meditation beads, music, or crystals to help improve focus on your affirmations.


Professional athletes use positive affirmations to enhance their performance and drive. Athletes imagine every step of a play and can prepare their mind and body to take those steps in real life. Neuroplasticity of the brain is wired/rewired in such a way for them to achieve their goals. Affirmations are also a powerful tool for children to empower and support them as they are susceptible to creating new neural pathways. They can learn at a young age to form positive thoughts into positive beliefs about themselves to improve their self-confidence.





IV. A word of Caution with affirmations:


Affirmations don’t work the same for everyone. Studies have found that positive affirmations seem to work best for people who already have good self-esteem. If you are anxious or suffering from low self esteem, affirmations might not work as well, and can cause even more damage than good.


A study was done where they asked participants to list negative and positive thoughts about themselves. They found that those with low self-esteem were in a better mood when they were allowed to think negative thoughts about themselves. They felt better when they spoke badly about themselves and were in a better mood thinking negative thoughts, compared to when they were asked to focus on positive affirmations. Praise and affirmations were so opposite from what those with low self esteem were used to, and this led to feelings of conflict and feeling bad. In this case, the doctor advised that you have to go neutral before you go positive. Neutral statements, turning the statements into questions, or projecting statements into the future makes the them reality-based for you to acknowledge your current situation, which doesn’t trigger negative feelings. This allows the neural pathways of your brain that thinks negatively to rest, and allows you to start to be comfortable with being neutral before making positive affirmations.


Going Neutral:

Instead of: "Every day, in every way, I am getting better and better.” Try: "I have had better days, but I have also had worse. Today I am OK.”

Instead of: "I am beautiful, happy, and love myself.” Try: "I am working on accepting me as I am."


Other examples of “going neutral before going positive”:

1. “I’ve survived other situations like this, and I will survive this one too.”

2. “This situation is difficult, but I have the skills and abilities to deal with it.”

3. “My feelings make me uncomfortable now, but I can accept them.”


As a question in the future tense:

Instead of: “I am whole and complete just the way I am.” 1: “I will be whole and complete just the way I am.” 2: “Could I be whole and complete just the way I am?”


Positive affirmations are not designed to be cures for anxiety, depression, or any mental health issues. Affirmations are also note designed to be a substitute for clinical treatment of any conditions, so be sure you seek the assistance of a medical professional if you need to.





V. When do I use Affirmations?


Affirmations work better when you start to incorporate it into your life and make it a daily habit. This gives time for the mind to be energized, inspired, motivated to form the repeated words into a reality. It is a good idea to monitor your mood first and take a note of how you feel. Then say your affirmations slowly and see how you feel differently about yourself. Mood checks are ways to see if your affirmations are giving you the feeling and inspiration you desire to continue towards your goal.


Here are some ways you can incorporate affirmations into your day:

- Start with 3 min twice a day; once when you wake up, and once at night by saying your affirmations. You can look at yourself in the mirror as you repeat the positive statement.

- Your morning affirmations can be the ones that set for the intention of the day and give your day the type of energy you seek. This makes you think about your goals and ambitions and gives you a positive start to the day.

- Your evening ones can be regarding affirmations regarding positivity, gratitude, and optimism. As you think about your goals this can help engrain it onto your subconscious mind.

- As the day progresses and the challenges and demands of life attempt to intervene, it’s a good way as you repeat your affirmations to center yourself. This is a way for you to have a mental time out to reset.

- Repeat each affirmation 5 times and focus on the words you are saying and believe it to be true. The goal is to move from the concept of the affirmation to a positive embodiment of your focus. Repetition is key.

- Affirm with love, faith, feeling, interest, and believe that your desire has already been fulfilled. You can say them out loud or write them down. When you truly believe you can do something, your actions often follow.

- It’s not an overnight fix, and it will take time before you notice changes. Rewiring neural pathways takes time and concentration. Consistency is key. So just stick with your practice and know that beautiful, magical things are on the way.





VI. Examples of Affirmations


When writing your affirmations, think about the goals you want to achieve and ask yourself “What kinds of affirmations will best help me reach these goals?” Affirmations are a way to remind yourself what you want to do, and how you will go about achieving it. It is a great way to get you started on your journey and should be positive, beneficial, and easy to apply to your life.

Here are a few guidelines on how to write your own affirmations:

1. Affirmations are personal, so begin with the words “I am” to give your subconscious mind a direct command to follow through with. Then you follow with a positive quality.


Example: “I am in perfect health”

“ I am confident speaking in public”

“ I am a loving person”


2. Use present tense and speak as if you have already attained your goal. This will help you visualize how your life could look like when you reach your desired outcome


Example: “ I am sitting on the deck of my beautiful beach house”

“ I am happy and confident on my vacation to Bali”


3. Write your affirmations in the positive, because your subconscious mind does not recognize or act on negative statements.


Example: Instead of “I no longer enjoy cigarettes” , say “I am completely free from using cigarettes”


4. Keep your affirmations short and sweet. It makes your affirmations easier to remember and easier to repeat to yourself.


Example: “ I naturally choose healthy foods” instead of “I always choose health food instead of junk food because I care about my health”


5. Be specific about what it is exactly that you desire so that your subconscious mind has a clear vision and motivate you.


Example: “ I am enjoying my 100K earnings this year” instead of “I will increase my income this year”


6. Make your affirmations meaningful for you, and base it on a realistic assessment of the facts. Your affirmations must be clear and make sense to you so you believe and work towards your goal. Putting emotion into your affirmations is important so we actually feel what it would be like to achieve that goal.


Example: “I spend time with my family” can be “I feel such love and gratitude spending time with my family."


Here are a few examples of affirmations you can use:

I feel healthy, strong and energetic.

I am unique and beautiful.

I have it within me to solve any challenges that occur today.

I am surrounded by good and supportive people.

I believe in my capabilities and my creativity to improve my life.

I feel safe in my surroundings.

I have love, confidence, patience, and happiness within me.

I have a successful and prosperous business.

I am creating my dream life with love, passion, and interest.

I am thankful for all that I have and what is to come

I am grateful for having a sense of purpose and meaning.

I will sleep and rest with a peaceful mind







Conclusion:

An affirmation is a short, powerful positive statement that is declaring a thought and assertively stating it as a truth. Affirmations bring up related images in the mind, as well as inspire us to take action to change our habits, behaviors, points of view to reach our goal. Affirmations are like exercises for our mind that can help reprogram our thinking patterns that will cause us to move and react differently to reach our desire. Neuroplasticity of the brain is wired/rewired in such a way for you to achieve their goals. Studies have found that positive affirmations seem to work best for people who already have good self-esteem. In this case, it may be more beneficial to be comfortable with being neutral before making positive affirmations. Affirmations work better when you start to incorporate it into your life and make it a daily habit. Writing your own affirmations makes it meaningful to you and easier to remember and say repeatedly. Regardless of your present circumstances, you can plant seeds to rise above your present reality and find great opportunities to improve your quality of life with affirmations.



Sources:


https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4814782/

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1467-9280.2009.02370.x


Self-affirmations have been shown to decrease health-deteriorating stress (Sherman et al., 2009; Critcher & Dunning, 2015);

Self-affirmations have been used effectively in interventions that led people to increase their physical behavior (Cooke et al., 2014);

They may help us to perceive otherwise “threatening” messages with less resistance, including interventions (Logel & Cohen, 2012);

They can make us less likely to dismiss harmful health messages, responding instead with the intention to change for the better (Harris et al., 2007) and to eat more fruit and vegetables (Epton & Harris, 2008);

They have been linked positively to academic achievement by mitigating GPA decline in students who feel left out at college (Layous et al., 2017);

Self-affirmation has been demonstrated to lower stress and rumination (Koole et al., 1999; Wiesenfeld et al., 2001).

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