Affirmations are simple statements to affirm something is true. Affirmations are a powerful tool that are simple, effective and accessible to everyone. They are a positive statement that challenge current negative thoughts. You can use them to challenge negative beliefs you have about yourself, to motivate you, or encourage you.
Though they are a great technique, it should be clear that it’s not like a genies 3 wishes. Half-halfheartedly saying a positive affirmation once, isn’t going to be enough to make those positive changes that you’re hoping for.
A quick round up of the science behind affirmations and how they work.
Emile Coue, who introduced a popular method of psychotherapy and self-improvement based on optimistic autosuggestion, came up with the law of Concentrated Attention. The law of concentrated attention means that when a person concentrates his/her attention on an idea, that idea tends to realise itself.
There is also MRI evidence suggesting that certain neural pathways are increased when people practice self-affirmation tasks, literally changing our brain structure.
Studies have shown the effects of affirmations to decrease health deteriorating stress, boost academic achievement and lower stress and rumination.
Affirmations encourage optimistic thinking and positivity, thus reducing the tendency to linger on negative thoughts. By adapting to a more hopeful outlook we are able to deal much better with negative situations or thoughts when they arise.
So let’s look closer at how to use positive affirmations
There are a few things to remember with affirmations, they should always be in the present tense, as if you have already achieved the desire. By using ‘I am’ you are instructing your subconscious to filter everything that contradicts with the statement. You come across thousands of pieces of information daily, so your subconscious filters out what it thinks you don’t necessarily ‘need to know’. So by using positive affirming statements you are telling your subconscious to filter in more of the same, to confirm the statement.
Embodying the excitement and energy behind the affirmation is key to instructing your subconscious that it is already in your presence. Your subconscious mind does not know the difference between day dreaming and reality and takes everything literally. So by embodying the energy you are telling your subconscious that it is in-fact true, and to then filter in more of the same.
Practical steps you can take
Writing your own affirmations using your own words and language will help you resonate with the statement more, maybe adding a swear word for a bigger boost if that feels good! It may be confronting if you are yet to do deep work on yourself, but start by writing 5 statements that you believe about yourself. These are the negative, limiting beliefs you think to be true, that you would like to change. Once you have them, write the opposite of the statement, and remember the powerful ‘I AM’.
So statements like, 'No-one loves me, 'I’m not wanted'.
Becomes, 'I am accepted and loved for who I am, people love to be in my energy'.
Example of a poorly written affirmation:
I want a more loving relationship
I am now in a deeply loving relationship
You could even add some gratitude practice to add more power to the statement:
I am so grateful for my deeply loving relationship.
I have lots of great examples of positive affirmations on my Instagram.
From body confidence, self love, self esteem and ones for anxiety and to calm your mind. Every Wednesday I release a new set of positive affirmations for my followers- they’re very popular! If you have a topic you’d like affirmations on, please suggest any to me on Instagram and I’ll add them.