There are two different ways that I want you to engage with positive affirmations.
The first is neuroplasticity - using positive statements to literally rewire your brain. Research shows that using positive, future-oriented self-affirmations ("I will be successful on this test tomorrow") increases the size and function of the part of the brain that is responsible for self-related processing. When done consistently over time, can act as a buffer for painful, negative or threatening information. We want to use self-affirmation to build this reserve of positive self-regard in the brain but we also want to use it for discovery.
When you recite affirmations, some parts may flow naturally off of your tongue, while others trip you up. When you come across an affirmation that feels uncomfortable, write it down. It's showing you precisely where your self-regard needs to grow, and you can use that new information to actively build a case against your negative self-regard in that area.
For example, if saying "people love me" feels uncomfortable, then our exercise for the week is the scan the environment and write down all of the evidence that proves that statement. Our brains tend to filter out the positive and look for evidence that confirms our worst beliefs - so we want to rewire it. This will be more powerful and effective than simply continuing to recite "people love me."
Beyond our applications, there's a great body of research that demonstrates the impact of self-affirmations.
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 which led people to increase their physical behavior (Cooke et al., 2014)
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 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); and
Self-affirmation has been demonstrated to lower stress and rumination (Koole et al., 1999; Weisenfeld et al., 2001).
I've provided both affirmation statements and videos to use a starting point. Feel welcome to incorporate your own statements, based on where you want to affirm yourself: it can be about work, your social life, your sense of achievements, your self-worth, your body, your abilities, etc. As always, the sky is the limit.
Remember: Take note of the ones that feel uncomfortable. Write them down. Your exercise for the week is to find evidence that proves that the affirmation is true. If you're struggling with evidence, ask a friend or family member - anyone that loves you.
I dare to be different.
My every desire is achievable.
Even outside my comfort zone, I will be comfortable in my own skin.
If I fail, I will fail forward.
My confidence knows no limits.
I do not need other people for happiness.
I choose hope over fear.
Positivity is a choice that I choose to make.
I will not take other peoples negativity personally.
My commitment to myself is real.
I am a diamond. It is time for me to shine.
My opinion matters.
I am a magnet for love.
Self love is a natural state of being.
I am loved and I am wanted.
I will achieve all of my goals.
My goals are simple and uncomplicated.
Clients will flock to me.
My goals are getting closer to completion every day.
I set clear goals and work to complete them every day.
I have a plan of action to achieve my desires.
My priorities are clear. I work to finish my most important tasks first.
My goals are my focus.
I only set goals that matter.
My focus on success is unwavering.
I am constantly improving.
I desire to learn new things.
Where others see challenge, I see new opportunities.
I have a growth mindset.
Time is my friend. I finish all the tasks I need to finish.
My life is made for joy. I will live with exuberance.
I will be proactive in discovering obstacles to my accomplishments.
Mindfulness will help me get the most from my time.
I take responsibility for my successes and my failures.
I am not dependent on anyone else.
Depression and Anxiety Relief
I am happy, healthy and centered.
Change provides me opportunity.
I am calm, patient and in control of my emotions.
The more I give, the more I will receive.
My negative thoughts and self-images are gone.
Work & Money
My new business income will continue to increase.
I am calm and confident.
New opportunities come easily to me.
I will attract positive customers.
When opportunity knocks I will be prepared to answer the door.
Money spent comes back to me multiplied.
I have all the power I need to create the success I desire.
The universe provides bountiful opportunities for my success.
I refuse to be distracted from my goals and vision.
Every day is filled with new ideas and new possibilities.
My day is full of potential.
I will face the day with an open heart and open mind.
I will not compare myself to others.
Today I feel healthy and strong, physically, emotionally and mentally.
Today I will accomplish great things.
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