Affirmations are positive expressions and short, encouraging phrases an individual can repeat out loud daily in times of personal need or to motivate themselves at crucial moments. These messages may be referred to as positive self-talk, and they’re designed to shift negative thoughts into healthier ones and promote beneficial change. For some people, repeating self-affirming expressions can help boost confidence, improve self-worth, and reduce anxiety.(1)
Mental health counselors may even recommend positive affirmations to supplement a patient’s therapy regimen. This technique may help some patients gain a rational perspective on a difficult situation and accept their current reality.
- Self-Affirmations & Daily Words of Affirmation Quotes
- Daily Positive Affirmations for Positive Energy
- Powerful Daily Affirmations for Self-Love
- Daily Self-Affirmations for Body Positivity
- Daily Mental Health Affirmation Quotes for Self-Care
- Daily Chakra Affirmations to Balance Your Energy
- Daily Positive Affirmations for Women to Improve Self-Esteem
- Daily Self-Affirmations for Men to Improve Happiness
- Daily Positive Affirmations for Kids
- Daily Positive Affirmations for Success and Abundance
- Daily Positive Affirmations for Anxiety to Ease Your Mindset
- Best Quotes About Affirmations
- The Science of Affirmations & Manifestations
- How to Be Consistent With Daily Affirmations
- 10 Tips for Turning Positive Affirmations Into Personal Growth
The messages these sayings deliver can differ, depending on an individual’s core values, personal history, goals, interests, and aspirations. They should remind the speaker who they want to be and/or what they hope to accomplish.(2)
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Although these empowering expressions can benefit almost anyone, they may be particularly useful for certain individuals, such as:
- Kids and teens who need to build self-confidence
- Children who are dealing with bullying
- Anyone who wants to lose weight, quit smoking, or cut back on alcohol consumption
- Students hoping to have a better learning experience
- Athletes looking to improve their performance
- Parents who are feeling overwhelmed
- Health care workers in stressful environments
- Executives and other individuals who hold high-pressure positions
- People going through a divorce or difficult breakup
- Anyone struggling with personal, professional, or health challenges
Self-Affirmations & Daily Words of Affirmation Quotes
Practicing positive affirmations daily can help combat negative thinking that can lead to chronic worry, anxiety, and depression.(3) These declarations of intent or aspiration typically should be recited daily, at minimum, with each sentiment repeated 10 to 15 times. However, they may be spoken any time they’re needed, either silently or out loud.
Whether an individual chooses to repeat tried-and-true sentiments or write their own based on individual needs and desires, these affirming expressions can reinforce self-worth and positively impact thoughts and behaviors.(4) Ultimately, an individual should select a mantra that suits who they are and what they’re hoping to accomplish.
Daily Positive Affirmations for Positive Energy
Reducing negative thoughts and embracing positivity can have both physical and psychological benefits. Research has shown that optimism and positive thinking promote greater resistance to disease, lower pain levels, and increase life expectancy. Although research is ongoing, some researchers theorize that these health benefits are due to the improved coping skills that an individual may develop as a result of maintaining an upbeat outlook.(5)
Practicing positive affirmations at the start of each day may help an individual shift to healthier thought patterns and overcome the limiting beliefs that can affect everyday life. Inviting positive energy can be as simple as choosing two self-affirmations and repeating them for short sessions each morning and evening—or any other time that’s convenient.
Here are 15 uplifting messages designed for individuals who want to reap the benefits of positivity.
- I invite nourishing energy and wonderful people into my day.
- I have all the energy and confidence I need to make the most of today.
- My positive, beneficial energy makes me powerful.
- I radiate confidence, positiveness, and readiness toward everyone around me.
- I reject negativity. I let go of what no longer serves me.
- I am energetic, and I’m ready to face whatever the day holds.
- A powerful aura of energy and light surrounds me.
- I am open to receiving beneficial energy from the universe.
- I focus on thoughts that empower and uplift me. I release thoughts that drain me and bring me down.
- My thoughts are clear, open, and uplifting. They nourish my mind and soul.
- Each day, my life gets better in every way.
- I am grateful for the blessings I already have and the blessings that come to me throughout each day.
- The universe sends me the opportunities I need. I will embrace them and prioritize the ones that match my personal vision.
- I’m ready to fill my heart and mind with energy and live with satisfaction and peace.
- I am a magnet for good thoughts and energy. Everything I need flows through me.
Powerful Daily Affirmations for Self-Love
Effective affirmations for self-love promote confidence and self-esteem. When repeated often, these powerful expressions can teach an individual how to talk to themselves kindly and compassionately and encourage self-improvement, paving the way for personal growth.
Self-love exists when an individual is able to accept themselves fully and embrace acts and behaviors that promote their physical, mental, and spiritual health. People who practice self-love and appreciation may prioritize their well-being by:(6)
- Practicing constructive self-talk
- Refraining from self-judgment
- Having realistic goals and expectations
- Defining and enforcing appropriate boundaries
- Being mindful of what they feel, think, and want
- Forgiving themselves for any negative self-talk or unhealthy behaviors
- Choosing healthful foods, relationships, and activities
To develop self-love, take simple steps each day, such as incorporating encouraging or uplifting messages into a daily routine. By increasing positive self-talk, it’s possible to reduce self-defeating behaviors and thoughts, making it easier to pursue interests and fulfill goals.(7)
Start a successful self-love affirmation routine by choosing one or more of the declarations below:
- Today, I choose to love myself just as I am.
- I love who I am today. I love my mind. I love my body. I love my soul.
- I am on the path to becoming my best self and living my best life. I will embrace every step along the way.
- I am worthy of good things. I have a right to comfort and prosperity.
- I let go of thoughts and beliefs that no longer serve me. Today, I am open to seeing myself in new ways.
- I am beautiful. I am unique. I have a wonderful sense of humor. I am truly special.
- I give myself time and opportunity to heal.
- I am the hero in my own story. I’m eager to turn to the next page.
- I am entitled to take up space. I move through the world freely and confidently.
- I am at peace with who I am. I won’t apologize for being me.
- I am balanced, independent, and strong.
- I am responsible for my own satisfaction and well-being.
- Today, I will show myself love and compassion.
- I don’t need anyone else’s approval—just my own.
- I freely give and receive love.
Daily Self-Affirmations for Body Positivity
The body positivity movement challenges society’s idea of beauty, encouraging people to love their bodies regardless of their height, weight, shape, skin color, or ability level.(8) Having a strong body image may have significant physical benefits, such as a reduced risk of developing an eating disorder, depression, and other mental health conditions.(9)
For overweight individuals, satisfaction with their physical form may increase with weight loss.(10) Losing weight can also lead to major health benefits, such as lower blood pressure and decreased levels of blood sugar and blood cholesterol.(11) Moving toward a lower number on the scale may also decrease an individual’s risk of obesity-related chronic diseases, such as sleep apnea, heart diseases, and type 2 diabetes.(12)
Whether the goal is losing weight or embracing the self in its current form, affirming messages can help develop a mindset that’s conducive to personal growth and goal achievement. Phrases that promote exercise and a nourishing diet, combined with declarations promoting self-love, can be a powerful tool, aiding in weight loss while helping an individual appreciate their shape and size as it is now.
Here are 15 effective body positivity affirmations to get started with.
- I make the healthiest choices possible for my mental and physical health.
- I can make small changes each day toward weight loss and well-being.
- My body is one of a kind. It is worthy of respect and I celebrate its uniqueness.
- I embrace my shape as it changes and evolves.
- I can say no to foods that don’t promote health and wellness.
- My body deserves to be cared for. I strengthen it through nourishing food and exercise.
- Food is neither my enemy nor my friend. It doesn’t hold power over me.
- I am allowed to enjoy food.
- It’s okay if I don’t love my figure all the time.
- Weight is an arbitrary number. How I feel is what matters.
- My body is strong and beautiful.
- Numbers on the scale do not determine my worth.
- My inner beauty is more important than my dress size.
- Today, I’ll let go of my unhealthy thoughts and behaviors around food.
- I control how much I eat and what foods I choose.
Daily Mental Health Affirmation Quotes for Self-Care
Effective mental health affirmations, such as the ones listed below, should include beneficial sentiments that reinforce an individual’s self-worth and general goodness. When recited daily, they can help someone live in the now and guide them toward a strong mindset and a more upbeat outlook on the future.
Mental health impacts an individual’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Promoting good mental health is an important part of maintaining overall physical and psychological well-being.(13) Good mental health can also decrease a person’s risk of developing a preventable medical condition, such as heart disease. Conversely, poor mental health may be accompanied by physical symptoms, such as headaches or digestive issues.(14)
Positive affirmations can be an integral part of a self-care routine, helping banish negative thoughts, increase self-confidence, and reduce tension. Empowering self-talk can be particularly useful for individuals who struggle with depression, anxiety, or low self-esteem.(15)
- My thoughts or feelings may be uncomfortable, but I will work through them.
- I am resilient and strong. I can handle anything that comes my way.
- I have the power and the courage to make the best choices both for myself and for my loved ones.
- I am stronger than my fears. They can’t control me.
- If I fall, I’ll get back up. If I fall again, I’ll get back up again.
- Today, I embrace the people and things that make me feel good.
- I am calm. I have a peaceful mindset.
- Today, I’ll take one hour at a time. I won’t worry about tomorrow.
- Nothing can break me.
- I may feel anxious, but it will pass.
- I will take one step in the right direction today.
- I will focus on the solutions, not the problems.
- I am grounded. I am centered. I am at peace.
- With every challenge, I will understand myself better.
- Today, I free myself to feel my emotions without judgment.
Daily Chakra Affirmations to Balance Your Energy
Based on the teachings of Hinduism, chakras are pools of concentrated energy located in every person. These seven main energy centers start at the base of the spine and continue up through the top of the head.(16) According to yogic theory, each one correlates to a part of the anatomy and is associated with a color, as follows:(17)
- The root chakra (red): This chakra sits at the base of the spine. It’s associated with physical safety and security and the sense of smell. The flow of energy through the root chakra may affect the health of teeth, bones, adrenals, feet, legs, and hips. Affirmations typically start with “I am.”
- The sacral chakra (orange): Sitting in the lower abdomen, the sacral chakra governs emotions, sexuality, creativity, and the sense of taste. Energy flow through this center may affect the urinary, circulatory, and reproductive systems. Affirmations often begin with “I feel.”
- The solar plexus chakra (yellow): Located between the diaphragm and navel, this chakra governs individuality, personal power, and eyesight. It affects the muscles, pancreas, and digestive system. Affirmations often begin with “I can.”
- The heart chakra (green): Located beside the heart, this chakra is responsible for love and compassion. It’s associated with the sense of touch, and it may impact the health of the heart, lungs, hands, and arms. Affirmations often begin with “I love.”
- The throat chakra (blue): Associated with hearing and communication, the throat chakra affects the neck, throat, shoulders, and thyroid. Affirmations typically start with “I speak.”
- The third eye chakra (purple): Sitting between the eyebrows, this chakra guides intuition and clarity. It’s often associated with the face, eyes, and pineal gland. Affirmations typically begin with “I see.”
- The crown chakra (violet): This chakra sits at the top of the head. It impacts all the senses and is associated with thought. The crown chakra governs purpose and consciousness. The flow of energy through this center may impact an individual’s cerebral cortex, pituitary gland, and the rest of the central nervous system. Affirmations for this chakra often begin with “I know.”
Chakra affirmations, such as those listed below, are typically intended for individual chakras and may be used alone or in combination. The messages are designed to keep these energy centers balanced and open so energy can flow through. In yoga practice, this free flow of energy can result in physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.
- I am connected to the earth and the natural world, and I am open to the guidance that comes from nature.
- I am protected and supported by the people I love. I deserve to have my needs met.
- I feel creativity flowing through me.
- I feel radiant, passionate, and creative.
- I can make the changes I desire whenever I want.
- I can face challenges with confidence as I pursue my purpose.
- I love and I am loved.
- I attract kind and loving people. I embrace harmonious relationships.
- I speak my truth clearly, calmly, and openly.
- With my voice, I can make a difference in the world each day.
- I see all situations as an opportunity to learn and grow.
- I trust my intuition. I use it to guide me toward my divine purpose.
- I know everyone is doing the best they can with the tools they have.
- Inner peace flows through me.
- Today, I move ahead in my life with faith, love, and light.
Daily Positive Affirmations for Women to Improve Self-Esteem
Self-esteem is defined as an individual’s belief in their own value.(18) This self-acceptance can have a significant impact on how they function and whether they thrive. It may affect their health, relationships, and career.(19) Although improving it is a worthwhile endeavor for almost anyone, it’s particularly important for women, who typically struggle with this aspect more than their male counterparts.(20)
Building self-esteem can take time, but identifying and challenging negative beliefs is a good place to start.(21) Adding positive affirmations to a daily self-care routine is an effective way for a person to improve their view of themselves.
The following list contains declarations designed to boost self-esteem and invite in positive energy.
- My time is valuable. I’m allowed to say no.
- I know my self-worth. I don’t need validation from other people.
- I embrace my imperfections. They make me unique.
- I won’t waste time on people who don’t value me.
- I will walk confidently toward the future.
- I can take risks without fear.
- I will celebrate even the smallest wins.
- I have limitless potential. I will tap into it every day.
- I can accept and embrace the compliments I’m given. I have earned them.
- I won’t apologize for expressing my thoughts and feelings.
- I have the power to design my future.
- I take care of my mind, body, and spirit. I am growing stronger each day.
- Today, I will be my authentic self.
- The world is a better place because I’m in it.
- I am motivated, focused, and capable. I can take on the world.
Daily Self-Affirmations for Men to Improve Happiness
Daily self-affirmations for men may help reframe the negative self-talk that can interfere with contentment. Positive affirmations, such as the 15 listed below, can be repeated after waking, before bedtime, or during challenging situations to reduce tension and promote a more upbeat mindset. To ensure better results, personalize these phrases to build more meaningful self-talk.
Happiness is an important part of a healthy living style. Individuals who are happy typically eat healthier, sleep better, and stay more active than those who aren’t, resulting in less excess body fat and lower blood pressure. Ultimately, this can lead to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, such as high blood pressure or strokes.(22)
With women consistently reporting higher overall life satisfaction than men, it may be more important than ever for men to strive to add joy to their lives.(23) For many men, that means changing their mindset about work and creating a healthier work-life balance. Fortunately, men can boost their satisfaction levels by taking simple steps each day, such as engaging in enjoyable activities, boosting self-esteem by repeating beneficial phrases, and lowering their stress levels.(24)
- I have the power and the tools to change my situation any way I want.
- I can balance the masculine and feminine energies that coexist inside me.
- I can take care of my family financially and still pursue my dreams.
- I am grateful for the opportunities I have now and for those that are soon to come.
- I embrace joy, peace of mind, and contentment.
- I can express my emotions without judging myself.
- I will always be a work in progress and I accept that. I can continue to learn and grow.
- I don’t have to be perfect today. I don’t have to be perfect tomorrow, either.
- How I feel matters. What I think matters. I matter.
- I will give myself respect, even if others don’t.
- I can smile when I’m happy and cry when I’m sad.
- I’m entitled to be in strong relationships that make me feel happy, assured, and loved.
- The journey ahead may be challenging, but I am capable of facing and overcoming any obstacles to my happiness.
- Today, I will be the best man I know how to be.
- I embrace today with optimism, hope, and faith that things will turn out as they’re meant to.
Daily Positive Affirmations for Kids
Self-affirmation may be a powerful tool for older kids and teens, but even toddlers can reap the benefits of affirmations when they’re spoken by trusted adults. Creating specific affirmations for a child can be particularly effective. However, whether they’re spoken aloud, written down, or used as a silent mantra, positive affirmations for kids should be repeated as often as possible for the best results.(27)
The messages kids hear about themselves can have a powerful impact on their behavior and growth and help them shine.(25) Positive thinking and positive self-talk may bolster a child’s self-confidence and help them establish a healthy mindset and embrace their developing values.(26)
Children should start with simple phrases, such as those listed below. For young children, these phrases may be simplified further. So, for a young child, “I do my best in every situation” may be changed to, “I always do my best.”
Adults who are speaking them to a child should adjust the language accordingly. For example, the statement, “I trust my judgment” would become “I trust your judgment.”
- I believe in myself.
- I do my best in every situation.
- I see the best in myself and others.
- If I make mistakes, I can learn and grow.
- It’s always enough to do my best.
- I am surrounded by people who love and support me.
- It’s okay if I don’t know everything.
- Today, I will use my energy to improve myself and the people around me.
- Every problem has a solution.
- I listen with an open mind.
- I worked hard for my accomplishments. I can be proud of them.
- I can make the earth a better place.
- I value my body. I have the right to say no.
- I can disagree with the people I care about and they’ll still love me.
- I am kind. I am upbeat. I am strong.
Daily Positive Affirmations for Success and Abundance
Through daily repetition, mantras, such as the ones listed below, can influence both the conscious and subconscious mind, helping change the negative thought patterns that can stand in the way of achievement.(29) Success may mean different things to different people, but most successful people share several common traits:(28)
- They set specific goals, so they know what progress looks like for them.
- They seize opportunities as they arise rather than risk letting them slip away.
- They monitor the progress they’ve made toward their goals and readjust accordingly.
- They’re realistically optimistic, and they understand that reaching goals takes hard work and dedication.
- They’re willing to commit to doing what it takes to be successful, even when it gets hard.
- They maintain a self-assured, upbeat attitude in every situation rather than dwelling on the negative.
Positive affirmations that encourage or promote achievement and prosperity can help individuals maintain the mindset they need to accomplish their goals.
- I am strong. I can handle anything that comes my way.
- I am prepared for my dreams to come true. I welcome prosperity.
- When the right door opens, I will step through it.
- I embrace unexpected opportunities as the blessings they are.
- I am focused on my dreams. I will work toward them each day with passion, drive, and integrity.
- When I embrace opportunities, more and more doors open for me.
- When I set my mind to it, I can easily achieve my goals.
- I face challenges and obstacles with courage and confidence.
- Every experience I have is a gift. I learn and grow as a result.
- What’s happening now will lead to better things.
- Today, I will embrace new, healthier habits to help me reach my goals.
- I believe in myself. I can design and build the life I want.
- Hard work always pays off. I will see the results of it every day.
- I choose optimistic, decisive thoughts that promote progress and achievement.
- Today, I will take one step forward on the path to reaching my goals and dreams.
Daily Positive Affirmations for Anxiety to Ease Your Mindset
Most people experience anxiety from time to time, but for some individuals, overcoming anxiety is a constant challenge. If anxiety becomes chronic, it can interfere with a person’s daily life, impacting their job, home situation, and personal relationships.(30)
Whether fear and worry are generalized, chronic, or sparked by a particular situation, positive affirmations can be helpful in providing anxiety relief. When repeated often and on a regular basis , the following statements can help individuals struggling with anxiety replace negative thoughts and self-talk with beneficial messaging, calming the mind. However, if the anxiety doesn’t go away, or if it’s accompanied by suicidal or self-harming thoughts or behaviors, seek emergency care immediately.
- When I inhale, my muscles relax. When I exhale, tension leaves with my breath.
- I’ll get through today by taking small steps.
- I am strong. I am capable. I am enough.
- My experiences are my foundation. They give me the building blocks I need to succeed.
- The anxiety and panic I’m feeling will pass. It always does.
- At this moment, I’m doing the best I can and living my best life. I’m proud of myself for that.
- I am loved, supported, and safe.
- I have all the tools I need to get through this.
- I will leave the past in the past. I will leave the future in the future. I will only concentrate on the present.
- I will slow down and focus on one thing at a time.
- Today, I will take care of myself first. That includes my mind and spirit.
- I’m uncomfortable, but I’m not in danger.
- Today is over. I celebrate the day’s wins and free myself of what no longer serves me. If I made a mistake, I forgive myself.
- What I feel is normal and it will pass.
- This situation may be hard, but I have the strength to rise above it.
Best Quotes About Affirmations
Affirmation isn’t just a tool used by motivational speakers and therapists. Celebrities, sports figures, and other influential people have long used empowering assertions to propel themselves upward. In fact, prominent individuals, such as Michelle Obama and Muhammad Ali, credit affirming mantras for helping them get where they are today.
Here are a few things famous people have said about the power of affirming one’s self:
- “An affirmation opens the door. It’s a beginning point on the path to change.” — Louise Hay(31)
- “Belief consists in accepting the affirmations of the soul; unbelief in denying them.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson(32)
- “Belief is not restricted to a brief affirmation based on imitation; rather, it has degrees and stages of development. It is like a seed growing into a fully grown, fruit-bearing tree; like the sun’s image in a mirror or in a drop of water to its images on the sea’s surface and to the sun itself.” — Bediuzzaman Said Nursi(33)
- “You will be a failure until you impress the subconscious with the conviction you are a success. This is done by making an affirmation which ‘clicks.’” — Florence Scovel Shinn(34)
- “Practice rather than preach. Make your life an affirmation, defined by your ideals, not the negation of others. Dare to the level of your capability then go beyond to a higher level.” — Alexander Haig(35)
- “However much some journalists may criticize me, I know that I look, feel, and behave several decades younger than my actual age, and much of that is because I believe you are what you think you are. This is called positive affirmation, and it’s a really strong tool.” — Joan Collins(36)
- ““Create the highest, grandest vision possible for your life, because you become what you believe.” — Oprah Winfrey(37)
- “Watch your manner of speech if you wish to develop a peaceful state of mind. Start each day by affirming peaceful, contented, and happy attitudes and your days will tend to be pleasant and successful.” — Norman Vincent Peale(38)
- “It’s the repetition of affirmations that leads to belief. And once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen.” — Muhammad Ali(39)
- “Any thought that is passed on to the subconscious often enough and convincingly enough is finally accepted.” — Robert Collier(40)
- “Affirmations are like seeds planted in soil. Poor soil, poor growth. Rich soil, abundant growth. The more you choose to think thoughts that make you feel good, the quicker the affirmations work.” — Louise Hay(41)
- “Affirmations are not bound up in rules. An affirmation can be long or short, poetic or plain. If you love a phrase and find that it helps you, that is a valid affirmation.” — Eric Maisel(42)
- “We cannot always control our thoughts, but we can control our words, and repetition impresses the subconscious, and we are then masters of the situation.” — Jane Fonda(43)
- “If you want to know where you’ll be five years from now, listen to what you’re saying about yourself today.” — Joel Osteen(44)
- “Realize now the power that your words command if you simply choose them wisely.” — Tony Robbins(45)
- “Patience and perseverance are necessary in autosuggestion, as well as in everything else.” — Émile Coué(46)
- “A thought that’s imbued with the power of emotion produces the feeling that brings it to life. When this happens, we’ve created an affirmation as well as a prayer. Both are based in feeling — and more precisely, in feeling as if the outcome has already happened.” — Gregg Braden(47)
- “The seeds you are harvesting today were planted by the words of your mouth yesterday.” — Kenneth Copeland (48)
- “It’s no accident that most of the great Black spokespersons and leaders understood the centrality of self-affirmation, self-respect, and self-love.” — Cornel West(49)
- “Affirmation and visualization are forms of programming, and we must be certain that we do not submit ourselves to any programming that is not in harmony with our basic center or that comes from sources centered on money-making, self-interest, or anything other than correct principles.” — Stephen Covey(50)
- “Victory always starts in the head. It’s a state of mind. It then spreads with such radiance and such affirmations that destiny can do nothing but obey.” — Douchan Gersi(51)
- “An affirmation is almost like a mantra. It does not really matter if what you are affirming is not totally true as yet. By repeating an affirmation over and over again, it becomes embedded in the subconscious mind, and eventually it becomes your reality.” — Stuart Wilde(52)
- “Affirmations don’t make something happen; they make something welcome.” — Michael Beckwith(53)
- “There is no affirmation without the one who affirms. In this sense, everything to which you grant your love is yours.” — Ayn Rand(54)
- “Whenever I’m in need of inspiration and mantras, I go straight to simple affirmations. ‘I am strong,’ ‘I am brave,’ ‘I can do this,’ and ‘I’m awesome.’ Whatever you put after ‘I am,’ you will become. ‘I am’ are the two most powerful words, so make sure what you say after ‘I am’ is what you want to experience. It’s like a magic trick.” — Jason Mraz(55)
The Science of Affirmations & Manifestations
According to self-affirmation theory, people are fundamentally motivated to see themselves as inherently virtuous and competent. They may become uncomfortable or distressed when these beliefs are challenged. The theory also postulates that self-affirmations can counteract this discomfort by letting individuals reflect on their core values, which can help restore self-worth.(56)
In recent years, researchers have studied the merit of this theory and what physical and mental effects practicing positive affirmations and manifestations brings. These studies have demonstrated concrete benefits to regular use of these tools, such as:(57)
- Improved health
- Healthier emotions
- Enhanced learning potential
- Healthier relationship outcomes
- Fewer negative consequences of stress
However, research into the mechanisms of mindfulness, manifestations, and affirmations is ongoing. Future studies will likely explore how these practices alter the brain, particularly through the involvement of neural pathways, which, in simple terms, are the brain’s wiring.(58)
How Do Affirmations Work?
The mechanisms of self-affirmation are still being studied. However, one theory suggests that these directives to the self may work by activating reward pathways in the brain. Essentially, affirming your personal values can lead to the benefits associated with reward processing, such as improved mood, fewer negative thoughts, and a reduced stress response.(59) In one study, individuals who self-affirmed using future-facing language related to core values also experienced increased activity in regions of the brain related to valuation and self-processing.(60)
Practicing positive affirmations may also have a direct impact on a person’s biological systems by creating a sense of optimism. Research data has shown that positive thinking and optimism may correlate with a reduced risk of dying early due to cardiovascular disease and other major health problems.(61)
This messaging process also works through repetition, which can affect a person’s beliefs about what’s true. Studies have shown that people are likely to perceive repeated information as more truthful than information they’ve heard only once. This may be because repetition makes information easier to process and this ease of processing is often equated with truthfulness.(62) Consequently, when an individual repeats empowering declarations rather than negative self-talk, those empowering messages are more likely to be seen as truthful.
How Does Manifestation Work?
Manifestation is the process of attracting one’s desires by directing one’s thoughts and beliefs into the world. It’s sometimes referred to as the law of attraction. The manifestation process may be done through several techniques, including:
- Vision boards
- Intentional thought
- Intention journals
- Lists of desires
Although manifestation has been part of popular culture since the early 2000s, no scientific evidence currently substantiates the process’s effectiveness.(63)
However, the process of manifesting may instill in some individuals a belief that they can accomplish a specific goal or dream, which may make them more likely to take the steps needed to reach the desired outcome. Additionally, certain manifestation tools, such as visualization and affirmations, have been proven effective as means to self-improvement.(64)
For example, a dancer who visualizes themselves performing a complicated ballet move is essentially rehearsing that move in their mind, which could translate into a better physical performance. These techniques have also been known to reduce negative feelings and energy and restrict limiting beliefs that can keep a person from achieving their goals.
How to Be Consistent With Daily Affirmations
Powerful daily affirmations can create change in an individual’s feelings and behaviors. The more these messages are repeated, the more they can be a powerful tool for generating positive energy and thoughts. However, because they work best through repetition, being consistent is crucial to effectiveness. Although encouraging self-talk may be used any time it’s needed, the chosen phrases should be recited at least once every day.
Finding time to self-affirm amid a busy schedule can be difficult. Distractions, such as a ringing doorbell or barking dog, can hinder consistency. However, to achieve consistency, it may be helpful to follow several simple guidelines:
- Choose sentiments that resonate. Selecting or writing messages that resonate can create enthusiasm for practicing empowering self-talk. For example, the language a first-time job hunter might choose would likely differ from the language an executive would use when climbing the corporate ladder. The enthusiasm created by the right sentiment may offer the momentum and discipline needed to promote consistency.
- Develop a routine. Plan when and where to recite the chosen phrases each day. For example, an individual may decide to repeat their messages every day before brushing their teeth. Because oral care is likely already part of their morning routine, the affirmations become incorporated into it as well. After doing this for about 10 weeks, it should become a habit.(65)
- Set clear, achievable goals. If the goal, for example, is to repeat mantras each morning and evening before important meetings or job interviews, determine in advance how many times during each day (or situation) these messages should be recited and how many times each statement should be repeated during the recitation.
- Leave reminders in prominent places: Hang a motivational sign on a wall, place a memo on a refrigerator, or leave sticky notes on a bedroom mirror. Leaving reminders in prominent places makes it easy to remember to self-affirm daily.
- Make helpful adjustments: Developing consistency may require one or more adjustments to routines, goals, and the language used in the messages. If the current routine isn’t working, switch to a routine that does. For example, a person who finds themselves scrambling to get out of the house on time each morning may want to switch their current morning self-talk routine to a mid-afternoon recitation.
10 Tips for Turning Positive Affirmations Into Personal Growth
Practicing positive affirmations can be a great way to rewire problematic thought patterns and create a healthier outlook on life. However, to be effective, the phrases should be tailored to reflect an individual’s needs, goals, interests, and core values.
Whether the ultimate goal is to promote self-care, banish negative thoughts, or improve self-esteem, the following 10 tips can help anyone turn self-affirmations into personal growth.
- Make sure the messages are realistic. Sentences that include achievable goals and realistic desires are more likely to translate into improvements in behaviors and actions. For example, stating, “I choose to eat healthy foods every day,” is more realistic than asserting, “I will lose 50 pounds in the next 3 months.”
- Reverse thought patterns. Identify patterns of negative or unhealthy thoughts and beliefs and flip them around. For example, instead of saying, “I won’t be afraid to voice my opinion,” say, “I speak up confidently when I need to.”
- Create messages that are meaningful to the individual speaking them. Phrases with personal meaning are more powerful than generic sentiments. For inspiration, keep a running list of core values, goals, and desires and use them as a springboard for creation.
- Change it up. Don’t just stick to the same mantras. Use spur-of-the-moment sentiments that reflect situations that arise each day. For example, before an important interview, choose to self-affirm by saying, “I deserve this opportunity” or “I present myself in a professional, polite, confident manner.”
- Use a mirror. Supplement spoken messages with mirror work. This involves standing in front of a mirror to reinforce the messaging. Embody the messages by maintaining good posture. Stand straight and tall, and deliver the message directly to the reflection by articulating clearly and confidently.
- Keep the statements clear, concise, and affirming. Avoid negativity. Instead of saying, “I can’t” or “I won’t,” opt for phrases such as “I can” and “I will.” And, whenever possible, keep it short. Short messages are typically easier to remember.
- Be authentic. Affirmations only work if they reflect the affirmer’s inner truth. For example, an atheist typically shouldn’t choose messages about religion or God.
- Write messages in the present tense. Staying in the now can create a feeling that the goal or desire is already occurring.
- Recite the chosen phrases repeatedly. Incorporate a self-affirming ritual several times a day and repeat each phrase multiple times. For convenience, record the message and play it back whenever needed.
- Use the written word. Don’t just repeat the expressions aloud. Keep a gratitude or mindfulness journal filled with empowering thoughts and messages. Better yet, write out motivational thoughts and sentences and post them in a high-visibility area, where they’ll serve as reminders all day long.