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What’s the Deal with Positive Affirmations?

"I am living my full potential" written on a napkin sitting next to a mug of coffee and a pen.
marekuliasz/Shutterstock

You’ve probably heard people talk about making “affirmations.” Clueless what they’re talking about? Well, positivity is all about viewing the clouds of life as having a “silver lining,” or taking the “glass half full” approach. Affirmations can assist you with that.

What Are Positive Affirmations?

Affirmations are simply positive statements meant to combat negative thoughts and help you feel more positive and in-tune with yourself. People use them to deal with depression and anxiety, or just for some motivation to get through rough or busy days.

Some people believe if you use affirmations regularly and believe them, they can genuinely help you feel more positive. You’re essentially using them to change the way you think.

Do They Really Work?

There is some proof that affirmations can make a difference in your life. One study showed that people who use affirmations regularly feel more self-worth and are more motivated toward action. Another study showed that affirmations and mindfulness helped people with chronic depression.

Of course, whether affirmations will work for you depends on how often you use them, and if you believe they’ll work for you. Everyone is different—what works for one person might not work for another. However, given the possible benefits of affirmations, they’re certainly worth a shot.

How to Create Your Own Affirmations

If you want to give affirmations a try, a quick internet search will lead you to a plethora of affirmations. You can also write your own, though.

Whichever you choose, just make sure your affirmations always follow these guidelines:

  1. An affirmation should always begin with “I am . . .”
  2. It should always be positive.
  3. It should always be in the present tense.

Your affirmations should be about right now, even if what you’re speaking about isn’t happening right now. For example, if you’re afraid of public speaking, but you’re about to give a presentation, “I am calm, and I am at ease speaking in front of crowds,” would be a great affirmation. Notice it also includes the three guidelines we covered above.

Write your affirmations on sticky notes and put them where you can see them or where they’ll do you the most good. You might want to stick any affirmations about weight loss on your fridge. If you prefer to focus on your affirmations first thing in the morning, a positive note posted on the bathroom mirror should do the trick!

Yvonne Glasgow Yvonne Glasgow
Yvonne Glasgow is a professional writer with two decades of experience. She has written and edited for nutritionists, start-ups, dating companies, SEO firms, newspapers, board game companies, and more. Yvonne is a published poet and short story writer, and she is a life coach. Read Full Bio »

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