Affirmations: A Simple Task That Packs A Powerfully Positive Punch
Diving Into Your Daily Affirmations
Struggling with mental peace not only affects our self-esteem but also our productivity. It’s hard to get through the day constantly thinking about past transgressions and the uncertain future. Quite often we turn to outside means such as the approval of others, distractions, shopping or even substances to try to calm the storm within ourselves. Truth is, everything we need, we already have and everything else is just an extension of the joy we have access to inside.
Keep reading to dig into:
What are affirmations
Why affirmations are a daily necessity
Creating your own affirmations
Getting into the habit
WHAT ARE AFFIRMATIONS
Affirmations are stated or written statements of emotional support or encouragement. We can think of them as a form of self-care that works for our self-esteem and self-concept. They can serve as an anchor when we feel as if we are getting carried away in a sea of negative emotions. They often help to center and remind us of our value and humanity when things start to feel out of control.
Some great examples are simple statements such as: I am worthy, I am valued by my family and friends or My body is strong and healthy, or even, I have a nice smile.
WHY AFFIRMATIONS ARE A DAILY NECESSITY
We have about 90 thousand thoughts each day, more if we struggle with anxiety! 90,000! Of those, for most of us, a majority of those thoughts are negative or at best neutral. If you add to that all of the negative content we get from our environments, the media, and our history the need for daily affirmations becomes more and more apparent to provide some level of counterbalance to the waves of negativity that cross or lay on our mind.
CREATING YOUR OWN AFFIRMATIONS
Writing an affirmation is simple but can feel quite difficult until you get the hang of them. Start with “I” or “My” then follow it up with something positive about yourself. There are so many phrases we can say to help soothe our minds and block out or replace the intrusive discouraging thoughts that weigh us down. It is best to avoid words like can’t or don’t as these words can bring in negativity. Affirmations can be as simple or as complex as you want them to be.
When trying to come up with nice and positive things to say about ourselves is harder than we might like it to be, use the following prompts or others like them to get you started:
When I was a kid I…….
I’ve always been good at…….
My friends like me because……..
In college I……..
Identifying a timeframe or a specific topic can help narrow our focus and make finding an affirmation easier when we’re not faced with plucking one thing out of our overall history of experience.
GETTING INTO THE HABIT
Repeat your affirmations each day and add a new one each day. Overtime you will have a lengthy list to refer to. The goal is to remind ourselves of the greatness that we hold inside that gets bogged down by obsessing over the things we cannot control, comparing ourselves to others, or just feeling hopeless.
To get in the habit of practicing affirmations, set an alarm to remind you of the task or pair it with an activity that you do every single day such as brushing your teeth or drinking water. It takes about 21 days to establish a habit, so patience is important in this process. These moments of positive thought may feel short lived but the more we practice the better they will stick.
We can also say affirmations throughout the day to ground ourselves if we are starting to feel frustrated at work or while trying to manage a difficult task. Coupled with deep breathing, affirmations slow down the heart rate and improve focus. Your therapist will likely have more specific suggestions about how to develop and incorporate affirmations into your daily life based on their in depth knowledge and understanding of who you are.
Insider Tips From Our Psychologists
- Start your list of affirmations on the last page of your journal and as your list grows it will move in towards the center. This will keep your affirmations from being interrupted by other writing.
- After you have a good list going, pick 3-10 to repeat out loud each day and rotate them
- When you’ve become comfortable with saying them out loud, start saying them out loud to yourself in the mirror