Positive Affirmations are a great way to improve feelings of low moods, low confidence and anxiety. They have been shown to have strong effects within the reward system of the brain.
An affirmation is a positive sentence which we repeat to ourselves to help make a specific emotional change that we want to make in our lives. For example, if we want to feel less anxious, then our affirmation may be “I am calm, confident and in control”.
- When writing affirmations there are some rules to follow:
- Use the present tense. For example “I am …” or “I feel…”
- Be positive. Say what you want not, what you don’t want. It doesn’t work to say to yourself “I am not anxious” or “I am not lazy”, because the unconscious mind has a small fault in it: It doesn’t process negatives. Eg. “Whatever you do, do NOT think of a pink elephant!” here all you will think about is a pink elephant!
- Be specific. Confine your affirmation to one area of improvement at a time.
- Be simple. Use simple language which is easy to remember and inspires you.
- Personalise. Your affirmation needs to be initiated and maintained by you and not about changing anyone else.
- Repeat 100 times per day. Say it out loud if you can or out loud in your head. Say it like you mean it. The more believable it sounds the more it’s going to help.
- It is very difficult to remember to repeat your affirmation regularly, so it is very useful to have something to remind you, like star stickers. Put a sticker to remind you around the kitchen sink, fridge, mobile phone, car seat, television, computer, purse/wallet, bathroom mirror, biscuit tin, etc. Whenever you see one of your stars you need to repeat your affirmation out loud (if you can) and with conviction.
- It is useful to remember to act as if! Fake it till you make it. Fake it till you become it.
Let’s start an affirmation together:
- Decide how you want to feel the next time you feel under pressure.
- Write down an affirmation which describes how you WANT to feel.
- Re-iterate the rules above.
Changes will not take long to manifest themselves and if your repeat your affirmation regularly every day, you should start to see significant changes by day seven. Master this and you really are starting to become the master your own destiny.