Why Positive Affirmations Help to Shift Your Mindset
So do positive affirmations work? Well, if you’re not into woo woo things, then you might say no. But they do actually work. And science backs this up!
In this post I want to look at what affirmations are, why they work, how to use them and then some examples of ones that I’ve used. So let’s get into the nitty gritty of positive affirmations and how they can help to shift your mindset.
What are Positive Affirmations?
In a nutshell, affirmations are positive and uplifting statements that you use to:
- keep your goals in mind,
- combat negative self talk,
- help you overcome difficult situations by telling yourself that you’re capable of doing so,
- become aware of your thoughts and intentions,
- and change your thoughts eventually, for the better.
Some say that there is a specific formula to writing and using affirmations. I believe that we need to create them in a way that feels natural and useful for us. And that they need to be personal and relevant too.
Why Do Positive Affirmations Work?
A lot of studies have been conducted to investigate the effectiveness of positive affirmations. An article in Positive Psychology has many examples of this research. Some of my favourite results are:
- that affirmations can decrease stress,
- they can increase educational performance,
- and they can help people to make better health choices.
Another study conducted at Carnegie Mellon even found out that positive affirmations work to decrease stress and as a result increase problem-solving abilities. As working homeschool moms, we all need problem solving skills to tackle everything we have to do, right?!
But you’ve probably also felt how effective they are in your daily life. Have you ever noticed these things?
- There’s that one really positive person who seems to live a charmed life? Everything always seems to work out for them and life looks effortless and fun. This is probably not the case 100% of the time, but I’m sure that they’re saying many more nice things to themselves than beating themselves up all the time.
- When you’re in a really negative mood, more negative stuff happens? And when you’re in a good mood, good stuff happens?
- Sometimes when you get into a loop of telling yourself you can’t do something, everything feels really difficult to do?
So even without looking at the science behind it, you can see how positive affirmations might work. By switching from a negative to a positive frame of mind, good things could happen!
Remember, you have been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.
LOUISE L. HAY, You Can Heal Your Life
How Do I Use Positive Affirmations?
I think you should use them in a way that feels right and easy for you. Because this is how you’re going to get the most out of them. But if you do need some ideas, you can use them like this:
- Write them down when you’re journaling. You can write them over and over and in different colours. The most important thing is to be present and intentional when writing them.
- Say them to yourself in the mirror. This can be a tough one because it can feel embarrassing at first. But once you get used to it, it’s a great way to give yourself a boost of confidence.
- Repeat them to yourself when you’re working out or doing something repetitive. I like to repeat health and wealth as I’m breathing in and out while running.
- Print them out or write them down and stick them somewhere you can see them at all times. You could place them on your bathroom mirror, fridge, phone lock screen or the side of your laptop.
- Use them while meditating. This can be really effective as your mind is still and you’re present in the moment.
I think the important thing is to be consistent with them. Their contents may change at times, of course. But if you get into the habit of using positive words with yourself, those neural pathways are going to form. And with any habit, that’s what you want. Using them has to start feeling natural and necessary.
What Are Examples of Affirmations?
If you follow me on Instagram, then you’ll see that I post three affirmations every Sunday. You could also google affirmations around a particular topic. Here are some affirmations that I’ve posted:
- I love myself unconditionally.
- I respect my needs and my energy.
- I value and prioritize my time.
- Setting boundaries is healthy and normal.
- I decide how to spend my time.
- I trust and give myself up to the process.
- I respect my child and their unique needs.
- I am my child’s most loyal supporter.
- Our relationship is the most important thing.
- My strength is greater than any struggle.
- Obstacles allow me to learn and grow.
- There is always a solution.
- Taking care of myself is my priority.
- Taking care of myself is enjoyable.
- Taking care of myself is my choice.
I could go on endlessly writing affirmations. 😚 I hope these gave you an idea of what affirmations are, why they work and how you can use them. Because I’m positive that if you start using them, you’ll also feel the benefit!