The Power of Positive Affirmations

Hello all,

It feels so good to connect with you all once again. I’ve been wondering: how is your self-talk these days?

I’m asking because as you probably already know, we engage in self-talk countless times a day, usually with little to no awareness that we’re doing this. Our self-talk creates an endless stream of affirmations that can either help or hinder us. 

Negative Affirmations are the Work of the Inner Critic

When we are stressed, anxious, or feeling down, our self-talk can be like a running commentary of hopelessness, frustration, or self-criticism. And we can be especially unkind to ourselves when we feel like we haven’t been meeting our sometimes unreasonably high standards for ourselves.

For example, if you’ve been doing more comfort eating, putting off exercising, or struggling to juggle the demands of work and home during the pandemic, you’re certainly not alone in this. But it can be easy to default to self-talk that is impatient, pessimistic and hypercritical. For example, how many of us have told ourselves, “Of course you didn’t finish xyz project!” Or maybe your Inner Critic has been saying, “You ate all of that popcorn? Why even bother trying to get in shape?”

And by now, you probably know that making yourself feel awful isn’t exactly inspirational.

Why not give your Inner Critic some time off, and shift your self-talk to something more helpful?

The Power of Positive Affirmations

The good news is that your brain is wired to benefit from positive affirmations. Although affirmations seem deceptively simple, our brains experience them as a type of reward. Which makes sense if you think about this – from an early age on, we crave encouragement, validation, attention and kindness. And positive affirmations can help us remain optimistic and emotionally centered.

The other wonderful thing about affirmations is that you do not need to wait until you believe them 100% in order to start using them. In fact, if there is even just a tiny smidge of openness to affirmations, these little seedlings of positivity can begin to take root.

You can begin by listening to affirmations that are designed to help you create a specific shift with regard to anything from self-esteem, to making healthy changes, feeling more confident, easing pain, and so forth. And of course, you can create your own affirmations.

Remember, these simply need to be positive, present-tense statements that reflect where you want to be as if they are happening or true in this moment. And the research shows that affirmations are most powerful when they are aligned with your personal values rather than simply emphasizing a specific behavior.

So, rather than saying, “I no longer eat junk food,” a more potent affirmation is, “I take good care of myself and lovingly nourish my body in the way that is healthiest for me.”

Tailor your affirmations to what you most need or want to shift for the better. Let your affirmations be inspirational for you. Seed them with optimism, kindness, and compassion.

Here are a just a few of my favorite affirmations:

“I know that I am here for a purpose.”

“I forgive myself for anything I wish I’d done differently.”

“Each day is a new beginning.”

“I am grateful for the gift of my life.”

As Theodore Roosevelt said, “Believe you can, and you’re halfway there.”

Be well.