“You’ve been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.”Louise hay
Every day, all throughout our day, we make little statements to ourselves. These statements are affirmations, which can shape our reality (more on that later). Often, these statements tend to be on the negative side. But what would happen if we change to positive affirmations?
What is a positive affirmation?
A positive affirmation is a statement that you repeat to yourself in order to form a new belief. This way, you can change your belief about yourself or your reality.
Affirmations come from beliefs and are more often than not negative. For example: “I’m so stupid, I always make mistakes.”, “Bad things always happen to me.” or the well-known “can this day get any worse?”. And unavoidably, it does.
Affirmations are based on our beliefs. In fact, “to affirm” comes from the latin “affirmare”, which means “I present as fixed”, “I maintain”, or “I strengthen”. I think you can already see what is going to happen here.
Because yes, your affirmations can maintain or strengthen your reality. If you keep affirming (maintaining, strengthening) the belief that “I am so stupid, I always make mistakes”. Then that is exactly what is going to happen.
How do affirmations work?
Affirmations work in two ways.
- The theory of self-affirmation
- The law of attraction
Self-affirmation theory has the idea that we have made a self-concept, and we want to live up to that identity. Affirmations can help you change the concept you have of yourself, and you’ll want to live up to that concept. Your brain is hardwired to look for evidence that confirms the belief you have. So if you affirm “I am successful”, you will want to live up to that standard. If you affirm “I have a great life”, your brain will start looking for evidence of all that good.
That is also where the second way comes in.
We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same.
– Carlos Castaneda
I think the law of attraction is a well-known concept by now, but to summarize it: “everything in the universe vibrates on a specific energy, and you will attract things that have a similar energy as you do. So as you start to affirm more positive things, your vibration will be higher, attracting nicer things into your life. It’s like when your day starts badly (you slept in, missed the bus etc) and your whole day is off. But when your day starts with something good, it’s more likely you’ll have a really good day!
So now that you know all this, doesn’t it make way more sense to start consciously thinking positive things? Affirmations can definitely change your life, if you use them regularly.
Can affirmations help if you’re sick?
In short, sometimes. Obviously, affirmations alone are highly unlikely to heal serious diseases. However, they can help with things like anxiety and stress. It has also been proven that a positive mindset is helpful for patients suffering from cancer (*). They can also assist in building self-esteem and confidence.
Whether you believe in them or not, I think that positive affirmations definitely won’t hurt. So even if you’re not sure about them, just give them a try for a couple of weeks and give them a go!
Examples of positive affirmations
I choose to be happy
Money flows to me easily and effortlessly
I provide value to the world
The world is a safe place for me
It is safe for me to be myself
I love being me
I am ready for good things to come for me
I am a wonderful human being
There is always have more than enough
I attract new opportunities
I am unconditionally worthy of all that I desire
All is well in my world
I am worthy of health, wealth and love
I am safe, and I am fulfilled in all that I do
My talents are in demand, and my unique gifts are appreciated
My potential is unlimited
There are no limits to the abundance I can experience
I love and accept myself exactly as I am
I let go of my negative beliefs and move into love
I am surrounded by opportunities
So those are my affirmations that I try to repeat throughout the day. I do some during my workout, when I’m making breakfast, in the shower, when I’ve just woken up or when I’m on the road.
If you liked this post and want to know more, you’ll probably like these affirmations as well:
Do you use affirmations consciously? And what is your favorite? Let me know in the comments!