Over a decade ago, I had my first experience with the transformative nature of positive affirmations. It was while I was studying Hypnobirthing in preparation to give birth to my second child.
Seeing as how it worked pretty damn well for both that birth and the following one, I am fully convinced of how effective this simple practice can be, especially when you’ve got a good guide to follow!
I’ll be honest – over the years, my consistent use of positive affirmations has waxed and waned. It’s pretty telling that I use positive affirmations mostly when I’m going through a particularly challenging time. It has clearly become a way for me to cope and gain clarity in troubling times.
However, in this past year, I’ve become much more intentional with using positive affirmations. It’s a daily practice that I rely on every day, and it’s definitely something that has helped me approach life, and all its challenges, with more grace and strength.
Read on to find out more about the power of positive affirmations and how you can use it in your daily life!
What are affirmations?
Put simply, affirmations are phrases that you say to yourself with the intention of reminding yourself of a thought or idea. Positive affirmations are uplifting and inspirational. You use phrases that exude optimism and positivity in yourself and others.
When you go deeper though, practicing positive affirmations is more than saying a string of words to yourself. It’s the act of anchoring yourself to this positive thought throughout your day or week, or even year.
Positive affirmations are:
- Short and memorable
- Easy to repeat
- Intentional – it serves a bigger goal
The best part of this practice is that it takes but mere seconds out of your day! That’s the primary reason I continue to do it, and don’t see myself ever stopping.
Why should you practice positive affirmations?
1. Everyone can do it
It’s easy to dismiss positive affirmations as a new age thing meant for millennials and hipsters, but there are many movements and wellness practices that have adapted it as a core value. Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), HypnoBirthing, and some types of yoga use positive affirmations. Anyone, regardless of age, gender, culture, religion, or sexuality, can benefit from positive affirmations.
2. It reminds you of what’s important
In today’s social climate of constant comparison, pointless busy-ness, and rampant consumerism, it’s so easy to fall into the trap of not feeling good enough, or always needing shiny new things to be happy. Positive affirmations help ground you. They become a frequent reminder that you are more than enough, and you don’t need pointless things in order to be happy.
3. Words have power
Research has shown that words can alter the way you perceive yourself and others. The way we talk to ourselves and others can have a very real impact on ourselves, and our society. It’s so important to understand and acknowledge the deep impact that words can have on our subconscious, and use this awareness to focus on useful, positive, and effective words in our daily lives.
4. It helps you drown out negative thoughts
We’re all guilty of being a little too tough on ourselves. But think about this: would you speak to a friend or loved one the way you speak to yourself? We’re often far too unkind and harsh on ourselves, and it serves no benefit. Shifting that mindset and focusing on positive self-talk instead – even in the face of failure or rejection, where negative inner dialogue usually reigns supreme – can help you move forward instead of dwelling in the past.
5. You will connect to your core values
Somehow, in the midst of our everyday chaos, we tend to lose ourselves. Little by little, we compromise parts of our identity and don’t even notice it. Positive affirmation does wonders in terms of reminding you of who you really are, and what matters to you. It’s a way for you to reconnect to your greater purpose each and every day!
When to practice positive affirmations
1. Anchor your affirmations to an existing habit
One of the easiest ways to build a new habit is by anchoring or attaching it onto an existing habit.
So start by doing your morning affirmations just before you brush your teeth or have your coffee (whichever comes first – I’m not judging!). I personally anchor my affirmations to my morning coffee, and each time I take a sip from my water tumbler. In my mind, it’s like “drinking in” my affirmation.
For the next few days, take a good hard look at your routine. Are there things you do everyday that could be a good place to anchor your affirmations?
Here are some ideas of moments in your day where you can anchor your affirmations:
- While you prepare breakfast.
- Before you brush your teeth.
- Every time you get into your car.
- Each time you check the clock for the time.
2. Establish it as part of your wellness routine
Another idea is to anchor it to another wellness habit, like your daily exercise or stretching routine. For example, I also say my affirmations during my early morning yoga stretches.
I can’t take credit for this idea, though – it all started when I joined the 30-day Morning Yoga Movement challenge by Yoga With Kassandra (it’s free on YouTube – give it a try!). It’s now something I practice every day, and each session always includes a lovely affirmation to start my morning with.
Here are some ways you can establish positive affirmations to your wellness routine:
- If you take daily walks, repeat your positive affirmation every time you turn a corner.
- If you exercise at the gym, repeat your affirmation before and after your workout.
- Frequent stretching is really important if you sit at a desk at work all day. You can repeat your affirmations every time you take a stretching break.
3. Power up your affirmation
When you use your affirmations to help guide your behaviour each day, it keeps you mindful and intentional. It also helps you reaffirm the messages that you’re sending to your brain, as you’re backing up the words with action.
The following are some examples on how you can do this:
- I bring positive energy to any situation I am in – Create a happy and joyful atmosphere when interacting with family, friends, or colleagues that day.
- I love and appreciate every inch of my body – take 5 minutes to massage some of your favourite lotion onto your skin.
- I am forgiving and gentle – If the children are being tough, take a moment before reacting to consider your options. Opt for a cool, calm, and collected reaction.
4. Look at your affirmations often
Did you know that, on average, we check our phones more than 50 times a day? That’s pretty ridiculous, and probably not the best habit, but I’ll admit I’m guilty of approaching this number daily (half the time it’s for work though, so maybe it’s not so bad? Lol).
Why not create more positive moments around this bad habit? Set your lock screen and phone wallpaper to something like the image below. I love Pinterest for finding cute affirmation wallpapers for my phone! I have an album full of my favourites so I can change it up whenever I want. You could even create your own wallpapers using Instagram Stories or Canva.
Here are a few that I made – feel free to save them as your phone wallpaper!
After the recent iOS 14 update, I’ve also taken to using the Widgetsmith app to create text widgets with my daily affirmations! So that’s definitely something you could try too.
Now every time you pick up your phone, you’re reminded to repeat that day’s positive affirmation. Easy, right?
I also write down my daily affirmations in my daily planner. I mean, I am constantly checking my to-do list each day, might as well pop my affirmations on there where I’ll see it each time!
More ways to incorporate positive affirmations in your life
- Jot them down in a journal or planner
- Create an affirmations jar
- Share your affirmations with friends
- Anchor your affirmations to movement
- Create art around your affirmation
- Seek things that relate to your affirmation
- Create a vision board around your favourite affirmations
- Save quotes that resonate with your affirmation
You can find more details about these techniques by reading my blog post about the different ways you can incorporate positive affirmations in your life!
How to practice positive affirmations
Now, actually doing your positive affirmations is easy! It will take just a few seconds of your time, but once you do it a few times a day, you’ll start to see a transformation in the way you think, feel, and behave.
- Relax your jaw, neck, and shoulders, and maybe close your eyes.
- Take a deep, cleansing breath into your nose and out your mouth.
- Gently and confidently repeat your affirmation to yourself, either in your head or out loud.
- Take another deep breath.
- You’re done!
I promise you, it honestly takes very little time to do.
Just remember to take the time to focus fully on your affirmation. This is not something you should do while distracted! It takes less than a minute, so spare those few seconds to invest in this.
List of positive affirmations to get you started
I am beautiful, inside and out
My body is strong and capable
I am perfect just the way I am
I honor my body and treat it kindly
I am confident of how I show up in the world
I feel brave and strong in my body
I have faith in my abilities
I am confident and powerful
My thoughts are valid
I am making a difference in the world
I am filled with wisdom
I can manage challenges effectively
I love deeply and openly
I am worthy of respect and love
My heart is resilient
I am loved and appreciated
I create a positive and joyful atmosphere
I am forgiving and kind
Want more affirmations? Download my FREE eBook – 60 Days Of Positive Affirmations For Women – for two month’s worth of simple affirmations you can start practicing right away!
Reconnect to your true self, one positive affirmation at a time
Positive affirmations take very little time out of our day, but can have a huge impact over the long-term. If you don’t believe me, then why not give it a try over the course of a couple of months?
My eBook – 60 Days Of Positive Affirmations For Women – contains a month’s worth of positive affirmations. These affirmations are perfect for women who are in need of more positive self-talk and a mindset shift to reach their goals. If this sounds like something that you need in your life, click here to download it for free, or scroll down to the form below.
This eBook will help you take the time to center yourself with positive affirmations every day, and the free printable that comes with it is a good way of having an affirmation ready to go whenever you need it.
Small changes can have a big impact. Positive affirmations seem like such a tiny shift in your daily life, right? But after a few weeks you’ll notice that you’ll have a positive shift in your mindset and outlook. It’s never too late to start a good habit, so start with your daily affirmations today!