Daily positive affirmations have real power — and that’s a science-backed fact. When you practice self-affirmations regularly, it can dramatically improve your mind and body. In fact, it can help increase self-compassion and feelings of kindness towards others.
The task at hand, however wonderful, might seem daunting, but it’s about taking small steps. It’s like what Indian guru Satchidananda Saraswati said: “Begin with little things daily, and one day, you will be doing things that months back, you would have thought impossible.”
What Are Positive Affirmations?
They’re so much more than feel-good quotes on corny memes. Simply put, positive affirmations are short, positive statements that are said on a daily basis to reprogram your mind to capture empowering beliefs, habits, and thought patterns.
If you’ve ever watched the movie, The Help, you might recall the line by nanny Aibileen Clack to baby Mae Mobley: “You is kind, you is smart, you is important.” That’s a powerful affirmation that encouraged courage and confidence for Mae and for Aibileen herself.
What can positive affirmations help with?
Self-esteem issues are certainly the number one reason people use positive affirmations, but you don’t have to limit yourself to these uses. You can also use them as part of your law of attraction practices, such as:
- Manifest more money
- Attract romance into your life
- Nurture healthy relationships
- Lose weight and exercise more
- Uplevel your career
Positive affirmations have such a potent effect because they are written in the language of the brain using specific guidelines. And because your mind is a powerful tool, it can significantly boost your mental, emotional, and physical health.
How do positive affirmations work on your brain?
Your brain processes a significant amount of information every single second. So it takes everything you think and say literally.
And when it does so, it takes the information and prepares you for the action that should immediately follow the thought — be it your emotions, behaviors, or even your physical well-being. That’s why it’s important to remember that your affirmations should be in the present tense, not the past or future.
For example, if you think to yourself, “I’m going to have an amazing time on my date this weekend,” your brain essentially hears “amazing date” and starts firing off all the connections to prepare you for this amazing date to ensure its amazingness – mentally organizing which clothes you’ll wear, what you’ll say, how it will feel, etc.
You’ll get a buzz and even start throwing out some sweet feel-good hormones right then and there. Your heart rate increases slightly, butterflies flutter in your stomach, and a big, cheesy grin spreads across your face. That’s fun.
However, it’s not so fun when negative thoughts are thrown into the mix.
Is there a dark side to affirmations?
Imagine watching a scary movie or having stage fright. Your heart will pound. You’ll sweat. You might feel dizzy and sick. Thoughts of fear and worry are screaming across your mind like Kevin McCallister did when he found out he was left Home Alone.
Your brain is preparing you for the perceived danger. This happens because your brain can’t tell the difference between what you’re experiencing right now and what you imagine you might experience in the future. And what’s more, it only understands positive commands.
Have you ever had an emotional experience and told yourself, “don’t cry,” only to find that you’re sobbing even more? There are actually two things happening in the brain that make phrases like “don’t cry” totally counterproductive.
First, when you tell yourself, “don’t cry,” you give your brain two different commands. The first command is “don’t” and the second is “cry.”
You can process the two words together and consciously understand their meaning, but your brain hears the word “cry” and the subconscious begins to activate the neural connections for that command.
Unfortunately, after all that work, you haven’t given your brain an action to take instead of crying. In the end, you’re essentially telling yourself to cry over and over again.
So it’s time to free your mind from fear and adopt positive affirmations into your daily routine. Remember, your brain is a creature of habit, always looking for instructions, and is eager to set you up for success – all you have to do is instruct it in a language it understands and keep repeating it.
How Do You Write Positive Affirmations?
Because positive affirmations are written in the language of the brain, they follow a very specific formula. And as it turns out, our brains are pretty strict and straightforward about their linguistic rules. So here are the guidelines you’ll want to keep in mind:
1. Keep your affirmations in the present. Your brain will only ever optimally respond to positive present tense affirmations such as “I am calm.”
Hence, avoid using past or future tenses. If you see affirmations that say “I will…,” “I used to…,” or “I’m going to…,” then this is NOT an affirmation.
2. Only include positive words. “Don’t,” “can’t,” or “won’t” aren’t positively-inclined words, so steer clear of using them. For example, change “I won’t worry” to “I’m always calm.”
When you use negatively charged words, your brain has to put in a lot of extra effort to evoke meaning and seek out positive instruction.
3. Speak your positive affirmation confidently as if it were true. Statements that contain words like “might” and “could” aren’t nearly as powerful as statements that contain words like “am” and “do”. For example, “I could be calm in every situation” is not as solid as “I am calm in every situation.”
Your brain will respond to this even if you secretly don’t believe it to be accurate. When you come across an affirmation that makes you squirm in discomfort, it’s a good sign that it’s exactly the affirmation you need to repeat.
Short Positive Affirmations to Inspire Your Life
Now you know what positive affirmations are, why you should use them, and how to use them. The next part? To put them into practice.
Here are 20 examples of positive affirmations for different scenarios in life that you can implement. Say them out loud or write them down; remember to use them on a daily basis.
Positive affirmations for work
If you’re looking to improve your overall job performance, find a new job, change careers, or improve relationships with clients and coworkers, use the affirmations below.
- I further my career with every action I take.
- I’m enthusiastic and excited about my work.
- My job brings me financial abundance.
- My coworkers love being around me.
- I’m focused and productive at work.
Positive affirmations for love
Whether you want to improve your romantic relationship, your relationship with yourself, or you’re ready to attract your soulmate, positive affirmations can prepare you perfectly.
- I radiate love and others reflect love back to me.
- I love myself.
- Forgiveness and compassion are the foundations of my romantic relationship.
- My partner is very physically and spiritually attracted to me.
- Life is full of love and I find it everywhere I go.
Positive affirmations for confidence
The feeling of confidence is a powerful one — having the ability to believe in yourself and your strength to succeed. And with self-confidence affirmations, you’ll be able to believe in yourself and make the best out of any situation.
- I believe in myself.
- My power is unlimited.
- I’m grateful for my confidence in my abilities.
- I’m worthy and value myself.
- With every challenge I face, it’s with ease.
Positive affirmations for well-being
Who doesn’t want each and every day to be filled with happiness and excitement? That attitude may seem idealistic right now, but practice some of these daily affirmations and watch how they transform your everyday experiences.
- Every morning I wake up with thoughts and feelings that are nourishing.
- I’m enthusiastic about every second of my life.
- Everyone sees how much joy and love I have for life.
- My life is full of magic and serendipity.
- I see the beauty in everything.
The Ultimate 3-Word Positive Affirmation
If you’ve ever doubted yourself, not felt good enough, or thought you weren’t worthy, then you understand how crippling that quiet torment can be. Not just for your self-confidence, but for how your life ultimately pans out in every way.
The legendary transformational hypnotherapist Marisa Peer is world-renowned for three powerful words. Three words that can challenge and erase self-doubt long-term. Three simple words that can change it all.
I am enough.
These seemingly unassuming words have deeply enriched the lives of thousands. What’s more, they’ve paved the way to confidence, courage, and happiness for all who’ve explored them.
And if you’d like to do so yourself, head over to Mindvalley where you’ll have access to teachings from experts like Marisa Peer. You’ll be able to grow and learn how to integrate new, positive beliefs and affirmations like “I am enough” into your psyche so you can start living out your best life.