Whenever I face tough times I often turn to positive affirmations for solace and to help me stay more mindful.
Are they really helping and how?
2020 has proven to be a pretty challenging year, so uplifting affirmations I repeat to myself over and over really do seem to help me stay more balanced. My mind can spiral surprisingly fast into worst case scenarios and I can overthink any situation that involves the health and safety of my family.
As much as I find comfort in these affirmations, such as “I am at peace” or “I am grateful for my wonderful life”, I have to question if they are truly helping in a meaningful way.
Are they really “re-wiring” my brain for optimism as so many websites may claim?
As it turns out, there is some convincing evidence to say positive affirmations can offer a real solution towards shifting chronic negativity and this is a superpower that can change lives.
According to PositivePsychology.com, there is some great news – the science backs up many benefits to using positive affirmations. This makes me hopeful and excited and it should for you too if you are struggling. There is genuine theory and a good amount of neuroscience behind this tool being good for our mind and body.
I pulled this information from the Daily Affirmation section on Positive Psychology’s website and it’s pretty encouraging:
- Self-affirmations have been shown to decrease health-deteriorating stress (Sherman et al., 2009; Critcher & Dunning, 2015);
- Self-affirmations have been used effectively in interventions that led people to increase their physical behavior (Cooke et al., 2014);
- They may help us to perceive otherwise “threatening” messages with less resistance, including interventions (Logel & Cohen, 2012);
- They can make us less likely to dismiss harmful health messages, responding instead with the intention to change for the better (Harris et al., 2007) and to eat more fruit and vegetables (Epton & Harris, 2008);
- They have been linked positively to academic achievement by mitigating GPA decline in students who feel left out at college (Layous et al., 2017);
- Self-affirmation has been demonstrated to lower stress and rumination (Koole et al., 1999; Weisenfeld et al., 2001).
This is exciting stuff!
It helps to give me a sense of control and power over what my brain focuses on and that I truly can become more positive and optimistic. It’s a built in way of remaining mindful of thought patterns and the way we view ourselves and the world.
They also claim to be good for our health as they can help with physically staying calmer, help us stay on track for eating right and exercising, and help with higher quality sleep.
Here are some simple examples of positive affirmations that can help shift your outlook on life if done regularly:
Looking for some ideas to start using your own positive affirmations? Here are some examples:
- I choose to be happy.
- I choose to be calm and at peace.
- I’m surrounded by amazing friends and family.
- I opt to rise above negative feelings and dismiss negative thoughts.
- I am resilient, strong, and brave.
- Nobody but me decides how I feel.
- When I lie down to sleep, everything is as it should be, and I sleep well.
- I am in charge of my thoughts, and I don’t judge myself.
- I accept and love myself, thoroughly and completely.
- I am productive and useful.
What are some of your favorite positive affirmations that help you live a more mindful life? Have you noticed they’ve helped to improve the quality of your life?
Good luck with your affirmation practice and HAPPY MINDING!