Whether you are aware of it or not, every day, in every moment, you are affirming something by the thoughts you think. Regardless of whether it is something you want or not, you affirm your desires based on the focus of your thoughts. Quite simply put, an affirmation is any thought you think or words you say. It is also the stream of dialogue within our minds, also known as your self-talk.
Once you become aware of the power of your thought, as well as the ability you have to direct your focus, you can begin to consciously use affirmations in an empowering way during your day-to-day life.
An affirmation can be defined as a statement, in the present tense, of a specific goal or outcome. Often, they are worded in such a way that the goal is in the completed state.
A Positive Affirmation is meant to motivate and inspire. You can use these statements to encourage self-belief and boost internal emotional support.
The History of Affirmations
Everyone can learn to use positive affirmations in their life. From children to teens, adults to seniors, all ages can benefit from the positive effects of affirmations.
And while it may seem that positive affirmations are a “new-age” phenomenon, they are actually closely related to the mantras and chants used for thousands of years by many different religions.
Both ideas help to bring the mind and thoughts into a singular focus.
Both ideas are said repetitively to create a change in perception or thought.
So while you may think that you are venturing into new territory, thousands of people have come before you with incredible results. Whether they are seeking enlightenment, such as Buddha, or success, such as Oprah Winfrey, both used a similar process.
One of the first modern cheerleaders of using positive affirmations in the realm of personal development was Napoleon Hill. In 1937, he wrote his now-infamous book, Think and Grow Rich, in which he outlined how people became successful. At the time of his death in 1970, over 20 million copies had been sold, and even in 2020, his message still rings true; we have the power to choose our thoughts and that positive affirmations are a key principle in success.
Some of the more modern supporters of using positive affirmations include Louise Hay, Marianne Williamson, Dr. Bernie Siegel, and Jack Canfield.
When to Use Affirmations
The benefit of using positive affirmations is their portability and ease of use, once you are comfortable with the process.
Traditionally, affirmations would be used daily, with consistent repetition. Although they can be used throughout the day, it is thought that they have the greatest effect first thing in the morning upon waking or the last thing at night before bed.
Using affirmations upon waking in the morning sets your day in a positive and uplifting tone. And to fill your mind with positive affirmations directly before falling asleep helps to provide a night of better sleep and a more positive state of mind upon waking the next day.
However, that doesn’t mean you cannot use affirmations throughout the day. They are especially helpful during stressful times, such as before a job interview or a first date.
In addition, creating positive affirmations when goal setting can set you up for success to reach your goals with greater clarity and ease.
Where You Would Use Affirmations
Positive affirmations can be sprinkled throughout your daily rituals in a variety of ways.
Here are some ideas.
You can write out your affirmations when journaling. First, you can create the affirmation(s) that you are wanting to use. Once you are happy with the final statement, you can write out the affirmation a number of times during one sitting. Do this often for maximum effect.
There are many meditations available on audio, apps, YouTube, or even create your own using the Voice Memo app on your mobile phone. While sitting in meditation, chant your affirmation, similar to a mantra, allowing the words to sink into your subconscious.
Create a list of affirmations and create a habit of saying them out loud every day, multiple times. If you are concerned about getting strange looks from your partner or house-mates, say them out loud in the shower, the car, or even on your walk around the block.
Listening to affirmations
While sitting in a quiet place or even in the car, listen to a recording of affirmations. For even greater effect, create your own recording, using your own specific affirmations spoken in your own voice, and allow the affirmations to wash over your thoughts. You can easily create a recording using the Voice Memo app on your mobile phone, tablet, or desktop. Or if you still have an old cassette recorder, dig it out and get creative!
One of my favorite ways to keep my positive affirmations top of mind is to create post-it notes of them and then sprinkle them around my home in obvious places that I will see. The bathroom mirror, my closet door, and the fridge are some key spots that I know I will always look at.
Another great option is to use dry erase markers on compatible surfaces. I have a collection of colorful dry-erase markers that I use on my bathroom mirror. I write out my focused affirmation for the week or month right onto the mirror. This way, I am sure to see it multiple times a day. And if you have a supportive partner, they will also see what you are working on and hopefully support you in your efforts! (Please make sure that your mirror is dry erase marker safe first!)
This is a technique used by Louise Hay in her practice of positive affirmations. The basic idea is that you sit in front of a mirror and look yourself straight in the eyes. You then repeat your affirmations out loud while continuing to maintain constant eye contact. This is a very intense and sometimes uncomfortable practice, but very effective at reprogramming our limiting beliefs.
Why Do You Want to Use Positive Affirmations
Change Your Attitude
One of the reasons you want to use positive affirmations is to aid the process of changing your attitude. They help to encourage self-belief as well as being inspirational and motivating. Using positive affirmations can help you steer away from becoming trapped in a victim mentality and seeing that you can move closer to your dreams and goals.
Axe Those Limiting Beliefs
If you know that you have a limiting belief that you want to work on changing, add positive affirmations to your toolbox. Becoming aware of a limiting belief that holds you back from achieving greater success in life is the first step. Once you know what that belief is, it is then important to work at replacing it with an upgraded and more congruent belief. Using positive affirmations to replace that limiting belief will help you move through it with more ease.
An Attitude of Gratitude
Using positive affirmations in your life can help you tap into the abundance and beauty of the world you live in. Because affirmations are uplifting and motivating, you will begin to see all of the people, places, and things in your life that you are grateful for. Remember that what you focus on expands, so keep that focus on the amazing things in life.
Increase Your Manifesting Magic
When you begin to replace your limiting beliefs with more empowering ones, and when you begin to shift your attitude to one of gratitude and self-belief, your overall energetic vibration increases. Part of the secret to manifestation is that you attract what you emit into the world. So if your energetic vibration is high, what you attract into your life will begin to match that same frequency.
The Anatomy of an Affirmation
Let’s talk about the nitty-gritty of makes up a great Positive Affirmation
Very similar to a cell, a positive affirmation has anatomy all its own.
First, you need to start with clarity of what you want to affirm and manifest. You will want to take some time to reflect on what you want to be true in your life. This is where you want to be crystal clear in your thoughts and ideas. Remember, the way your brain perceives reality and imagination are very similar. So in order to rewire your neuro-pathways, keeping your affirmations very focused is more effective.
Next, you want to word your affirmations in the present tense when all possible. For example, say, “My body is becoming healthier and more vibrant every day.” instead of “My body will become healthy and vibrant.” The second option is still valid, but creating your affirmations in the present tense, as if you are experiencing it at the moment, becomes much more powerful.
Now it is important to ensure that the wording is positive instead of negative. Try to stay away from contractions, such as can’t, won’t, haven’t, or don’t. Anytime the word “no” or “not” shows up in the affirmation, replace it and shift it to a positive frame. For example, “I don’t want to be sick.” is changed into the positive affirmation of “I am becoming healthy and vibrant.” Once you are able to believe that thought, then upgrade your affirmation to, “I am healthy and vibrant.” Remember that this is a process of changing your mindset. It is okay and normal if your affirmations start out with you feeling like a fraud or discomfort. You are reprogramming your self-beliefs, so give yourself grace through the process.
There are three more details to think about when constructing the perfect affirmation.
- Be concise
- Provide action
- Create feeling
This is when you can get really specific. If you want to hit your ideal weight of, for example only, 150 lbs, you can say, “My body is becoming its ideal weight of 150 pounds.” You can always stay general, using words like wellbeing, health, and abundance. Or you can take it up a notch and get super specific to reach those big goals. There is no right or wrong and the choice is completely yours!
A strong positive affirmation usually includes some type of verb or action word. Words such as becoming, manifesting, and creating are all examples of words you could use in your affirmation.
Emotion is an incredibly powerful creator of change in our brains and neuro-pathways. Anytime you can invoke a feeling or emotion, you solidify learning, creating habits, and memory. To harness this, either make sure that your affirmations bring up positive, fulfilling, and inspiring emotions, or include descriptive feelings within the wording.
Now that we have discussed the what, why, when, where, and how of positive affirmations, I wanted to give you some examples to work with.
- I am open to receiving abundance.
- I welcome abundance into my life.
- I am happy to receive all the things the universe has in store for me.
- I am open to getting an abundance of love, health, money, and whatever else I desire.
- The Universe sends me everything I need.
- My mind vibrates on a level that attracts abundance.
- I send out clear intentions of the abundance I desire to the Universe.
- The Universe understands what I want and moves accordingly.
- Everything comes to me easily. I enjoy ease and comfort.
- I acknowledge there is an unlimited amount in this universe, so abundance is normal.
- I welcome great things in my life and look forward to receiving them.
- I know the well remains full for others to also enjoy these things.
- Abundance is infinite. It is available to everyone. I simply open my heart to receive it.
- Today, I am open to abundance. I feel joy and gratitude as the universe provides whatever I need and fulfills my greatest desires.
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