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What Are Affirmations And How Do They Work?

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What Are Affirmations And How Do They Work?

“I’m no good at my job and sooner or later I’m going to get found out.” “I can’t go to that event because I’m really anxious in social situations.” “I’m such a terrible friend and I feel like I don’t have the right advice when friends need it.” “I’m too much.” “I’m not enough.”

Do any of these negative thoughts sound familiar?

For so many of us they’re very familiar. Like an old foe, they circle around us telling us how useless we are.

The first is an example of Imposter Syndrome where you believe that one day you’re going to get busted for being a fraud at your job/relationship/parenting skills etc etc. The fact that you’re succeeding every day at being you and you still have a job and children that are thriving is totally out of your vision. Instead you’re clouded by such a strong belief that you’re terrible at everything.

The rest are common negativities that follow us around, completely uninvited. They become reality and like self-fulfilling prophecies we convince ourselves that we’re not good enough. Our mental clarity, jobs, relationships and confidence all take a nosedive.

One way to help crowd out your negative thoughts is to be more positive, and positive affirmations really can help. But what are positive affirmations and how can they benefit us?

The Power of Positivity

Positive affirmations are sentences or statements that are designed to be repeated like a mantra to help you overcome damaging, self-critical negative thoughts and behaviours.

In the same way that exercising our muscles makes them stronger or exercising our brains by studying makes us more knowledgeable, practicing affirmations helps to improve our mental wellbeing.

Studies have proven this to be the case too. Researchers have found a positive link between positive affirmations and an improved ability to problem solve under stressful conditions such as during exams or whilst being interviewed.

Furthermore, studies have also found that thinking negatively can contribute to depression and low self-esteem. Positive affirmations can “restore self-competence and self-worth” by increasing the activity in parts of the brain that are associated with self-valuation.

Examples of Positive Affirmations

Affirmations can be used to make you feel more confident and productive at work, particularly before a big meeting, presentation or interview. They can also help you set goals and overcome low self-esteem or bad habits that distract you from being your best self in your personal, home and social lives.

Here’s some examples of positive affirmations:

“I am valued and respected.”

“I am true to myself and live an honest life.”

“I am kind, generous and liked.”

“I am living my best life.”

“I have what it takes to do my job.”

“My manager and my colleagues value my opinion.”

“I am grateful for the life I have.”

“Today I will be positive.”

Or a simple “I can do this!”

You can use these, adapt them to suit you better or make up your own.

Never feel like repeating affirmations is above you or that they’re unrealistic. Repeating your affirmations really can change the way you think and act.  Say them to yourself in the mirror, change your phone/computer screensaver to your affirmation or write them on sticky notes and place them where you will see them regularly.  Repetition is key to their success. Start today - you deserve it.

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