Positive affirmations: What are they and why should you try them? | Women's Agenda

Positive affirmations: What are they and why should you try them?

How positive do you think you are? If you’re the average person, as little as 20-40% of our thoughts are positive ones. This leaves a pretty big black cloud in our mind for between 80 and 60% of our time. Is it any wonder it can be tough to always feel positive?

Don’t fear, help is near! Enter stage left, a safe place to park your brain. Affirmations are a positive declaration aimed at eradicating negative concepts. They have long been heralded as a tool in the tool belt to help quash negative self-talk. But are they all just a bunch of trollop?

Louise Hay, mother of all things healing, says the connection is so great between mind and body that you can literally heal yourself from the inside. She leads the positive affirmation movement and puts up a pretty strong case for them.

In a recent life coaching session, a client came to me upset that no one was valuing her input or creativity. Sound familiar? Upon digging deeper we found that underneath this feeling, there was a foundation of low self-esteem. Together we created an affirmation aimed at improving her self-value, and the results were massive.

Firstly she started seeing the value that other people brought to the table. Then her everyday language shifted. Her posture became strong and confident. And in a relatively short period of time, her external environment mirrored her thoughts and her colleagues were remarking on how switched on and creative she was.

How do I create an affirmation?

Sit down, grab a coffee and list anything you think you might like to work on. It could be finding fulfilment in your career, attracting a partner, a better relationship with your dad or a healthier body. Then write a couple of positive statements for the area you’d like to first attend to. They must focus on what you want and be written in the present tense.

For example, if you want to work on a healthier body, you might affirm:

“My strong, fit body is becoming healthier everyday”

Then repeat. Repeat. And continue.

Tips for boosting your affirmations

  1. Gather supporting evidence of your affirmation. For example, keep a list of all the ways that your body is becoming healthier. This might include noting when you can do an extra lunge or that your skin is clearing.
  2. Say it to your reflection. Get in front of a mirror and repeat the affirmation looking into your own eyes. It might be confronting at first, but press forth, it’ll supercharge the progress.
  3. Give yourself prompts to say it. Set an alarm on your phone to go off at random intervals, or stick post-its with it written on around your house as reminders.
  4. Stick with one affirmation at a time. Clouding your brain with too many messages is already what’s happening. Give your mind a rest and have the same sentence ready on the tip of your tongue.
  5. Stick with it. Even if you don’t see changes up front, rest assured your brain is taking note. You’ll know it’s starting to work when you feel a sense of calm and wellbeing when you’re saying your affirmation. This occurs because your brain is responding to something it feels is true.
  6. Say it when you get into bed. Studies have shown that the last thing on your mind before you fall asleep more heavily embeds itself in your unconscious.

As Louise Hay says, “Every thought we think, every word we speak is creating our future. If you change your thinking you can change your life.” 

To help inspire other wonderful women, share below what affirmations have worked for you.

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