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  • Writer's pictureH Llama

Positive Affirmations: Do They Work?

You’ve heard of positive affirmations — a quick sentence you say to yourself to try to improve your mindset — but do they even do anything? We’ve explored the science behind positive affirmations and tried them out ourselves to see if they really do work! You’ll also find a list of affirmations for various needs to try out yourself.

The science of affirmations

First things first, let’s talk science. Our brains are incredibly adaptable. They have the remarkable ability to shape our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors based on the messages we feed them. This is where affirmations come into play. When we repeat positive affirmations to ourselves consistently, our brains start to internalise these messages as truth.

Researchers have dug deep into the effects of affirmations on our mental well-being. Studies, like the one conducted at the University of California, Berkeley, have shown that daily affirmations can lead to greater self-compassion, reduced stress, and overall improved mental well-being. 

How to know if they’re working for you

Okay, you’ve started incorporating affirmations into your routine already, but how do you know if they’re actually doing anything? Well, it’s all about being in tune with your emotions — which is a lot more complicated than it sounds! Here are some ways you can gauge whether affirmations are doing the trick: 

  1. Notice changes in your mood

Take a moment to check in with yourself throughout the day. Mood trackers can be a simple way to help with this. Pay particular attention to any shifts in your mood and see how these align with your affirmation practice. 

  1. Observe your mindset 

Consider how your mindset has evolved since you started incorporating affirmations into your daily routine. 

Are you approaching challenges with a greater sense of optimism and resilience? 

Are you able to reframe negative thoughts more easily? 

Notice any changes in your mindset and perspective — they could be indicators that the affirmations are working.

  1. Reflect on your overall outlook

Step back and take a holistic view of your life. 

Do you find yourself approaching each day with a renewed sense of purpose and positivity? 

Are you more open to embracing opportunities and facing obstacles head-on? 

Pay attention to any shifts in your overall outlook on life and how they align with your affirmation practice.

My two-week experiment with positive affirmations

It’s all well and good for me to spout information about affirmations and claim that they’re going to provide any change, but I knew that I needed to try them for myself. For two weeks, I practised daily positive affirmations — once in the morning and once before bed.

The process: 

Each morning and each night, I set aside a few minutes to sit quietly and recite my chosen affirmations. For the first day or so, I realised that I was reading these affirmations like an amateur actor would read a script. 

The turning point for me was to say these lines with conviction and fully allow myself to believe that what I was saying was the truth. I needed to tell myself these things because I believed them, not just because it was a task I said I’d complete. 

Another kicker was that the affirmation process didn’t just start and end at these morning and nightly sessions. I needed to make a conscious effort throughout the day to redirect my thought process and replace any negative self-talk with affirmations. 

I also took notes in my journal — this was an incredibly useful tool. I noted any shifts in my mood, mindset and overall outlook. This reflection process allowed me to track my progress and notice any patterns.

The results:

As the days went by, I didn’t think that I noticed any changes. The main thing I noticed is that I was more aware of the negative things that I was telling myself. I made a mental note of when I reprimanded myself for making a mistake or talked down to myself about my appearance. I purposefully shifted those mental statements to be something positive. 

This increased my resilience and ability to bounce back from obstacles that would usually derail me entirely. By the end of the two weeks, I certainly didn’t feel like a new woman, but I did feel stronger and slightly more capable. 

Don’t get me wrong, there will always be days that are harder than others, but this practice definitely helped to shift my mindset a little. I reckon when practised over months, or even years, there could be huge benefits!

Here are some affirmations for when you’re…

Feeling anxious

“I trust in my ability to handle whatever comes my way.”

“I am calm and collected, even when uncertain.”

“Wherever I go, I am well.”

“In this moment, I am safe and protected.”

“My thoughts don’t control me; I control my thoughts.”

Need some self-love

“I deserve love and kindness, just as I am.”

“I embrace my flaws. They’re not a reflection of my morality.”

“I’m not perfect, but I am improving every day.”

“I have so much to give this world.”

“I matter”

Healing your inner child

“I give myself permission to relax and play.”

“I forgive myself and let go.”“I did the best that I could with the information I had”

“I love and accept myself, even when I am in pain.”

“I deserve to be respected and treated with love.”

In need of a confidence boost 

“I believe in myself and my abilities.”

“My best is always good enough.” “I am braver than I give myself credit for.”

“My opinion is valuable.”

“I am worthy of what I want.”

How to get started

If this is a process that resonates with you, you can start at any time. It’s never too late, and there are no eligibility requirements to meet. Start by choosing affirmations that resonate with you. Spend a few minutes each day practising them, really believing in what you're saying. 

Stay consistent and patient, knowing that change takes time. Keep track of how you're feeling and adjust your affirmations as needed. Trust in the process and stay open to the possibility of positive change. With time and dedication, affirmations can help you feel more confident, resilient, and at peace with yourself.

For more mental health resources, check out our website. Alternatively, contact us to get involved!

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