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Positive affirmations, What are they?

Negative thoughts can invade all of our minds at some point in life, for example, "I'm never going to be able to do this job; I'm just not good enough."

"I wish I could stick up for myself at work." So how can we change or reframe those thoughts

Negative thoughts

Many of us have negative thoughts like these, sometimes frequently. When we think like this, our confidence, mood and outlook can become negative, too.

The problem with negative thoughts is that they can become self-fulfilling prophecies. We can talk ourselves into believing that we're not good enough and then these thoughts begin to affect our lives, our relationships and sometimes our careers.

So what can we do about these negative thoughts? There are a number of ways to help with these thoughts, therapy is one way but it’s also possible to reframe our negative thoughts for positive thoughts. This is where affirmations come in.

Affirmations can be used to drive positive change in our lives and can also be used in conjunction with therapy.

What are affirmations and how can they work?

Affirmations are positive statements that can help you to challenge and overcome negative thoughts. If they are repeated often enough we can start to believe them and make positive changes in our lives.

Does this all sound too good to be true? Some people think, yes but there is also enough evidence to suggest that a positive mindset can help to protect ourselves and bring about positive change. Try looking at positive affirmations this way and it might help to explain them a bit more. Many people will carry out repetitive exercises to improve our physical health, and affirmations are like exercises for our mind and outlook. These positive mental repetitions can reprogram our thinking patterns so that, over time, we begin to think more positively.

Self-affirmation can help to mitigate the effects of stress and anxiety. Affirmations can also help with low self-esteem and depression.

How to Use Positive Affirmations

You can use affirmations in any situation where you'd like to see a positive change take place in your life.

Affirmations could be more effective when you pair them with other positive thinking and goal-setting techniques.

The power of affirmations lies in repeating them to yourself regularly. It's useful to say your affirmations several times a day, particularly when you can feel your thought process becoming more negative.

How to Write an Affirmation Statement

Affirmation statements can target a specific area, behaviour or belief that you're struggling with and that you want to change. Use these guidelines for writing an affirmation statement:

  • What do you want to change?

For example, do you want to value yourself more in your relationships or feel a sense of stronger self-worth. Write down the areas you want to change the most and focus on those areas.

  • Make sure that your affirmation is credible and achievable.

Try not keep your affirmations to something that you can achieve and something that is within your control. For example, we may want others to be kinder towards us, but this is not something we can change individually. However, we can use affirmations to find more confidence in ourselves to manage these situations. Remain realistic with your affirmations.

  • Turn negatives into positives.

If you are struggling with negative self-talk, try to choose an affirmation that is the opposite of that thought and belief to reframe the negative thought.

  • Write your affirmation in the present tense.

Write and speak your affirmation as if it's already happening, for example ‘I am a valued person’. This helps you to believe that the statement is true right now.

  • Say it with feeling.

Affirmations can be more effective when they carry emotional weight and you really believe them. The affirmation needs to be meaningful to you.

Here are a few examples of affirmations:

  • I am worth being loved

  • I am valued as a person

  • I have the ability to do this

  • I am successful.

  • I am honest in my life and my work.

  • I'm grateful for my life

  • I am a positive person

  • I have the confidence to live life

  • I am excellent at what I do.

  • I am resilient.

  • I am not afraid to stand up for myself.

  • I am proud of myself

It can take some practice to get used to say affirmations. Starting off my saying them to yourself can be a good starting point and then eventually, if you can, work up to saying them to yourself in the mirror. I realised this is a big step for a lot of people and it doesn’t happen overnight but start of small and see how far you get. Good luck with the positive vibes and remember, we can all change the way we view ourselves and the world x

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