Do positive affirmations work?
The person we speak to the most is ourselves. Think about how you talk to others and the responses you get in return. When you talk to a group of people in an uplifting way, does the energy in the room change? How does it feel if you're on a car ride with two people that just flat out are ignoring each other? Can you feel the tension in the car? I firmly believe the way we speak to ourselves and the words we choose to use in doing so really plays a huge part in how we view things. So to answer the question do positive affirmations work, the answer is yes.
But there is more...
Positive affirmations have a lot more to it besides just telling yourself that you are something or you'll become something. Think about how you change your mind on things or about things. Let's take your family, for example, if you had a relative that negatively complained about their significant other. Would you then think positive thoughts about them their partner? Probably not. Let's say out of the kindness of your heart you wanted to give them a chance. What do you think would happen if you just told yourself over and over again that they are the right person? Most likely you wouldn't believe it, why? You got it; there is no evidence to back it.
My point is that you can tell yourself positive thoughts about yourself all day long, but if you don't find the proof to believe them the odds of the positive affirmations are low that will hold. The key is to find the evidence that backs the reasons why you are saying the positive statements about yourself.
Here is an example: Positive affirmation can help you perform better at work. Think about what you do best, what kinds of work ethics do you bring to the table? Then tell yourself I am amazing at my job because I am always on time; I complete tasks promptly. Adding the proof to why you are saying yourself the positive affirmations are giving your brain a logical answer and making it a real connection.
Think about what makes you a great worker. What are your great qualities, and why would you hire yourself? Think positive thoughts can calm your nerves and raise your confidence, and in return, this can increases your overall chance of success.
If we know that negatively talking to others can hurt their self-esteem and confidence, then why would speaking to ourselves in a positive way have the opposite effect? Studies have shown that positive affirmation can relieve stress.
"It's only after you've stepped outside your comfort zone that you begin to change, grow, and transform." ― Roy T. Bennett
What is a positive affirmation
Positive affirmation is a belief of practicing the idea of positive thinking and self-empowerment—fostering confidence that "a positive mental attitude supported by affirmations will achieve success in anything.
The reason why we have negative thoughts
You're probably here because you want to overcome the negative thoughts about yourself and get them out of your life. Let's understand why you believe the negative thoughts. Just like I stated above, you have to find proof of the positive things going on in your life along with telling yourself positive affirmations to get your brain to start believing them.
Over the years you have been feeding negative thoughts into your brain, maybe others around you have said bad things to you. Whatever the reason might be, you found reasons to believe them. Perhaps someone told you aren't smart, so you looked for reasons that make that right, you failed a few tests, you got fired from a job, people stopped talking to you after saying mean things. Time goes on, this starts to build up, and you begin to believe them because you found evidence that you think backs up the negative thoughts.
Positive Affirmations can bring Suffering
If you're continually telling yourself positive affirmations, but you do not see the evidence, then you will be fighting yourself from within. You will begin to suffer; you will have this constant battle going on. Why am I not feeling positive, I must feel positive, yet you still feel sad. You will start to think something is wrong with you because you can't get yourself to be positive. Nothing is wrong with you; I assure you that. It's not you; it is the tactics that you are using that are fighting against each other.
Finding the positive
So now you know why you have negative feelings and have negative thoughts, I challenge you to try a different tactic. Instead of just saying things will be better, things are better, etc. When you see or feel something negative, ask yourself, is there anything here that will make my life better? Ask yourself, are there any positive things that can occur from this outcome? When you start asking yourself these types of questions, you begin to look for the positive, in return, this will get you to start seeing positive things that will back up your feelings.
Investigate the evidence
You might not have all the answers, nor do you have to tell yourself positive affirmations all the time to feel happy. If you don't know if you're smart, a good worker, a funny person, etc...that's ok. Just investigate the evidence, ask yourself what does the evidence show? If someone calls you stupid, ask yourself am I foolish or did I not know the answer to that question. If someone says that person over there is a shady person, ask yourself is that person suspicious or are they just having a bad day. Look for the evidence then determine if it backs up the feelings you are having. You don't have to know exactly how you feel. NOT knowing is freeing too. If you say I don't know if I am smart, that's ok; you can still be happy and not know.
"I am in charge of how I feel, and today, I am choosing happiness." -Unknown
How you use positive affirmations
Use Positive affirmations where you would like to improve your life. If your self-esteem and self-value are low, it might take a little getting used to. It takes practice to start changing your mindset more positively. If you feel yourself having negative thoughts, stop yourself at the moment and begin to write down five things, you are grateful for about yourself. (If you can't write them down think about them and allow yourself to feel good about them.)
Once you have told yourself what you are grateful for yourself, then began to say to yourself positive affirmations.
Here are some examples you can say to yourself that will reinforce positive affirmations.
-I will learn from my mistakes and its ok to make them.
-I never give up and see tasks through.
-I accept what I can't change.
-My thought and feelings are under my control.
-I find humor and joy in as many situations a possible
-I live life to my fullest ability
-I am human and forgive myself for not being perfect
-I will, and I am capable of finishing anything is put my mind to.
Actions and Words
How many times have we heard the phrase actions speak louder than words? It's pretty much the same with positive affirmations. Giving yourself positive steps to go along with positive words goes a long way in changing how you feel about yourself.
If I told you did a great job of putting the laundry away; I am proud of you, would that mean anything if you didn't put it away? So, to tell yourself I am great, I never give up, you have to be meeting those positive affirmations with positive actions. It's essential in taking on a hobby or going to the gym helps boost your positive outlook. If you accomplish something and you feel great about it, then you get to tell yourself how amazing you are in doing it.
How many times a day should you say affirmations?
The concept is that we should try to say Positive affirmations three times a day for at least 30 days to feel the benefits. Try and spread them out throughout the day. Once in the morning, when you wake, one before bed, and fit one during the day at some point. Positively talking to yourself too much will never be a bad thing.
Remember that in using positive affirmations, you must find the positive evidence that backs up what you are telling yourself. Your brain needs a logical reason to believe. Positive affirmations alone won't change the way you feel. I challenge you to start using positive affirmations back with positive actions, let me know how it's going for you in the comment sections. I love hearing about your journey.