Are Positive Affirmations Effective?

Does it really matter if you believe in it? A self-help strategy for positive affirmations is to use that phrase. You can overcome fear, self-sabotage, and self-doubt with these daily affirmations.

Lauren Alexander PhD, Psychologist, shares how affirmations every day can increase your self-confidence and help you to face the world.

What is a positive affirmation? What are positive affirmations? They're phrases that you say aloud, or can utter in your head to affirm yourself . These affirmations can be used to overcome doubts and negative thoughts.

Alexander states, "We live in an age where there's a lot of negativity." You can use positive affirmations to lift some of this negativity by changing the way you think about yourself.

How to Choose a Positive Affirmation

It's not possible to have one affirmation for everyone. You'll need to choose what feels most right for you. Dr. Alexander suggests that affirmations could include something positive or affirming about your self-worth.

Beware of toxic optimism

Positive affirmations don't have to be used as a way of denying or minimizing the problems in your life and the world around it.

Dr. Alexander explains that it can feel inauthentic to stand in front a mirror, saying things like, "You are awesome" and "You're beautiful," but this is not what Dr. Alexander recommends. Truthfully? It's not realistic, nor is it helpful to have only positive vibes.

You can instead find positive affirmations to accept the current reality , and call upon your ability to persevere and thrive.

Recognize the hardships

Dr. Alexander believes that positive affirmations need to be specific and tailored to your concerns. Dr. Alexander says affirmations should acknowledge what you are going through and also bring back times of success.

These are examples of positive affirmations:

Remind yourself that denial is not a healthy way to cope with difficult situations. You can't pretend your emotions don't exist if you go through difficult times thinking they aren't there. They will still be underneath the surface and weigh you down. This affirmation allows you to be open to your emotions and calls on your strength to make it through.

Alexander says that although it's not ideal, affirmations can acknowledge the fact that one can overcome this situation like they have dealt with other difficulties.

How to get the most out of positive affirmations

Dr. Alexander gives tips to help you choose the best affirmations and increase the chance that they will be helpful for you.

1) Practice being positive

As with all things, affirmations require effort. You won't notice a significant difference if you aren't used to using them or don't practice it on a daily basis.

Alexander informs us that positive thinking is essential if we are to reduce the space available for negative thoughts.

She explained that "survival by the busiest" is a psychological concept that states that our thoughts are those which take root in the brains of others. To challenge our normal thinking patterns, it takes practice.

2 Put your skepticalness on hold

We are going to be honest: While it may feel strange to smile at yourself in the mirror, try not to succumb to the temptation.

Alexander states, "If you are a typical negative thinker it is unrealistic to expect to be a positive thinker overnight." Take your time, be patient, and you will feel like normal.

3 3) Speak them out loud or write them down

Whether you say your positive affirmations aloud or just mentally repeat them to yourself is up to you, but the former is probably the best way to start. Dr. Alexander said that sometimes, it is better to hear things than say them aloud.

She has some great ideas about when and how you should say affirmations.

  1. You can write your positive affirmations on sticky notes, notecards, or other forms of paper and place them around your house.
  2. Keep them in your bedroom so that you can see them every morning before you head to bed.
  3. Your affirmations can be saved in an app to your phone, so they are always available.
  4. To remind you to repeat or look at your affirmations every day, set a timer.

Combining your Affirmations and Action

While positive thinking can be a good starting point for positive action, positive thinking by itself won't make it happen.

It's like this: Imagine someone promising you one million dollars. Would you believe them? You would probably remain skeptical right until that check arrived in your bank account. You can also think positively.

Alexander states, "I tell people changing your thinking is important, but what really convinces us as human beings is seeing a change of behavior."

You might find yourself unlikable if, for instance, you start smiling at strangers in the morning and, then, invite someone to coffee during a lunch break.

Alexander advises that you must give yourself opportunities to encounter people who prove negative beliefs wrong. You can reinforce your new thinking by seeing the opposite of what you expected.

Negative affirmations don't work

Positive affirmations might help you persevere and keep faith in yourself through a difficult time, but if you can't seem to shake persistent feelings of self-doubt and low self-esteem, it may be time to speak with a mental health professional who can help you learn to cope.

"Life can certainly be miserable at times, and we can't always change the stressors accounting for that misery," Dr. Alexander says. However, our thoughts during difficult times could either make us stagnant or allow us to move on.