Marcus Aurelius once said, “You have power over your mind, not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.” The power of your mind is undeniable. So, how can you start to harness that inner strength and create a more positive, fulfilling life? The answer may be easier than you think: Start practicing positive affirmations.
Positive affirmations are statements you say to yourself to build self-confidence and reinforce your belief in your own abilities. They shift and redirect your focus to the strengths you already have and the strengths you want more of.
So, how does that exactly work? The science may surprise you…
How Do Affirmations Work?
You might have heard of a process called neuroplasticity. It’s your brain’s ability to grow, change, and reorganize itself. At its simplest, neuroplasticity means your brain can keep developing and adapting throughout the course of your life.
While your brain is an incredibly complex organ, it can get confused about what’s real and what’s imaginary. This is why your body feels tense or you start to worry about “what ifs.” Your body actually treats the hypothetical scenario as a very real threat.
But there’s a way to use your brain’s wiring to your advantage. And it has to do with how you create certain mental images or affirmation statements. When you do this, areas of your brain get activated as though you’re actually experiencing what you’re envisioning. This is why regularly repeating positive affirmations:
- Can improve your mood and mental health
- Motivate you to take action
- Shift your mind away from negativity
- Boost your self-confidence
- Help reduce anxiety
So, how do you create your own powerful affirmations?
Creating Positive Affirmations
The key to creating affirmations that work is making them unique to you. The first step is deciding what you want to change or bring more of into your life. Look at your career, relationships, your body, your mind, and how you want to feel.
Then, create simple statements in the present tense. Choose the ones that acknowledge and inspire you. For example, if you’re notoriously hard on yourself and place your expectations waaaay too high, consider statements like:
- I am perfect just the way I am.
- It’s normal to make mistakes as long as I learn from them.
- I am accomplishing what I set my mind to.
You can tailor your affirmations toward any area of your life.
Design an Affirmation Practice Routine
Now that you know how affirmations are created, it’s time to build them into your daily routine. There’s no right or wrong way to do this. What’s important is that it works for you.
Here are a few tips to get you going:
- Start your day by repeating your affirmations to yourself. Do this each morning before your feet hit the floor.
- Think about several people and things you are grateful for, and write them down.
- Attach your affirmations to something you do every day, like driving to work or brushing your teeth.
- Record them for on-the-go listening. This helps your brain wake up new neuro-channels to integrate all of your new beliefs.
As you change and evolve, you may notice that your affirmations will too. Feel free to revisit your affirmations every few months and rewrite them as needed.
Think Your Way to Positive Affirmations
Affirmations are a powerful way to make a change in your life. They help you picture where you want to go and use the power of your mind to get you there.
Really try to make them your own. Write your affirmations down and read them over and over, every day. Soon, you’ll be well on your way to a brighter, more positive you!