In the past couple of years or so, positive affirmations have created a name for themselves in the spiritual community. Maybe even more fascinating is that people who have nothing to do with spirituality also believe in their power.
Have you ever tried affirmations for yourself? Or are you a total beginner who is confused about whether they really work? Whatever the case may be, this article is going to guide you through everything related to positive affirmations. Hopefully, your intellectual curiosity will be satisfied and you become motivated to start yourself.
What Are Positive Affirmations?
Positive affirmations are statements that are designed to empower your mind with new ideas and thought patterns. In simpler words, they are positive sentences aimed at rewiring or reprogramming your subconscious mind with new beliefs.
Here are a few examples of Positive Affirmations. If you are a total beginner to affirmations, they can be a good place to start.
- I am grateful for my life and all my joys.
- I am capable of achieving anything I want.
- No goal is impossible for me to achieve.
- I create my own destiny through the power of my thoughts
- I am always becoming a better version of myself.
- Things are always working out for the best for me.
- I am loved, supported and admired.
- I am worthy of all the good things I desire.
All of us have our unique sets of beliefs and perspectives about the world. These beliefs are (mostly) beneficial as they help us make sense of the world around us. However, sometimes we acquire limiting beliefs too.
A belief as subtle as “I am not enough” or “I am not worthy” is capable of affecting your self-esteem. This keeps you from chasing your dreams and ultimately forces you to live a life way below your actual potential.
This is where positive affirmations come into play.
Through positive affirmations, we deliberately introduce new powerful beliefs in the subconscious. This makes the more destructive thoughts prune apart on their own making room for positivity and possibility.
The Spiritual Origins of Positive Affirmations
Using affirmations as a tool to change one’s mental state can be traced back to Buddhism and Hinduism.
The Sanskrit word for affirmations is Mantra.
Sages and monks sitting in the Himalayan mountains have been using “mantras” for centuries now. These mantras aid in meditation by letting the mind focus solely on words instead of unrelated chains of thoughts. Secondly, when a certain mantra is repeated over and over again, it becomes a permanent part of the memory. This ultimately impacts other thoughts, perspectives and beliefs held in your mind.
Mantras are now used by spiritual teachers and followers all around the world. No matter whether they belong to the eastern school of thought or the western philosophy.
Current-day spiritual enthusiasts believe that positive affirmations are a great tool for manifesting (attracting) things, people and situations you want in your life. Is that possible? We will come to that soon, but the answer remarkably is yes.
Positive Affirmations — What Does Science Say?
Are affirmations just wishful thinking or is there some real, convincing evidence that affirmations work? Here is what the science says.
A study conducted by Prof. Emily Falk at the University of Pennsylvania tells us that when someone deliberately practices positive affirmations, they are able to immediately shift their perspective and view “otherwise threatening information as more self-relevant and valuable.”
Another study which included MRI evidence of the participants’ brains, suggests that when an individual practices self-affirmation, the neural pathways in his prefrontal cortex increase. These are the brain systems associated with reward and self-related processing.
These are just two of the hundreds of scientific studies that have been done about the power of positive affirmations.
The science is clear — positive affirmations work wonders! All you have to do is to give them a try and see the results for yourself.
The Interesting Benefits of Affirmations
- Positive affirmations can be an incredible tool for getting rid of negative beliefs and thought patterns. These would otherwise keep you from getting the best in life. These beliefs might be related to your self-worth, confidence or any other problem hindering your progress.
- Affirmations aid you in viewing things and your life situations from a different perspective. Sometimes we get too caught up in the problem at hand that it’s hard to see the whole picture. Affirmations can help you with building that balanced perspective in life.
- These positive statements also instill a sense of self-confidence in the person practicing them. When positive words are repeated again and again, the brain starts believing them as true. Very soon, that new belief starts reflecting in your self-esteem and confidence.
- Finally, affirmations can be used as mantras in meditation. They will help in getting rid of the monkey chatter and calming down your nervous system so that you can more easily slip into a meditative state.
Positive Affirmations and Manifesting
Even though affirmations have so many powerful, scientifically proven benefits, still, they are most widely used by the manifestation (law of attraction) enthusiasts.
These people believe that they can attract anything they want in their life by first reprogramming their minds for that desire. Whether it’s doing better as a student or simply feeling better and stronger as a woman, people have used positive affirmations with a lot of success.
Other areas where positive affirmations can be great is in developing better releationships whether it be with yourself or others. Also, quite topical these days and one I have personally worked with, positive affirmations that help you in a work-from-home setting.
But how is it possible to attract things into your life by chanting a few mantras? Glad you asked.
The secret behind the raging success of affirmations in the manifestation community is — repetition. When we repeat something over and over again, the brain builds a neural pathway corresponding to that thought, statement or experience. Once those neural pathways become stronger, they start impacting how you view the world.
For instance, if you believe that you are a magnet for opportunities, you are naturally going to see more opportunities. Because through repetition, you have convinced your brain that such information is important to you; therefore, your Reticular Activating System or RAS is going to bring you data that conforms with that thought.
Manifesting otherwise seems like a woo-woo concept, but when you combine it with positive affirmations — you combine the power of spirituality with the practicality of science, and that’s when the magic starts unfolding in your life.
How to Use Positive Affirmations?
To make the best out of positive affirmations and fully harness them to your advantage, you can follow the following steps:
- First, identify what your purpose behind using positive affirmations is. Do you want to be more confident? Get a better job? Or are you working on some other aspect of life? Developing clarity is very important to make affirmations work.
- Next, create a couple of positive affirmations addressing that specific issue/problem. Make sure all your affirmations are in the present tense.
- Then start with repeating your set of 5 minutes a day. Saying them out loud is a faster and better method for repetition, as this would engage all your senses simultaneously.
- Be consistent in your repetitions. Make sure to carve out 5 minutes every day (preferably at the same time) to get done with your affirmations.
- Lastly, be patient with affirmations. It would take a few weeks for your mind to accept new thoughts, so make sure you stay committed to your journey.
Can You Say Affirmations In Your Head?
Yes, you can repeat affirmations in your head, and they can be repeated aloud, too.
Do whatever feels most comfortable to you, and try experimenting with both methods in the beginning until you figure out what works best for you.
How Long Should You Repeat Affirmations?
For beginners, a minimum of 5 minutes is a great time to repeat your affirmations.
After a few days, you can start doing these 5-minute sessions twice daily for faster results.
What Is the Best Time For Affirmations?
The best time to repeat affirmations is when your brain waves are slow, so the words you repeat have a greater chance of getting downloaded into your subconscious mind.
The moment you wake up in the morning and the time at night when you are just about to go to sleep are, therefore, two best windows to repeat your affirmations.
How Long Do Affirmations Take to work?
A great habit-building hack is the 21-day rule. Studies have shown that 21 days are an excellent start to familiarizing your brain with a new task. So, affirmations should also be done for a minimum of 21 days to see results. It may take longer for some people, and for others, it may only take a few days.
7 Affirmations That Sets You on a Better Path
Here are 7 affirmations that anyone can use to improve the quality of their life and overall well-being:
- I am more than enough.
- I am powerful.
- My life is an exciting adventure.
- I am a happy soul.
- I achieve all my goals and dreams, every time.
- The universe loves, supports and guides me at every step.
- I experience joy and abundance in all areas of my life.