What Is an Affirmation?

Affirmations are meaningful and words or phrases used to change your thoughts or behaviors.  You can use targeted affirmations to manifest your dream life by eliminating your doubts and self-sabotaging behaviors.

I first learned about affirmations from watching thesecret.tv and encourage you to as well.  It has a fantastic description of how, why, and when to use mantras.  There are even quite a few affirmations inspired by the movie included in the Affirmations section.

Prevent negative self talk.

We all have that little voice in the back of our minds that is constantly causing us to doubt our talents and abilities.  I know I’m not the only one who succumbs to those fears and let’s negative self talk tear away at my self esteem and confidence.  So many of us fall into a spiral of negative self talk that drags us down for months or years a time, preventing us from trying news things, meeting new people, or ditching harmful habits.

It is so important to learn how to combat the internal doubt and negativity.  And I have found affirmations to be a great tool in preventing negative self talk and falling prey to the doubts.  Once you start to identify the common ways you talk yourself down or out of something you can create affirmations.  

what is an affirmation

For example, if you want to approach a new person to start a friendship, but allow yourself to back out at the last minute due to fear of being rejected.  You can create an affirmation such as “I am a great friend and make new friends easily,” to respond to your negative talk the next time you approach a new person.  As you continue to force the negative self talk out, it will get quieter and quieter.

You are also reinforcing your positive attributes and bolstering your character, which gives you strength and confidence.  Everyone and every situation would be better with a little more self confidence.  You can remain calm and collected even in the most stressful or threatening situations if you are self assured.

Use of affirmations has been shown to be linked with better health and a stronger sense of self.

Foster goal oriented thoughts and behaviors.

Affirmations can be made about any topic or intention.  They can help you achieve goals, embrace your true self, and develop deeper and stronger love for yourself and others.  By using your personal goals to craft statements, you can manifest anything.

I recommend composing a list characteristics and virtues you want to foster and instill in yourself.  Create a simple “I am” statement for each intention, being as specific as possible.  Use strong descriptor words and action verbs.  Always use the present tense so you can feel truth into your statements.

You can also use this technique by creating a list of goals, your dream lifestyle, or any other desire and crafting “I am” statements as if you have already achieved or are in possession of the items.   Using these statements in conjunction with actively working towards your goals will put you in the mindset to support the behaviors necessary to achieve your goals.

What can affirmations improve?

By using specific and targeted statements we can achieve different mental states and induce behavioral change within ourselves.  You can repeat your personal powerful statements through out your day.  And in your most challenging times, you can foster inner strength, resilience, and confidence. 

Thoughtful and personal affirmations can be used for so many positive things like the following:.  

Calming your mind
Stress reduction
Reduce defensiveness 
Increase openness
Mental Clarity

what is an affirmation

These statements should be highly personal and specific.  Feel free to find affirmations that resonate with you and then tweak them to your specific purpose.  They can be one word, a few words, a simple phrase, or a whole paragraph.  As long as they allow you to transcend your current mental state and deeply feel the truth in your words.

Always focus on the positives with your affirmations.  Make sure to include gratitude statements as much as possible.  Say your mantras as though you have already achieved your purpose, goal, or intention.  This can be an exceptional tool for those that suffer from anxiety in social situations.  Having a repeated phrase instilling courage and confidence in stressful situations. 

Different types of affirmations:

Affirmations cover a broad list of topics.  But here is a list of the most common and what you can use them for:

Money/Abundance/Wealth/Prosperity Affirmations
These are probably the most common of all affirmations, and the ones that you have probably heard of.  Reinforcing the concept of abundance flowing into your life is so important to manifesting more of anything.  These affirmations also work the best when used in conjunction with gratitude affirmations.

Gratitude Affirmations
Being thankful for everything you have in your life is so important to your well being.  Learning to express gratitude for those who love you and the life you have puts you in a receptive state.  You are more likely to be satisfied and content with your current existence and will compare yourself less.  One of my favorite gratitude affirmations is, “I am grateful for unexpected blessings that are already on their way.”  A simple reminder that good things are always just around the corner.

Love affirmations
Some of the most powerful and touching affirmations are about strengthening and deepening the loving relationships in your life.  As humans, having positive personal connections is also very important to our health and well being.  Keeping those relationships as healthy and strong as possible gives us the foundation we need to live brave and courageous lives.

Self Love/Esteem Affirmations
I think I use this type of affirmation the most of all.  Some of the affirmations used for personal courage, building self confidence are short but very powerful.  Incorporating these statements into your daily life will keep you believing in yourself even in the most stressful or trying times.  Try tailoring your affirmation to support a specific characteristic you want to develop, for example, “I am strong and capable of anything.”

The science behind why affirmations work:

Psychologists have been looking at the science behind why affirmations seem to help so many people. 

 Turns out that Self Affirmation Theory seems to support the concept.  Self Affirmation Theory states that having people reinforce their personal strengths prior to a stressful situation allows them to stay calm even in the face of threat.  

Utilizing affirmations has even been linked to increased happiness as shown in the analysis by Andrew J. Howell in his article “Self Affirmation Theory and the science of Well-Being” published in the Journal of Happiness Studies, February 2017, Volume 18, Issue 1, pp 293-311.

Learn how to use affirmations or how to build your own affirmations!