Self affirmations, what are they exactly?
Self affirmations are are what you say when you desire a certain outcome or there is something you want that you don't have. Studies have shown that they can actually help you and there is evidence that supports the positive effects of self-affirmations on the mind and body.
A self affirmation is “the act of affirming one's own worthiness and value as an individual for beneficial effect (such as increasing one's confidence or raising self-esteem).”
Self-affirmations can help you rewire your neural pathways so you can transcend limiting beliefs and threats to self worth.
Why should I create positive self-affirmations?
One documented study revealed that self-affirmations can actually help in threatening situations, decrease stress, increase well being, improve performance, and make people more open to change in their behavior. Researchers examined the neural processes of self-affirmations that are activated in the brain to understand the underlying mechanisms. They tested areas of the brain associated with “positive valuation, self related processing, and emotional regulation.”
How do they work in the brain?
The participants in the study and the control group were asked to rank 8 values from least to most. They included “creativity, relations with family and friends, sense of humor, independence, business or earning money, politics, religious values and spontaneity or living life in the moment.” Then they wrote what they valued most, such as friends and family.
During their brain scans they were asked to think about their most important core value and how they felt. Then they were given a threat message to change their sedentary behavior. They were asked to reflect on their values in relation to past experiences and self-affirmation tasks related to desired future outcomes. The control group was asked to think about their least important core value.
The study examined participants’ functional magnetic resonance imaging to see which parts of the brain, in relation to self-affirmation processes, had activity. This was in relation to participants’ future goals and self affirming health messages to change sedentary behavior in sedentary adults.
The brain scans revealed reward and value pathways activated when given self-affirmations based on what they valued most. Also, the scans revealed areas in the brain related to self processing and prospection were activated when self-affirmation tasks were performed.
They found that the self affirmed group performed better during the threat messages and were more likely to change their behavior. The self-affirmations done before the threats were effective. Self-affirmations not only put you in a more positive state of mind, they also help you become more resilient during challenging times.
Why self affirmations are important.
A study done by the University of Pennsylvania revealed the important functions of self-affirmations. First, they found that just thinking about something they value is enjoyable. Second, self-affirmations helped when they felt threatened by a criticism or failure. Third, increasing the basis of one’s self worth can help to regulate emotions.
The researchers also found that self transcending values, not self enhancing values, played a powerful role in positively changing behavior. Allowing the individual to focus on future oriented goals in a positive light strengthened a person’s self worth.
In another study, researchers told a group of students to write down their affirmations and repeat them. Then another group of students was allowed to choose to do the self affirmations. The first group had a performance boost on tests. The last group also had a performance boost on tests. But when they failed, did not underperform on the next test. Self affirmations allowed them to cope with a threat to their abilities and encourage them to perform well under adversity.
How do I create positive self affirmations?
When creating a self-affirmation, it is important to construct them in the present tense. Make the message a positive one by attaching a positive emotion to it. Also, descriptive words help to enhance feelings that are associated with a particular word. For example, I am radiantly perfect health. This will help to rewire your thought pattern from negative to positive.
The next step is to take action and practice the affirmation everyday. Self-affirmations can be a stepping stone if you want to change your life and go after what you want. Studies have shown that they can enhance performance and even help to increase motivation to change behaviors.
Thirdly, be diligent. Practice your affirmations everyday. Say them first thing in the morning. Practice them throughout the day if you need to. Then say them again before going to bed. Over time, be aware of any improvement in your thought pattern and state of mind.
Here are more examples of self-affirmations:
I am beautiful.
The Universe is always supportive of my thoughts, decisions and actions.
I have a very satisfying career and a very caring employer.
Love and joy flow through me with ease.
I have a wonderful family that always supports me.
I have a thriving and wildly successful business.
I have a very loving, thoughtful, and considerate spouse.
Everything is revealed to me at the perfect time.
The benefits of daily positive self-affirmations.
Affirmations can help to increase your self-esteem and feelings of self-worth.
Self-affirmations can help you through challenging times.
Affirmations help boost performance.
Daily, positive affirmations can help to create a more meaningful life.
Positive self-affirmations can help to shift your perspective from negative to positive.
Positive self-affirmations can help to bolster the mind, body, and spirit in a number of ways. They can help you to transcend threats to your self-worth, increase your resilience, boost performance, stay focused, and positively shift your mindset. When you are in a more positive state of mind, your self-esteem increases and you are more likely to take action to create a life that you've always dreamed about.
Do you have your own positive self-affirmations? Let me know down below in the comments.