During difficult times, using positive affirmations can help us to cope. Our thoughts strongly affect the way we feel. What we tell ourselves can either make us feel more calm or more anxious. The article below by Kristen Suleman of Mental Health Match provides us with positive affirmations to use now to help us feel stronger and happier.
What is an Affirmation?
An affirmation is really anything we say or think. As Louise Hay explains: “Every thought you think and every word you speak is an affirmation. All of our self-talk, our internal dialogue, is a stream of affirmations. You’re using affirmations every moment whether you know it or not. You’re affirming and creating your life experiences with every word and thought.” Whoah. Read that again.
By using positive affirmations, we create positive statements to repeat to ourselves in order to help shift our mindset. Think of it like this: when we “affirm” something, we are stating it to be true. Take a second to notice the types of thoughts you have had so far today. This might be difficult to do at first – this is normal. Take your time. Have your thoughts been helpful or harmful? Accurate or fear-driven?
Many of our thinking patterns can be more negative than we realize – especially during increased times of stress – this is also normal. The thing is, our thinking patterns directly impact our moods, primarily because we tend to believe our thoughts to be true. Practicing positive affirmations helps us consciously choose words that shift our thinking patterns to be more positive, which in turn offers several benefits. What are these benefits you ask?
Positive affirmations are known to help us shift negative thinking patterns and can help us overcome behaviors we would like to change. They are also proven to lower our stress levels, decrease our anxiety, improve our focus and concentration, improve our confidence, and help us feel more in control of our well-being. Who else could use a heavy dose of some of that right now? I know I could! These are all things we collectively need as we navigate new territory during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, let’s talk about how to practice putting this into action.
Practicing Positive Affirmations
Begin by thinking about a positive message that you might need to hear. It can be helpful to think of a negative thought you often have about yourself or about a situation. Now, try to imagine the opposite of that thought and put it into a sentence. I have included some examples below to help you get started. Feel free to pick a few of these that you connect with or create your own! The key is to repeat your personal affirmation(s) to yourself a few times each day to keep them present in your mind.
You can write them in a journal, write them on your bathroom mirror, write them on a post-it note, write them on your hand, make them the background on your phone, say them out loud to yourself, say them out loud to your pet, send them to your friend – the options are endless. Whatever it is you do, make it work for you and make sure you receive the messages multiple times a day to reap the benefits. Now, repeat this affirmation after me: “I can do this.”
- I believe in my ability to get through tough times.
- I will not stress over things I cannot control.
- The feelings in my body are normal and I fully accept them.
- I have everything I need within me.
- I am a loving human being.
- It’s ok that yesterday felt like a hard day.
- I am worthy of good things.
- I have an inner sense of calm.
- My life is full of love.
- I can cultivate the life experiences I want.
- I will be present and calm today.
- All of my feelings are ok.
- I get angry sometimes, but I am full of love.
- I can take things one day, or one hour, at a time.
- When I go with the flow, my life is easy and filled with joy.
- I appreciate my life and find things to be grateful for.
- I have been through hard things before and have survived them.
- This will not break me.
- I let go of what I can’t change and do my best with what I can.
- I am going to focus on things I love to get me through this.
- This is hard, and I can do hard things.
- I am allowed to express pain.
- I have the ability to overcome anxiety.