Daily positive affirmations are statements that can boost your confidence and counteract negative thoughts and feelings. They encourage you to focus on your strengths instead of telling yourself things that accentuate your shortcomings, which can be bad for your mental health.
The Science Behind the Practice
Negative thoughts can have a significant impact on your self-esteem and self-confidence. When a person experiences too many, it can become like an infestation. Positive affirmations can be said to boost feelings about yourself and counteract negative thoughts.
When you say things to yourself, you store them in your brain. Negative thoughts are stronger than positive ones. If you are continually saying or thinking unpleasant things about yourself, your brain will start to believe them over time. The best way to replace negative thoughts is to say three positive affirmations for each negative thought you have.
The fastest way to rewire your brain and feel more positive about yourself is to say these daily affirmations out loud. When you hear something out loud, your brain stores it more quickly. In time you will begin to believe the positive affirmations instead of allowing negative beliefs about yourself to persist.
While affirmations can help rewire faulty thinking about yourself and the world around you, changing your behaviors will reinforce these new positive beliefs. While it may be beneficial to affirm that you will remain calm when a coworker annoys you, you will still need to create the habit of staying calm and not reacting when provoked.
How to Choose Your Daily Affirmations
Different types of affirmations can be helpful for different situations:
- Intentions – Intentions are behaviors, attitudes, and traits you would like to develop. Deciding what is essential to you can help you set intentions for yourself. These intentions might include healthy lifestyle choices or being a more supportive friend.
- Phrasing -Phrase your daily affirmations as if they are already true. “I am a supportive friend.” versus “I want to be a more supportive friend.” Framing your affirmations in the present rewires your brain to believe it and can help make it a reality.
- Realistic – Affirmations that are realistic and hopeful are more likely to work than those that are far-fetched. Unrealistic affirmations cause your inner judge not to believe them. If it feels like too much of a stretch, there is likely a better way to say it that will feel more true.
- Positive – Daily affirmations should always be positive. You are trying to rewire your brain to adopt these new beliefs about yourself and of what you are capable. That will also help counteract any negative thoughts you have been holding onto and repeating to yourself.
Examples of Daily Affirmations
Almost anything can be used as a daily affirmation so long as it is positive and works for you. Writing your affirmations is best because they will be relevant and help you work towards your personal goals. Here are some examples of ways you can affirm yourself each day.
- I choose to be happy
- No one but me decides how I feel
- I accept and love myself completely
- By being myself, I bring happiness to other people
- I am unique and beautiful
- I am good enough
- I am an important and valuable person
- I choose to think good thoughts
- My anxiety does not control my life; I do
- I am safe, and everything is right in my world
- I breathe, and I am calm
- I have come this far and I am proud of myself
- This one moment does not define who I am
- Only I determine the way I choose to feel
- I believe in who I am
- I am consistent in the things I say and do
- I do not need to rely on others for acceptance
- I am resilient and can handle my problems
- Today I create a wonderful day and a fantastic future
How to Practice Daily Affirmations
The first step is to create a list of affirmations that make you feel good and relate to your circumstances. While the best way is to make up your own, we’ve provided a deck of daily affirmations that are a great place to start.
Some people prefer to say their daily affirmations in the morning before they begin the day:
- Stand in front of the mirror and repeat them a few times to yourself
- Say them to yourself at night instead or during the day
- Tell yourself three positive things for each negative thought you have throughout the day
You can also make recordings of yourself saying the affirmations and listen. Another popular way to affirm yourself is to write your statements on post-it notes and stick them where you will see them throughout the day; on your mirror, the dash of your car, your computer monitor at work, your desk, or on the refrigerator. Find what works for you, and you will have the most success.
To make daily affirmations a habit:
- Repeat them for 3-5 minutes, twice a day
- Repeat each statement 10 times out loud
- Ask a friend or family member to repeat them to you, to reinforce the beliefs
- Be consistent, and try not to skip any days
- Be patient. It will take a little time to change your beliefs
Daily affirmations are a great way to use positive self-talk to change negative thinking into healthy, positive beliefs or become more motivated. Think about the thoughts and behaviors you would like to change and what your goals are.
Once you have decided what you want to achieve through affirmations, write or look for positive statements that are believable and counteract the negative thoughts and beliefs you have been telling yourself. Repeat these positive affirmations several times a day, especially when experiencing negative thoughts. With practice, you will build a daily affirmation routine to lead a more positive, healthy, and prosperous life.
- Healthline 2020 https://www.healthline.com/health/mental-health/do-affirmations-work
- Mindtools 2020 https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/affirmations.htm
- C. Moore 2021 https://positivepsychology.com/daily-affirmations/
- Verywell Mind 2020 https://www.verywellmind.com/how-positive-affirmations-help-manage-stress-3144814