The Effect of Affirmations on Daily Lifeby Allyson Flores | Thursday, Apr 29, 2021
When I was in high school, I remember my psychology teacher telling us she had to maintain a 4.0 GPA in college to keep her scholarship despite her overwhelming schedule. She mentioned how every day when she woke up and before she went to bed she would tell herself she was a straight A student and in the end she kept her scholarship, but how?
An affirmation is a practice of positive thinking which helps to motivate and empower the user. When used in tandem with belief, affirmations are programmed into the user’s subconscious to accept the statement and improve how they sees themselves1. Affirmations, like everything else in life, require at least some effort to get going. When my psychology teacher told herself she was a straight A student, she had more confidence and put more work into her studies to fulfill the statement.
While this may sound like placebo mumbo jumbo, there is proof that there are more effects to positive thoughts. Numerous studies have shown that the part of the brain associated with decision making is improved when used in daily affirmation tasks2. One’s understanding of their personality and ability becomes clearer with just the act of repeating it like a mantra.
Those suffering from anxiety or depression may still have symptoms despite daily affirmations. The practice itself is not an end all be all to how one sees themselves. It has been shown to help with self-esteem as long as the speaker believes in what they are telling themself. Without trust in the words spoken, it is nothing but a mere chant, just going through the motions.
Personally, I like to think of affirmations as a reminder to keep me grounded every day. When a test score isn’t what I want, I have to tell myself “You are worth more than a number on a paper”. This isn’t some sort of new and revolutionary thinking, it’s just a little reminder of what I believe of myself. Some days it is really hard to be positive about yourself as well as your surroundings, and on those days the practice and habit of repeating true statements and goals can be especially important to help imprint your path into your subconscious.
You can also take a more creative approach to this. Some people like to write positive statements on the mirror with a dry erase marker as sort of a juxtaposition to their destructive thoughts about their appearance. Waking up to words of comfort help make getting out of bed and starting the day more energized. I have a friend who likes to keep a journal of quotes and statements to get her going. A good old post-it note on your wall is a cute method too!
If you are having trouble coming up with your own affirmations, here are some for you to absorb, and feel free to adjust them to your own needs and situations:
- I am doing my best under the circumstances
- Life will not knock me down
- I am still growing and thriving
- I am my own person with my own flaws and graces and quirks
- I am good enough
- My mental illness does not define me
- Love will come to me when I am ready
- I am in charge of how I feel
- Nobody is allowed to make me feel less than my worth
- I am my own person and I am beautiful
- My setbacks help me to learn and grow
- I do not have to be perfect to be the best version of myself
With the instantaneous feedback of social media, the process of accepting yourself, and all of your quirks and flaws, can feel eons away from the present. It’s the small things in your life like good affirmations that can remind you that you are doing great in your own spectacular way.
- Alexander, R. (2011, August 15). 5 Steps to Make Affirmations Work for You. Retrieved
October 20, 2019, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-wise-open mind/201108/5-steps-make-affirmations-work-you.
- Moore, C. (2019, July 4). Positive Daily Affirmations: Is There Science Behind It? Retrieved
October 20, 2019, from https://positivepsychology.com/daily-affirmations/.