You may well be wondering what on earth positive affirmations are. Affirmations are short, empowering statements of intent which you repeat regularly. An example of a positive affirmation would be “Today is going to be a fantastic day.” If you’re a sceptic with this type of stuff, that’s totally understandable. What we’d say, though, is that you never know if things will work until you give them a go, right?
Starting the day with positive affirmations to boost your self-esteem can have a dramatic effect on the way you think throughout the day. Start every day like this, and it can make a massive impact.
Why bother with affirmations
They’re widely used as a tool to transform negative thinking patterns and improve the way we think and feel about ourselves and our lives. There’s plenty of scientific evidence that suggests positive affirmations help people achieve an optimistic mindset.
One such study found that US soldiers who saw benefits in their deployment and agreed with statements such as “this deployment has made me more confident in my ability” or “this job allowed me to demonstrate my courage” were found to be less likely to suffer PTSD and depression.
GP, television presenter and author of The Stress Solution, Dr Rangan Chatterjee is an advocate of using positive affirmations to change your life. He says “In an affirmation, you’re talking to your subconscious mind, programming in what you want out of your life. Regular practice will set you up for a calm, stress-free day and start changing how you see yourself and the world.”
Improving our self-esteem
Self-esteem is essentially how we value and perceive ourselves, based on our opinions and beliefs about ourselves that start to form in early childhood and continue to develop and change throughout our lives.
There are many, many factors that can affect our self-esteem, including but not limited to abuse, relationship problems, mental health problems, stress and money issues.
Your self-esteem can affect how much you like yourself, whether you believe you deserve to be happy, how you treat others and how you look after yourself, amongst many other factors.
Having low self-esteem may be holding you back from taking care of your body and mind. This is something that can be worked on by changing the way you think about yourself with daily positive affirmations.
How to actually do it
The key thing with affirmations is to make it part of your routine – ideally in the morning. There’s no ‘correct’ way to perform them, though some studies suggest that speaking them out loud is more beneficial.
But, if that doesn’t feel right, you can repeat them in your head, and it’s still beneficial. That’s what I do at least, every morning before I get out of bed.
Pick two or three short affirmations and repeat them to yourself three times, every morning. Think about what you’re saying, and do everything you can to believe it. Have a go at making up your own affirmations, or try any of these examples:
- I deserve to be happy and healthy.
- I love my body as it is today.
- I am full of energy and vitality.
- I am strong and healthy.
- I am worthy of a happy and healthy life.
- I look after my body and in return I feel amazing.
- I am calm. I am happy. I am loved.
Taking a couple of minutes every day to consciously think about yourself in a positive way will improve your self-esteem over time. Stick with it and we’re confident you will see a huge improvement. Good luck!