We are all familiar with that tiny voice in our head that pops up at the least convenient times to tell us that “We can’t do it,” “We’re no good,” or “Why even try, you aren’t cut out for this.”
Some fight bravely to battle this incredibly powerful voice, some are skilled at knowing how to silence it and some can’t shut it up no matter how much they’d like to.
Is there a way to quiet it, you wonder? Will it ever go away?
As a matter of fact, yes, and it’s a relatively simple, gentle method you can put into your daily routine.
What are positive affirmations?
Positive affirmations are phrases used to negate negative thoughts in order to increase well-being to put it simply. By practicing positive affirmations long-term, you will see a change in your thinking patterns as your internal voice becomes one of encouragement, not destruction.
Listening to and believing the negative, self-destructive voice in your head can be a serious detriment to your mental health; learning to redirect the negative thoughts with positive affirmations, on the other hand, can help to build up self-esteem, increase motivation, decrease stress and benefit mental health overall.
If you’re familiar with positive affirmations, you may have also heard of these benefits, but find that the idea of repeating self-affirming statements in the mirror is nothing short of uncomfortable and weird. And while repeating encouraging mantras to your reflection may indeed work for some, it doesn’t need to be done this way by everyone.
Positive affirmations can be a sticky note on your desk, a phrase you repeat when you are feeling discouraged, nervous or otherwise negative, or even a tattoo on your arm. They should be specific to you, your goals and the mental state you desire.
How to craft a positive affirmation
There is great flexibility when it comes to creating a positive affirmation, with only a few simple guidelines to keep in mind, including:
- Using first-person dialogue – You’re not writing a positive affirmation for the general public, you’re writing it for you! Make sure to use “I” statements as this language will make the affirmation more personal and more affirming
- Incorporating passion – If you’re semi-interested in or somewhat dedicated to the affirmation, it’s not going to have a strong impact. If, however, you use passionate language about an area you are passionate about, you’ll find the affirmation to be much more influential
- Be simple and direct – The best affirmations get to the heart of it, without being general and nonspecific. Strive to be as direct as possible and remain focused on which negative thought you specifically want to get rid of
- Avoid the use of negatives – Instead of crafting a statement that focuses on the negative (“I’ll never work for someone who doesn’t value my skills”), rework the statement so the focus is positive instead (“I am confident in my skills as a salesperson and will persevere in my job search for a company who values these skills.”)
- Honor your situation – Some affirmations that are more general, like “I am happy” or “I am confident,” may not be true of the way you feel right now, so instead of boosting confidence, they make you feel inauthentic. To avoid this, be more considerate of your state of mind: for example, “I am capable of making choices that will increase confidence in myself.”
When it comes to affirmations, always remember to focus on that which is important and valuable to you. You might use a single word repeated during stressful times; it might be a phrase you begin or end your day with. So long as you are confident in the affirmation you have crafted, you’ve done it correctly.
List of Positive affirmations
It can feel challenging when trying to figure out what you want your positive affirmation(s) to be; writing out a list of positive affirmations can help you try different ones on for size, as well as help you brainstorm the areas in your life where you could use more positivity.
But if you need a little more guidance, consider these affirmations:
- I am giving my best effort towards this and can be peaceful with the work I am putting into it.
- I understand my value and will ask others to respect my value as I strive to respect theirs.
- I may have difficult days, but I can handle the situations I am facing.
- Even though I am struggling with grief, I am still fighting and that is courageous and brave.
- I am facing a lot of challenges, but I am allowed to let go of what I cannot control.
- I will set my boundaries and will not be responsible for the way in which others respond.
- I will treat mistakes as a learning lesson instead of letting them define me.
- I am in control of my thoughts and I choose to focus on positivity.
- Hard work and courage will get me to where I want to be.
- I have the strength to make changes in my life.
None of the above need to be kept in their original form – feel free to break them apart and rebuild them to fit your life and personal mental health goals.
Additional mental health support
Positive affirmations are a great way to boost mental health; but if you feel like you still need support, consider the programs offered through The Light Program. To learn more and get the mental health care treatment you want, contact us by calling 610-644-6464.