Updated: Nov 13, 2021
Challenging times are nothing new. They test us, and can pull us down when they drag on. Thankfully, affirmations can be the secret sauce that really busts us out of negative mindset about our challenges – for good.
We all want to be successful in life. After all, who doesn’t intend to achieve their goals and reach their full potential? But so many of us are held back by self-doubt, by negative thoughts and beliefs when we hit a rough spot.
Science has shown that those beliefs are sown in early childhood. We interpreted messages to imply we were good or bad, short or tall, outgoing or shy. We internalized what we believed our families, peers and teachers were saying about us, and their words become part of the bedrock of our self-esteem. Repetition of positive statements, or affirmations, help to rewrite the script of this constant internal self-talk and overturn any negative beliefs that are limiting us.
Affirmations Can Help You Reframe Life’s Events
Life does not always go the way we prefer, and affirmations don’t provide any magical immunity to life’s twists and turns. They are not designed to stop things happening in your life that you don’t want to happen. Nonetheless, they can help you become more resilient in the face of life’s ups and downs because they transform your perspective and your story about what is happening. You can face life stress events knowing that you are capable of getting through, even triumphing in the face of adversity.
Affirmations provide a connection to the innermost core of strength in us all – the part of us that knows our circumstances are ultimately temporary, and our essential self is more adaptable and powerful than the situation at hand.
“You cannot see the gift in a situation when you are resisting it.”
Affirmations Can Improve Your Relationships
Like life’s circumstances, we can look to our relationships to provide us our sense of self-worth and fulfillment. When we use affirmations, we access the endless supply of love, generosity, respect and self-worth that already exists within us. This makes us a joy to be around, and it also provides a strong foundation for choosing relationships that reinforce this inner wholeness, instead of ones which undermine it.
When a relationship with coworkers, family or friends is frustrating you or disappointing you, look at what you feel is missing in the relationship, and then use an affirmation to strengthen that quality in you first. The result is you become the epicenter of the transformation it is tempting to expect the other person to make first.
Affirmations Are Good for Your Health
Studies have shown that optimistic people are less likely to have high blood pressure and heart disease, and they even live longer! Having an optimistic outlook is also associated with lower levels of inflammation and a higher pain threshold.
Using affirmations will help you deal better with stress, leading to lower levels of anxiety and depression. Positive people have higher levels of the feel-good hormone dopamine in their brains, meaning they are generally happier.
If you are experiencing health issues, affirmations are not intended to deny your present reality. What they can do, however, is establish a strong connection to your ideal, whole, healthy state, by affirming it is your natural and rightful experience.
Affirmations Make Gratitude Easier
It can be extremely challenging to find gratitude when you are in the midst of extreme pain, lack, loss or anxiety. Unfortunately, we tend to get more of whatever has our focus. Again, affirmations help us shift our focus off of our fear and discomfort, onto an larger perspective.
Affirmations are designed to help restore balance and stability in the midst of turbulence. Recognizing there are always positive aspects of your life present, even in the gravest of circumstances, encourages gratitude. In turn, having a regular gratitude practice makes creating and using affirmations easier. You will notice all the good things in your life, big and small, no matter what else is present.
Affirmations Can Help a Recovering Perfectionist
The idea of perfection is a persistent illusion that robs us of our joy. There is true perfection that exists amid the messiness, chaos and daily missteps we feel we make. But there is always a bigger picture than the one we are actually seeing right now. Remembering this allows us to relax and flow with what is, without feeling out of control.
Affirmations help us tap into the power, passion and freedom present in that “bigger picture” of perfection. Having an affirmation practice reinforces all the values that are in alignment with true perfection – such as harmony, balance, ease, grace, dignity, joy, beauty, creativity and fulfillment. If you can see yourself with these things at your disposal, a little chaos is just a something you are empowered to move through with tremendous resiliency.
For a list of some of my favorite affirmations, check out 20 Affirmations for Transformation. Understanding how to use affirmations effectively and break free of our limiting beliefs are just some of the ideas you will find in my new book, Own Your Own Shift: The Passion, Power & Freedom to Be Unstoppable, coming out soon!