Whether or not you realize it, you are utilizing affirmations in every moment of your life.

What’s an affirmation? Affirmations are statements that we repeatedly say to ourselves that can shift our minds as well as change thoughts and behavior.

Numerous studies have shown that frequently using positive affirmations can rewire your brain. This is because when you make a statement deliberately and consistently, your brain will begin to believe it is true. With every word you say or thought you think, you have the power to affect great change in your life. Imagine the possibilities when you start a positive affirmations practice! 

Benefits of Utilizing Positive Affirmations

  • Overcome negative thought patterns
  • Build confidence
  • Increase self-worth and self-esteem
  • Lower stress and anxiety
  • Improve performance and engagement
  • Broaden perspective
  • Improve mood

The History of Positive Affirmations

Does this sound like new-age nonsense? It’s not. Positive affirmations have been used for thousands of years.

The first known use of affirmations dates all the way back to ancient Egyptians who inscribed them on amulets and other objects. For centuries, Hindus and Buddhists have used mantra meditation as a way to quiet the mind and focus on higher truths, and Native Americans have used affirmations in their rituals and ceremonies. And, in the 17th century, French philosopher René Descartes famously said, “Cogito, ergo sum” or “I think, therefore I am.”

But affirmations began to really be recognized for their personal benefits in the 19th century, partly due to the New Thought movement which was based on the idea that positive thinking could result in positive changes in one’s life. Phineas Quimby, an early leader of the movement, developed a method of utilizing these types of affirmations to help overcome illnesses. Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of Christian Science, continued Quimby’s work and used positive affirmations to heal herself on multiple occasions. 

French psychologist and pharmacist Émile Coué also utilized positive affirmations for health benefits. He noticed that when he told his patients a potion was effective, the results were better than when he said nothing to them. However, he noted that if his patents were skeptical about what they were saying, they would not see the desired outcome. He realized that in order for the positive affirmations to work, people really needed to believe in their words.

In the 20th century, self-help guru Napoleon Hill wrote a book called Think and Grow Rich in which he describes the power of positive thinking and gives examples of how it affected his own life. Since then, millions of people around the world have used positive affirmations to enact desirable changes in their own lives, anything from career success to healthier living to finding a partner or more.

The Science Behind Affirmations

Can just thinking something make it happen? It sounds too good to be true, but the science backs it up. 

Research has shown that positive thinking can improve your overall physical, mental, and emotional health in the long run. But how? Basically, when you repeat a positive affirmation, you are training your brain to believe the statement is true. This can replace negative though patterns with positive, empowering ones, which can reshape how you think and feel about yourself. By aligning your thoughts and actions with the desired outcome, affirmations can help you manifest your goals.

There are billions of neurons in your brain. And when you think a thought, these neurons send out electrical impulses, which, in turn, makes the neurons more sensitive and strengthens their chemical pathways. Because of the brain’s neuroplasticity, when you consistently repeat the same thoughts, you are making it easier to think those same thoughts in the future. Once positive thought patterns develop, these good thoughts affect your actions. This can help you in a variety of ways such as succeeding at work, finding a soulmate, learning a new skill, or eating healthier.

Are Negative Affirmations Keeping You From Living Your Best Life?

Negative affirmations are just as powerful as positive affirmations, only the result is we get more of what we don’t want. So, think about the energy you are putting out into the universe. Is your inner voice critical or self-sabotaging? Do you always assume the worst about yourself, others, or an outcome?

When you get angry, you are affirming that you want more anger in your life. When you feel stressed, you are affirming that you want to keep being stressed. If your inner voice is constantly telling you that life is hard, you are going to fail, you will never get a promotion, you will never find love… chances are it will be right.

The way you choose to think is just that: a choice. If you want to attract positive experiences and situations in your life, you need to retrain your brain. In order to change the outcome, you need to change the way you think.

Are You Ready to Start a Positive Affirmations Practice?

In addition to truly believing your positive words or thoughts, you need to be consistent in repeating them. Incorporating an affirmation routine into your daily schedule is a great way to help you reach your goals and retrain your mind.