Welcome to the third post in my Change Your Mindset, Change Your Life blog series. The first post, 3 ways to become a positive thinker, looked at the difference between positive thinking and optimism, and just how powerful our thoughts can be. I introduced 3 practical tools for thinking more positively and I delved into the first of those tools – gratitude – in the second post, How to shift your mindset by being more grateful.

The next tool I’d like to share is positive morning affirmations. So, let’s dive in…

What are affirmations?

Positive affirmations, or morning affirmations, are statements you say about yourself and your life in the first person present tense, as if they’re already true. They should always be stated in the positive and usually relate to a quality or aspect of yourself or your life that you’d like to manifest or that you’re having difficulty accepting.

Some examples of common affirmations, that most of us would benefit from using, include:

  • I am enough.
  • I am worthy.
  • I am proud of myself.
  • I am loved.

According to Healthline, “As a type of positive self-talk, affirmations can help you alter subconscious thoughts. Repeating a supportive, encouraging phrase gives it power, since hearing something often makes it more likely you’ll believe it. In turn, your belief makes it more likely you’ll act in ways that make your affirmation become reality.”

The benefits of morning affirmations

Affirmations are very simple but incredibly powerful tools to help shift your mindset and train your brain into a more positive way of thinking. They can be used to tackle negative self-talk, improve self-motivation, boost self-esteem, increase resilience and encourage positive changes in your life.

And it’s not just me who thinks this! There’s been plenty of research into the use of positive affirmations and the findings are actually backed up by science. According to PositivePsychology.com, “There is MRI evidence suggesting that certain neural pathways – specifically those involved in positive valuation and self-related information processing – are increased when people practice self-affirmation tasks (Cascio et al., 2016).”

Some of the benefits of using regular affirmations, from neuroscientific research findings, include:

  • Decreasing health-deteriorating stress;
  • Helping us to perceive otherwise “threatening” messages with less resistance;
  • Making us less likely to dismiss harmful health messages, responding instead with the intention to change for the better;
  • Increasing academic achievement;
  • Lowering stress and rumination.

(Source: PositivePsychology.com)

Using morning affirmations

Affirmations and the Law of Attraction

As we saw in 3 ways to become a positive thinker, the Law of Attraction says that whatever we focus our mind on we will attract into our reality. A good way to remember this is, ‘Where attention goes, energy flows’. So, by using positive affirmations we’re putting the Law of Attraction directly into action. We’re accelerating the process of manifesting what we want to bring into our lives and, more importantly, how we want to feel.

In his book, A New Earth, Eckhart Tolle says, “Jesus gave the key to the creative use of mind and to the conscious manifestation of form when he said, ‘Whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.’ (Mark 11:24)” So, whether you’re using prayer or affirmations, it’s the belief that what you’re saying already exists that will help to manifest it into your reality.

How to create your own affirmations

Depending on how you’re feeling and what’s going on in your life, you might want to start with some short, generic affirmations like the ones listed above. If these resonate with you and feel like powerful statements, then that’s a good place to start. A good test is to say the statements out loud, whilst really focussing on their meaning. How does it make you feel to say these statements? Do they invoke a strong reaction or emotion in you? If so, work with these!

If you have a specific issue or challenge you’re working through, you might want to come up with your own affirmations that feel more personal to you. You can work with several at a time which focus on different areas of your life. For example, my own affirmations practice currently consists of 7 statements related to 2 key areas of my life.

Examples of personal affirmations

Let’s look at some examples of affirmations you could create around particular issues. Remember: they should be stated in the positive, in the present tense and as if they’re already true, so “I am” or “I have” rather than “I want”, “I wish” or “I’m going to”. It’s also good to focus on how you want to feel, rather than on physical objects.

If you’re wanting to lose some weight, you might use something like:

  • I’m so proud of myself for attaining my ideal weight.
  • I feel fit, healthy and full of vitality.
  • I have all the resources I need to reach my health goals.

If you’re looking to change jobs or want to find more meaning in your work, you could use:

  • I am proud of my skills and feel valued in my work.
  • I am doing valuable, fulfilling work that sustains me financially.
  • I find pleasure in my work because it enables me to live the life I want.

Perhaps your relationship is one of your main challenges, or you want to find a new one:

  • I am in a healthy, loving relationship.
  • My partner and I love and respect each other at all times.
  • I am able to be fully myself with my partner and I allow the same for them.

You could also create statements encouraging you to think more positively about your life in general:

  • I have everything I need to live a joyful, content life.
  • I am proud of what I have achieved in my life so far.
  • I live my life with peace, kindness, compassion and ease.

Whichever statements you use, make sure the words feel right to you. If they don’t, change them until you find something that feels powerful and invokes a strong emotion in you. It doesn’t matter if the emotion is positive or negative; as long as it makes you feel something, it’s working!

Your affirmations don’t have to be set in stone, either. You might find that some of them evolve organically over time. If a certain word or statement has lost its power or meaning, or no longer feels as relevant as it once did, feel free to tweak the words or drop the statement altogether. Keep checking in and make sure the affirmations you’re using feel right for you.

Using morning affirmations

How to start using positive affirmations

The best way to start using affirmations is to incorporate them into an existing routine, so that they don’t take up any extra time. Even if you don’t think you have an existing routine, there’ll be certain activities and menial tasks you do every day without even thinking about them. For example, you probably brush your teeth twice a day, you go to the toilet several times a day, you probably make at least one cup of tea or coffee a day, you have regular showers or baths (hopefully!), you might wash the dishes or do other cleaning activities, perhaps you take out your contact lenses or perform other personal hygiene tasks.

Repeating your affirmations during these kinds of tasks is a great way to keep your mind focused on the positive and help you develop good habits. Your brain loves habit-forming activities, as it’s constantly trying to run more efficiently.

When repeating your affirmations, remember the following guidelines:

  • Repeat each affirmation at least 3 times. If you can aim for 5-10 times, even better.
  • Really think about the words as you say them and try to embody the feelings. This will help to prevent them from sounding trite or overused, and will also help to put the Law of Attraction directly to work.
  • Try to say them out loud, if possible. Hearing your own voice saying the words gives them much more power.
  • If you can also look in a mirror whilst saying your affirmations, they gain even more power as you watch your own reflection as well as hear your own voice.

Why morning affirmations are the most powerful

You can repeat your affirmations at any time of the day, whenever you’re doing a menial task or have a few moments to spare. But, one of the most powerful times of day to use affirmations is in the morning.

How’s your state of mind when you first wake up in the morning? And what’s the first thing you do after waking? If you have a habit of looking at your phone, scrolling through social media, checking emails or your to-do list, the chances are this will have a negative impact on your state of mind. If you start the day feeling overwhelmed, stressed or in comparison mode, how do you think that will affect the rest of your day?

The thoughts you start the day with can have a huge impact on your mood and behaviour for the rest of that day. So, filling your mind with positive affirmations can help you to have a calmer, happier, more productive day.

If you have time, creating a formal practice around your affirmations is another really powerful way to incorporate them into your daily routine. You could practise them as a meditation or bring them into an existing meditation practice. Close your eyes, take your attention inwards and slowly repeat your affirmations out loud, concentrating on the words and the feelings they invoke. You can also bring in some visualisation, by imagining how your life will look or how you’ll feel when the affirmation is manifested.

What if you don’t feel like using positive affirmations?

Of course, sometimes we’re simply not in the right headspace to be able to use positive affirmations in an authentic way. If you’re feeling very sad, low, anxious or experiencing other strong uncomfortable emotions, it might feel too fake to repeat your affirmations. There’s no point saying affirmations for the sake of it, as you need to be able to feel the vibration of them for them to be effective. If you’re not sure, simply try them out and see how they feel.

If your affirmations feel fake or forced, you might want to start with some gratitude instead. This can often be an easier way to tap into positive thoughts, as we can always find something to be grateful for. To learn more about starting a gratitude practice, read How to shift your mindset by being more grateful.

Next steps

I’d love to know how you get on with positive affirmations, so try out the options outlined above and leave a comment below to share your experiences.

In the next part of this blog series, I’ll be taking a closer look at how to use visualisation to create the life you want.

If you can’t wait til then, and you want to start changing your mindset NOW, then book a free discovery call to find out more about working with me.

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