A Guide to Affirmations

Affirmations are words, short phrases, or expressions that are used to change negative thoughts into more positive ones. Repeating affirmations over time cements them into your mind and helps resolve any negative ideas and beliefs to make room for more constructive ones that are in line with your goals and the life you’re trying to create. 

The reason affirmations work so well is because repetition helps bring the ideas from the conscious mind into the subconscious mind – repeating any idea (true or false) will eventually turn it into a belief, and beliefs shape the experiences, situations, and people you attract into your life and the way you approach them. Affirmations also help motivate you, change your self-talk into a more positive one, change the way you see and approach your life and experiences, and help you make the shift towards a growth mindset.

You can either find affirmations online (e.g. ‘affirmations for success’), in books (suggestions below), or you can make your own. If you make your own, you should first try to think about and list some of your negative beliefs about yourself and your life (e.g. ‘I feel like I’m not doing enough’), and then write down affirmations to help reverse these beliefs (e.g. ‘I am enough, I do enough and I have enough’). Remember to always use the first person and present tense (‘I am’, ‘I have’ ‘I expect’ etc.) because that makes it easier to turn the ideas into beliefs.

Affirmations can be repeated in your head, out loud, said to yourself in the mirror, sung out loud, written down, or you can record yourself saying them and listen to the recordings (listening to yourself saying affirmations is really helpful because your mind trusts your own voice). The best time to say them is first thing in the morning and last thing before bed (during these times it’s easier for thoughts to go into the subconscious mind), but you can repeat them anytime during the day, such as when you’re making lunch, walking to class, at the gym, etc. Try to really feel and focus on the meaning of your words rather than just mindlessly repeating them to yourself – this will make you feel better and bring results faster.

Most importantly, try to have fun with it! Affirmations are a form of self-love and self-care, so make it a daily ritual to start your morning with ones that excite and energise you for the day ahead and help you feel good! Remember, when you feel good, you attract more things to feel good about, so choose affirmations that really help you feel and visualise the change you’re trying to make.

Remember that any beliefs you hold right now are the result of months or years of hearing and/ or telling yourself the same thing, so it will take some time to discover, understand, resolve and replace limiting beliefs with new ones. Usually, one or two weeks of consistent use will show you results, but don’t be discouraged if you don’t see a change as quickly as you would like – everything gets better with practice. Changing how you think is important in creating the life you want, so be proud of yourself for taking that first step and be patient with yourself throughout the process! :)

Some of my favourite affirmations:

  • I am whole, perfect, strong, powerful, loving, harmonious, and happy (got this from The Power of Your Subconscious Mind, I think it’s a really strong one)
  • I love and accept myself unconditionally
  • Life supports me in every way possible and brings me good experiences
  • I thrive in all situations and everything always works out perfectly for me
  • I am on the right path to achieving everything I desire
  • I am excited to attract new experiences and opportunities

Book suggestions: 21 Days to Master Affirmations and You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay; Creative Visualisation by Shakti Gawain.