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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Queen's U chapter.

If you have ever read or seen The Help, you might remember the scene when Aibileen says to the young girl, Mae, “You is smart, you is kind, you is important”. Aibileen makes Mae repeat those words out loud. The benefit to saying those affirmations out loud is Mae was physically putting those words into the world and therefore believing them.

I didn’t know the power that affirmations held until this year. My mom was the first one to introduce them to me as a kid, but I never took them seriously. I felt like I was lying to myself when I said them out loud, it felt weird to talk so highly about myself. Having anxiety as a kid is terrible because you feel as though you mess everything up, even if you try your hardest to do your best. Anxiety in children has a lot to do with worrying that you will get in trouble or fail, even if you have done nothing wrong and you’ve tried your best. This is just one category that anxiety affects. 

girl laying in bed feeling stressed out
Photo by Kinga Cichewicz from Unsplash
This year, if I was having a panic attack I would say affirmations in my head first. Although, during a panic attack it’s extremely difficult to think clearly. So repeating affirmations like, “I am okay” or “I am safe” in your head don’t work very well. When affirmations are said out loud the effect is different because you can actually hear what you’re saying. It helps when someone else is with you so they can verbally repeat affirmations to you, but if you are alone, writing down or saying your affirmations aloud is the most effective.

Affirmations don’t have to be used just for panic attacks, they’re also a great way to start the morning. For the past three weeks, I have filled a whiteboard I have hanging in my room with affirmations. These affirmations change every week, but some stay the same. The white board is hung where I can see it the second I wake up in the morning. I read them and soak in all the power they hold. If you don’t have a whiteboard, then write your affirmations on a cue card or sticky note and place it on your bedside table. Basically, seeing written affirmations when you wake up can start your day with a quick meditation, which can help calm anxiety.

Good morning written in coffee
Photo by Jonas Mohamadi from Pexels
I categorize my affirmations by “I am…”, “I will…”, and “I have…”. By doing this, I separate my intentions and I am able to write down more affirmations. The “I am” statements help me with my confidence and remind me that I need to stop being so critical of myself. The “I will” statements help me create goals. Physically seeing my goals written down on my board can help me remember to keep them in sight. Lastly, I’ve found the “I have” statements to be the most powerful because it helps me understand that everything I will ever need in life is already with me. The secret to knowing it all is knowing you already have it. Those statements are a way to thank the people, things, and characteristics I have.

a hand holds a pen writing on sheets of paper on a wooden desk. there\'s a coffee cup and a notebook in front of it.
Free-Photos | Pixabay
If you are living with anxiety, depression, or other mental health issues, affirmations are a way for you to see the good in your life in a concrete way. Trust me, I understand that physically getting up and writing down some words on a piece of paper seems like a lot of work. I know that it is difficult because it took me multiple years to get up and do it. I guarantee you will benefit from taking two minutes out of your day to write down what you love about yourself, what you want to achieve, and what you are thankful for. Here are some examples of affirmations that you can use to start your journey.

I am…





Kind to Myself





On Track 

One of a Kind












I will…





Be Okay

Do Great Things

Embrace Change

Let Go

Care More

Be Patient 


Open Up 





I have…

My People















Finding the good is not always the easiest, but when you find it you never want it to go away. Happy writing and stay safe.


Kirsten Howard

Queen's U '21

Kirsten Howard is a third year Gender Studies student at Queen's University.
HC Queen's U contributor