The Art & Science of Affirmations
Are affirmations just something people can say to make themselves feel better? Or is there science behind them?
When you repeat an affirmation to yourself, you create new neural pathways in the brain, and over time these pathways are strengthened and can make the belief come true. Affirmations rewire your thoughts and refocus your energy on the positives (e.g., your abilities) rather than the negatives (e.g., your worries, negative personality traits, etc.).
The more you hear something, the more you believe it, so would you rather constantly hear about all your concerns and areas of improvement, or that you are worthy, capable of change, and free from past mistakes?
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania showed that repeating self-affirmations activates and produces physical changes in brain regions associated with self-processing and ultimately impacts people’s views of themselves, and these changes are associated with positive behavioral changes.
Affirmations can be used continuously, and can be used at any time. You can say them to yourself in the morning, before bed, at work, when you are in a challenging situation, or any time you need them.
Choose five affirmations that resonate with you. Write them down and display them in a prominent place for at least a week, and alternate your affirmations as your needs or goals change.
Some examples of empowering affirmations for a balanced life:
- “I achieve what I set my mind to.”
- “Success comes from within me.”
- “I forgive myself and release past mistakes and failures.”
- “I am capable of learning new things.”
- “I can change in a constructive and positive way.”
- “I manage challenges and setbacks calmly because I am confident that I can overcome any problem.”
- “My limiting beliefs do not define me because I challenge them.”
- “Joy and happiness fill my life.”
- “My willpower is stronger than any temptation or distraction.”
- “I prioritize self-care.”
- “I make time for important people in my life.”
The affirmations you create or choose for yourself speak to your current priorities and the direction you should move in order to achieve balance. With a greater view of yourself, you are more likely to make healthy changes, feel motivated to pursue your goals, and believe that you can achieve them.
Hamilton, D. (2022, January 27). The science of affirmations. https://drdavidhamilton.com/the-science-of-affirmations
NeuroGym. (n.d.). 20 affirmations for a balanced life. https://blog.myneurogym.com/20-affirmations-for-a-balanced-life