If you’re reading this, you’re a great person – really!
There. Didn’t that feel good? We hope so. Want more? You’re also bright for continuing to read along and enjoy our blog.
By now some of you may be looking for a catch, which is an unfortunate side when plenty of positives are provided. Our world sometimes feels like it has so many challenges that anyone who is deliberately over-the-top encouraging must have their own agenda or is generally insincere.
Super job figuring this out! (Sorry, once you start saying nice things, it’s hard to stop.)
The truth is that affirmations are fun to give and to receive. At their base level, general encouragement and support never hurts, and everyone should have their own cheering section, or at least a couple of attaboys now and then, whether it’s you or someone else patting you on the back.
At a deeper level, affirmations can do amazing things for our mental and emotional health, whether it’s someone wishing us well or motivating ourselves with positive reinforcement.
And it’s not just feel-good platitudes either – Psychology Today has discussed the value of regular affirmations, including sharing the findings of studies that conclude that self-affirmations can reduce stress in general but also can give someone an academic boost, such as a pep talk before a test.
That particular article theorizes that affirmations can benefit one’s “psychological immune system,” almost like a boost of healthy food can aid the physical immune system, and works for those with low self-esteem and high self-esteem.
A study from Carnegie Mellon University found that regular self-affirmation has other positives, including an increased ability to solve problems under pressure. The reasons were a little unclear, but the study found that taking a moment to pause, reflect and encourage prior to entering a stressful situation can result in better outcomes with the potential for greater creativity, compared to those who don’t take this step.
The stressful environment can be a specific classroom or workplace situation, such as an exam or project. Or it could be general preparation into that environment where stress will occur in the future, such as affirmations at the start of a school term.
Part of the study’s methodology was offering challenging test questions under a time pressure. Those without the affirmation solved half as many questions as those who prepped themselves emotionally. In addition to complimenting yourself and encouraging you to do well, affirmations can also include a sense of gratitude, which can be just as valuable to your role in the world.
Though there’s always things to gripe or grouse about in a typical day if you look for them, the same is true for things you’re thankful and grateful about. The Chopra Institute suggests that finding affirmations of gratitude can also be as beneficial and positive as self-directed affirmations.
Essentially, being grateful for specific things can ultimately manifest into larger appreciation for more of what’s in your world. The habit can block negatives, but also can attract more blessings.
It even suggests that affirmations, while great for one’s mental health, can play a direct role in your physical health. They reduce stress and the damage it can play on the body, especially the heart.
If this type of self-talk is unfamiliar to you or feels unusual, experts suggest simply starting small. You don’t have to come up with a full speech or a laundry list of good things about yourself or your world.
Everyone can find something they like about themselves; even if it’s that they have their health and are ready for new challenges.
Here are 10 daily affirmations we absolutely recommend to start a shift in your life: