Positive Affirmations in the AM and Goodnight with Gratitude
Affirmations are positive statements you repeat to yourself to replace negative or unhelpful thoughts. They can be used to motivate yourself, help create positive changes in your life, or improve your self-esteem.
And they just may rewire your brain!
Positivepsychology.com cites six examples of evidence from empirical studies that suggest that positive self-affirmation practices can be beneficial:
- Self-affirmations have been shown to decrease health-deteriorating stress (Sherman et al., 2009; Critcher & Dunning, 2015);
- Self-affirmations have been used effectively in interventions that led people to increase their physical behavior (Cooke et al., 2014);
- They may help us to perceive otherwise “threatening” messages with less resistance, including interventions (Logel & Cohen, 2012);
- They can make us less likely to dismiss harmful health messages, responding instead with the intention to change for the better (Harris et al., 2007) and to eat more fruit and vegetables (Epton & Harris, 2008);
- They have been linked positively to academic achievement by mitigating GPA decline in students who feel left out at college (Layous et al., 2017);
- Self-affirmation has been demonstrated to lower stress and rumination (Koole et al., 1999; Weisenfeld et al., 2001).
How to Start Your Daily Affirmations:
In Psychology Today, Ronald Alexander Ph.D., provides 5 Steps to Make Affirmations Work for You:
STEP 1: Make a list of what you've always thought of as your negative qualities.
Example: "I am unworthy."
STEP 2: Now write an affirmation on the positive aspect of your self-judgment.
Example: "I'm remarkable and cherished."
STEP 3: Speak the affirmation out loud for about five minutes three times a day, morning, midday, and evening.
STEP 4: Anchor the affirmation in your body as you are repeating it by placing your hand on the area that felt uncomfortable when you wrote out the negative belief in Step 1.
STEP 5: Get a friend or coach to repeat your affirmation to you.
Affirmations can be just as powerful for kids!
You will be the model for this process. Each day make certain to look at your child and provide a positive affirmation. You can say, "You are loved. You can do anything. You are special."
Ask your child to then tell you one positive statement about themselves and write those affirmations in a journal. Or have your child draw a picture of what they are proud of or what they believe they can achieve.
When your child is feeling down or has had a bad day, remind them of these affirmations, review their journal with them, or look at their past drawings. This will remind them that they are wonderful, they are special, they are loved.