A study almost 10 years ago confirmed the effectiveness of affirmations. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University found that people under high stress did about 50% worse on a
problem solving test. However, when they used a brief self-affirmation first, they did
just as well as the other participants.
Consider the Benefits of Affirmations
Improve your performance. In addition to overcoming stress, affirmations can
also help you learn from your mistakes. They promote flexible thinking that
makes it easier to spot your errors and form new habits.
Feel better. This is medicine that tastes good. Skillful self-talk cheers you up
instantly. It’s like giving yourself a hug.
Enjoy better relationships. It’s easy to slip into defensiveness when you feel
tense. Affirmations give you a more constructive method for dealing with
difficult issues so you can remain open to what others have to say.
Draw on your strengths. Maybe you excel as a parent, but struggle with public
speaking. Affirmations remind you of your most important strengths and help
build your confidence in weaker areas.
Discover more meaning. Most importantly, affirmations welcome more meaning
into your life. You’ll be more mindful of your choices and how your actions
contribute to fulfilling your purpose.
Affirmation rules and core concepts
Time it right. Prepare yourself for challenging tasks. Perform an affirmation
before you give a presentation or depart on a long flight.
Clarify your values. You can apply affirmations to any area of your life, from
baking a cake to putting out forest fires. Affirmations have the greatest impact
when you tie them to your top priorities, whether that’s your family and friends or
Write it all down. Recording your statements in a journal makes them feel more
concrete. Spend about five minutes jotting your thoughts down. Identify what
matters most to you and figure out the reasons behind your values.
Take supporting actions. Naturally, your behavior needs to match your words.
If it’s important for you to be a great tennis player, work on your backhand. To lose 20 pounds, consult a dietician and remove sugar laden foods from your pantry.
Develop a strong intention. Forceful wishes create mighty affirmations. Reflect
on your motivation and give your full attention to what you’re saying. Engage all
your senses to produce a vivid experience. If you’re trying to grow your own
vegetables, imagine how they’ll look and taste.
How to implement affirmations effectively
Understand the characteristics of an effective affirmation:
The affirmation must be in the present tense, such as, “I eat healthy food
each day.” A poor affirmation is: “I will eat healthy food each day.” That
statement is in the future tense.
An affirmation must be positive. “I don’t eat unhealthy food,” is an
example of our same affirmation stated in the negative, which doesn’t work effectively.
List your current weaknesses. The lower-rated areas of your life are dragging
you down. It’s best to create affirmations that address your weaknesses. Make
a list of what you consider to be your weaknesses as a first step.
Create 3-5 affirmations that address your greatest weakness. There are
thousands of affirmations you can find online, or feel free to invent your own.
Make a list and then choose a couple that give you the greatest emotional
boost when you read them.
Avoid engaging in negative thought patterns. Negative thoughts undo your
positive thoughts. It’s like baling water from a leaking boat. You can’t make real
progress until you stop the leaks. When you notice you’re having a negative
thought, stop yourself and repeat your affirmations to yourself.
Use your affirmations in different forms. Avoid just thinking your affirmations
to yourself. There are many other options. Use them all. Cover all the bases and
you’ll be more likely to experience success.
Speak them aloud.
Record and listen to them.
Visualize yourself acting as if the affirmation were reality.
Repeat them to yourself silently.
Use your affirmations throughout the day, but also use a schedule. Set aside
five minutes, three times each day, to repeat your affirmations. You can do this
during normal alone time in your life. You might repeat your affirmations in the
shower, driving to work, your lunch break, driving home, or in bed at night.
Be prepared to change your behavior. Affirmations ultimately produce
changes in your life when your behavior changes. Affirmations aren’t a form of
magic, but they can change your focus and beliefs. Be ready to use those
changes to facilitate changing your behavior.
Affirmations can be an effective way to begin changing your life. Affirmations can be
effective if they are structured properly, address your weaknesses, and are used
Give affirmations a chance to work for you. Use the process to create a few
affirmations and use them for 30 days. Notice the changes you experience!
Once you’ve addressed one weakness, move on to another. Everyone should have a
few affirmations in their pocket regardless of how successful and happy they may be.