Do you ever feel powerless against your inner critic? Do you judge your worth based on what others think of you? Do you forget to remember God in your daily life? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you should consider practicing daily affirmations as part of your wellness practice. Affirmations can help you gain the confidence you need to live the life you deserve to live.
What are Affirmations?
Affirmations are simple, positive statements related to your self-development and life that you revisit on a regular basis. They’re a popular wellness trend right now because they bring you confidence, help you overcome anxiety, and remind you of your values and beliefs. They’re meant to be repeated each day so that you eventually believe them and they become real for you. Affirmations are empowering and can give you a sense of control over your life.
When you’re creating affirmations for yourself, the statements should reflect what’s truly nourishing to your soul. In an article about the science behind positive daily affirmations, Catherine Moore says:
“The most important thing, according to self-affirmation theory, is that your affirmations reflect your core personal values (Cohen & Sherman, 2014). There is little point in repeating something arbitrary to yourself if it doesn’t gel with your own sense of what you believe to be good, moral, and worthwhile.
“To have any kind of impact on your self-esteem, your self-affirmations should be positively focused and targeted at actions you can take to reinforce your sense of self-identity. Use your real strengths, or strengths that you consider important, to guide your affirmations.”
With this in mind, practicing affirmations is kind of like manifesting—you can focus on the things you want for yourself in hopes that they will someday come to you. Or you can include truths about life that you tend to forget easily, such as your inner goodness, the loyalty of your friends, or God’s interest in your life. Affirmations focus on your ideal lifestyle so that one day you can achieve it.
Affirmations Replace Negativity with Positivity
Think about the negative statements you say to yourself, day after day. Those have an effect on you, and over time you start to believe them. This is one reason why it’s useful to practice daily affirmations. As you keep up the habit, your brain will rewire itself to believe the positive things about yourself instead of the negative. A previous article, Self-Care for the Soul, talks about the power of affirmations:
“Encouraging a life filled with positivity and gratitude is essential for every spiritual being. Affirmations are not only for manifesting a specific goal; they are about removing negative energy or thoughts we have and replacing them with positive ones. Practicing positive affirmations daily helps keep you surrounded by the things you want to have in your life. You become more mindful of your daily thoughts and words while maintaining a healthy perspective of the world around you.”
You can have specific affirmations for specific situations where you need to reframe negative thinking. For example, when you’re angry, you can repeat the affirmation, “I can create peace within me.” Bear in mind that you’re not ignoring your feelings of anger by practicing affirmations, but you’re controlling them in a healthy way.
Negative energy can affect all parts of your life: (1) your self-esteem, (2) your perception of others and the world, and (3) your relationship with God. So when you’re creating affirmations for yourself, these three categories are good places to begin.
Affirmations About Yourself
Sometimes, it’s a struggle to feel happy with yourself. You always want something to be different, so that you can finally live your best life. The great thing about affirmations is that they’re a self-love practice, and they help you find value in all seasons of your life. Even though affirmations sometimes focus on future goals, they also help you to be happy with where you’re at right now.
Affirmations about yourself include things like your inner goodness, your personal intentions, and your body image. Here are some examples:
- I am good.
- I have a purpose.
- I am enough as I am, right now.
- I am proud of the person I have become.
- I deserve to live a fulfilled life.
- I honor and take care of my body.
Notice that these affirmations aren’t unreachable ideals or appearance-related goals. Instead, they’re a grounding force, bringing you to what’s true about you, at your core.
Affirmations About Others and the World
It’s not hard to feel self-conscious about what others think of you. And it’s also not hard to feel like the world is a terrible place. Affirmations can help you have a more positive perspective. You’re not just saying stuff about what’s going on around you. You’re affirming how the people and things around you have impacted you for good—your affirmations are about your relationship to others and the world.
This type of affirmation can help you create meaningful connections with people and see the good in the world. Affirmations aren’t supposed to make you forget about toxic relationships or about global crises; rather, they help you focus on the positive so that you can feel empowered and connected in your everyday life. Some examples include:
- My family members care about me.
- I have friends who love me.
- My relationships are strong and fulfilling.
- The Earth is a beautiful home for all of creation.
- I am grateful for the experiences life has given me.
As you practice affirmations about others and the world, you will see not just all the good that you receive from the world but how you can make the world a better place. You will better appreciate the people in your life who support and love you, and hopefully you will feel inclined to show them how much you support and love them in return.
Affirmations About the Divine
Affirmations about the divine are equally important as affirmations about yourself, others, and the world because they help you engage with your higher power regularly. Life experiences may cause you to question your beliefs about God, and affirmations can serve as reminders of the truths you do know. Here are some examples of affirmations about your higher power:
- The universal creator wants the best for me.
- God loves me for who I am.
- My higher power listens when I pray.
- God is good.
- I welcome divine guidance.
Even though your understanding of God might change from time to time, these affirmations are general enough that they should continue to resonate with you throughout your life. While simple, they’re powerful statements that reflect the goodness of the universal creator. In addition, when you practice affirmations about your higher power, you will have the spiritual sensitivity to notice the divinity in your life.
How to Practice Affirmations
There’s not a rule on how often to practice affirmations, but it is important to do it regularly. A daily practice works for many people because they include affirmations as part of their daily routine. For example, actress Gina Rodriguez looks in the mirror and repeats the affirmation “Today’s going to be a great day, I can and I will” every morning, and she’s been doing it since she was a teenager. Morning affirmations are a powerful way to start your day.
But you can visit your affirmations more than once in a day if you wanted to. Set reminders of your affirmations in your phone, write them down and tape them to your mirror, use them as your computer wallpaper—put them in places that you see multiple times a day. That way, you’ll have several opportunities each day to take a step back and practice your affirmations for a confidence boost or reality check. You can say them out loud, think them to yourself, or write them down, whatever works best for you.
Creating Your Personal Set of Affirmations
There are plenty of articles online with ideas for affirmations—affirmations for women, affirmations for self-love, and affirmations for anxiety are a few. Some have 100+ examples of affirmations! It’s great to have so many options, but it can be overwhelming. Our advice is to start simple, no more than five statements.
You can gain inspiration from the examples in this post, or you can take some time to meditate on which affirmations would be the most meaningful for you. Here are some questions to consider:
- What is one of your greatest strengths?
- What is your truth?
- Who is God to you?
- When you imagine the best version of yourself, what comes to mind?
- What reminds you that life is good?
If you need some more help getting started, download the Skylight app for free spiritual exercises. Wellness coach Sade Jones leads a simple exercise “Chakra Affirmation Meditation” (five minutes) that’s worth a try if you want to combine affirmations and meditation. If you’d like something longer, complete the “Self-Reflection Meditation” (eleven minutes) with the Mindfulnessa.
Practicing affirmations will help you live the life you want and deserve. They complement your spiritual wellness routine and align you with your overall goals. With daily affirmations, you can radiate confidence, peace, and clarity. You can become your best self.