It may be cheesy, but it works. Of course, no one wants to stand in front of the mirror and say things like, “I am the dominator” or “Go get ’em, Tiger.” But a bulk of recent research suggests that such cheesy affirmations can tangibly slash stress, depression, and anxiety. What’s more, as a study in the Journal of American College Health revealed, uttering affirmations can even tackle the greatest mental health beast of them all: low self-esteem. (Not so cheesy after all, eh?)
In other words, if done correctly, and often enough, positive affirmations can be like a supercharged vaccine concoction that will combat the viral effects and toxicity of negative thinking. When you’re ready to get over yourself and finally be happy, try your hand at these 30 totally “cheesy” affirmations. All you need to do is find a good mirror. And for more phrases that get the job done, here are 15 Body Positive Affirmations That Actually Work.
1 “I am powerful.”
You might be familiar with Amy Cuddy’s moving TED talk on the powerful effects of body language. It’s pretty well-known that your body language impacts how others view you, but Cuddy suggests that it also affects the way you view yourself. In her talk, she “argues that ‘power posing’—standing in a posture of confidence, even when we don’t feel confident—can boost feelings of confidence, and might have an impact on our chances for success.”
Couple that pose with the phrase “I am powerful,” and you’ll find that little stands in your way. Before your next big meeting, interview, or even before a night out with your friends, strike a pose in front of the mirror and tell yourself you’re powerful. Then walk with your shoulders back and head held high, and your confidence will be almost tangible. And for more ways to send your positivity into the stratosphere, here are 30 Ways to Be Kinder to Yourself Every Day.
2 “You are the best.”
Or, if that phrase doesn’t quite roll off the tongue, try, “You can be the best.” The catch: you need to actually hear yourself say it. Keeping a good relationship with yourself and keeping your thoughts organized is important. And no, there’s no need for crazy outbursts in public. Try private conversations, journaling, or even positive daydreaming. However you do it, let the positivity flow! Tell yourself that you’re amazing, that you’re the best, that you’re a winner. And if you want a little extra boost, get a close friend or family member to tell you.
3 “You are remarkable and cherished.”
Ronald Alexander, Ph.D. suggests that phrases like, “You are remarkable and cherished” can be powerful “good mothering” or “good fathering” messages. Affirmations like these can be especially effective when they come from someone else. So get a friend to tell you.
No, it doesn’t have to be weird. Sure, you can have a private, candle-lit session with them where they repeat your affirmation statements to you over and over. It’s gutsy, and a little awkward, but yes, that is a thing you can do. Or, you could take the easy road and simply ask a friend or someone you trust to shoot you a reminder text every now and then with a positive affirmation or two to help you remember your value. And for more ways to be nicer to yourself, here are 30 Small Acts of Kindness That Will Improve Your Life.
4 “I am a skilled and experienced professional.”
Struggling with a persistent negative self thought? Opposites can be incredibly powerful when it comes to self-affirmation. Some researchers suggest writing a negative thought down, then writing out an affirmation that directly opposes it. For example, “if you habitually think, ‘I’m not talented enough to progress in my career,’ turn this around and write a positive affirmation such as, ‘I am a skilled and experienced professional.’” And for more ways to amplify your office self-esteem, here are 20 Daily Confidence Boosters for Getting Ahead at Work.
5 “I feel safe in the rhythm and flow of ever-changing life.”
Often times we get so lost in the fast pace of our lives that we fail to recognize that the changes, challenges, and obstacles we face are almost musical and artistic. If you can stop seeing life as an unforgiving ocean undertow trying to pull you down, you might be able to shift your thinking and see that life does indeed, as motivational author Louise Hay proclaims, have a certain flow and rhythm. You can make the choice to keep up and float on.
6 “I am calm.”
Some research that suggests thinking of yourself and your brain as two separate entities. Have you ever been in a situation where you told yourself “Don’t cry,” only to have the tears started flowing even more? Mindvalley points out that these two inherently negative words are processed by your brain in two contradicting commands. It’s like circular computing—too much for your brain to handle at once. Instead of a negative command, try a positive statement like “I am calm.” It’s a statement of what is, not a direct command that will confuse your brain.
7 “I am happy.”
Focus on the truth. It’s true that some “affirmations” simply cannot work. Affirmations can’t be seen as a means to make something come to be. For example, it doesn’t matter how many consecutive mornings you say to yourself “I’m a billionaire” in the mirror. If it isn’t true, it won’t magically happen simply by stating it. Ryan Cooper notes that affirmations, by definition, affirm preexisting truth. So start small, and start with things you know on some level to be true. “I am successful.” “I am beautiful.”
8 “Will I make today great?”
Stop saying—ask instead. The effectiveness of affirmations has been challenged by some psychologists. But the arguments they pose suggest an interesting work around. Dr. Sophie Henshaw referenced a study published in Psychological Science that observed separate groups of people completing anagrams based on the simple starting phrases of “I will,” “Will I,” “I,” or “Will.” Interestingly, those who began their phrases with “Will I” were able to complete far more anagrams than those who began with “I will.” Dr. Henshaw argues that questions can lead to action in ways that statements cannot. Asking yourself if you will make something become true can be a powerful motivator.
9 “I can inspire positivity.”
Negativity can be incredibly contagious, but so can positivity! You know how great it feels when someone gives you a genuine, unsolicited compliment. But have you ever taken a second to realize how it impacts you when you’re on the giving end? This is especially effective in a team environment. It’s hard not to take pride in what a positively motivated team achieves. The folkds at Inc state, “Whether you’re having difficulty motivating yourself or others, positive affirmations can break through negativity and inspire great work.”
10 “It’s their mistake, not my failing.”
Nobel Prize winner Richard P Feynman said, “You have no responsibility to live up to what other people think you ought to accomplish. I have no responsibility to be like they expect me to be. It’s their mistake, not my failing.” Focus on that which you can control.
11 “I can, and I will.”
Ultimately, your simple resolve to achieve something can be the most powerful affirmation you need. You can’t always wait for something to become truth. More often than not, you have to make it become truth.
12 “I can’t fail, I can only progress.”
Cliché as it may seem, mistakes are just stepping stones to something greater. Henry Ford said, “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin, this time more intelligently.”
13 “I choose joy.”
This empowering declaration will strike a resolve to see the world through a different lens. My father always told me growing up, “The greatest power we have in life is the power to choose.” As annoying as it is to admit, he’s right. You choose how to feel and react to your surroundings. Take charge of your day and choose a positive outlook.
14 “I am whole.”
It can often be difficult to view ourselves as ‘enough’ for any given obstacle in our lives. And trying to convince ourselves otherwise all in one step can be a big pill to swallow. Instead, follow Jennifer Kass’s advice and remind yourself of your completeness.
15 “I am learning and growing.”
One of the greatest adventures of life is the potential and opportunity for real growth. Whether mental, physical, spiritual, or emotional, that potential is an opportunity that we can rely on. You don’t have to be perfect. Viewing your imperfections as part of an adventure rather than a burden will be very rewarding. Focus on growth.
16 “I am different. And that is great.”
Comparing yourself to others is toxic. Too often we try to measure our self worth based on the uneven scales that other people set. Everyone is different for good reason, and that is a beautiful part of life. Stop comparing, and be you.
17 “I am adventurous.”
“Adventurous” can be something you define. You don’t have to hike Mt. Everest. For you, it may be wearing a new fashion style, reading a new book, binging a new Netflix series, or simply taking a different path on your daily walk. Try it out and you’ll surprise yourself with a new-found and exciting self love.
18 “I can do hard things.”
It’s a simple phrase, but sometimes the most obvious statements can be the most impactful. Especially in times that you find a major challenge or change ahead, this simple reminder can give you the confidence to start. And once you start, it’s just one step at a time.
19 “I did it.”
We’ve been told since we were kids, “take small steps,” “don’t bite off more than you can chew,” “take it one step at a time,” that sort of thing. Achieving goals, of course, is no different. But celebrating the little victories along the way is just as important as achieving them. Celebrate your achievements, and affirm the accomplishment to yourself. S.J. Scott said, “Start small and work your way up, gaining confidence the whole way.”
20 “I am grateful.”
Gratitude is one of the most powerful emotions we can experience. It can invoke humility, respect, and perhaps most importantly, peace. Recognize the good that is in your life, the good you represent, and the good that you can bring to others. The Positive Psychology Program has said, “The potential for a happier and healthier world may lie in a positive emotion as simple as gratitude.”
21 “I will let go of the past.”
Lorna Ochieng’ reminds, “Don’t ruin a good today by thinking about yesterday. Let it go.” While emphasizing successes of the past can be a powerful motivator, focusing on your past shortcomings can dampen your resolve. Recognize that what’s done is done. You can only change what’s ahead of you.
22 “Wonderful things come from [insert your name here].”
When LeBron James announced his move to the Miami Heat, he said, “I wanted to do what was best for LeBron James and what LeBron James was going to do to make him happy.” Research from Ethan Koss revealed that “people who used their own names when talking about themselves were more likely to give themselves support and advice,” and that using the word “you” instead of “I” was more effective at achieving desired results.
23 “I love ___ about myself.”
Sometimes the only remedy to ridding yourself of negative thoughts is replacing them. While it’s true that negative thoughts can be about a hundred times more potent than positive ones, there’s no time like the present to start replacing every negative thought with 2, 3, 5, or even 10 positive ones. Start with things like your curly hair, or beautiful eyes. Keep a running list, and refer to it often.
24 “Not there yet, but I’m getting there.”
A strong sense of gratitude will spark a true sense of contentment. There will always be more to do, more to become, more to achieve. It’s important to hope for the future, and to find excitement in looking ahead. But equally important is enjoying the view along the way. Bilal Zahoor said, “Happiness will never come to those who fail to appreciate what they already have.”
“I am authentic.”
Eve Hogan says affirmation is “like holding the vision of what I know can be true.” One of the things you have the most control over is your own authenticity. No one can take it from you. No one can shape for you. It is something that only you can affirm.
26 “All is well.”
According to Kelsey Aida, the affirmations you use should be “empowering, inspiring, and transformative.” They should inspire your actions and outlook. You won’t likely see change overnight, but with a repeated focus on the good, you will find that your confidence and self image will improve.
27 “My projection is my perception.”
Have you ever considered how your own perception of yourself impacts the perception of others? It’s true. The way you carry yourself affects how others view you and even themselves. In her book, Judgement Detox, Gabrielle Bernstein emphasizes the importance of this very idea. Remember, you’re not the only one working on your self worth.
28 “I am a kind and loving person.”
In order to effectively plan for the goals ahead of you, you need to know where you stand–the person you are, not who you will or want to be. Remember, you are affirming what is already true. The Association for Psychological Science states, “By focusing on the important qualities that make us who we are … we preserve our self-worth in the face of our shortcomings.”
29 “I have a purpose.”
Whether self-proclaimed, or defined by some higher power, only you have the ability to uphold it. Your purpose doesn’t have to transcend space and time. There is power in simplicity. It can change and evolve too. Just start–it doesn’t matter where. You’ll soon find that your potential for a positive impact on yourself and others is endless.
30 “Being positive is doable.”
As fast-paced as our world is, even the idea of striving for positivity can seem discouraging. One of the most important affirmations to hold on to is that self-affirmation, positive self-image, and contentment are doable. Hay states, “The way you choose to think, right now, is just that—a choice … Now … today … this moment, you can choose to change your thinking.” And if you still need to instill a little more confidence in yourself, here are 23 Easy Ways to Instantly Boost Your Self-Esteem.
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Filed UnderMental Health