A Beginner’s Guide to Positive Affirmations and How to Use Them
You’ve read about them in health and wellness magazines and heard about them on your favorite self-help podcast, but seriously, what are affirmations?
Are they simply sentences you repeat to yourself over and over?
Do they really work?
How do you use them?
My hope with this post is to clear up the confusion and give you a few steps you can use to begin using affirmations.
For me personally, affirmations taught me how to retrain my mind and form a new belief system that helped me turn my life around.
I learned a lot along the way, eventually creating a practice that changed my life and building the Affirm Me app to help others do the same.
What are affirmations?
An affirmation is an empowering phrase that you repeat as part of a regular practice, with the intention of reshaping the way you think and feel about yourself and the world around you.
Research shows that by focusing on affirming the positives in our lives, we can increase feelings of self worth and change how our brain processes information.
Rather than focusing on the negative (like we are hardwired to do), we learn how to approach life from a positive standpoint; eventually using affirmations as a method to feel better about ourselves, our lives and creating more positive experiences going forward.
What affirmations are not:
With the practice of affirmations comes a slew of confusion. Let’s take a moment to talk a about what affirmations are not:
- They are not always oozing with positivity. Depending on where you are at in life, using affirmations with overly peppy language can feel phony. Read our post about how to use affirmations when you aren’t in a positive mindset.
- Affirmations are not a way to convince yourself of something you do not believe to be true. For example, repeating “I am happy with my life,” when you are truly struggling will not alleviate you of all of your problems. Rather, it’s about starting at a point that feels attainable.
- They are not something that works overnight. You likely already know this, yet often we find ourselves giving up on personal transformation practices too soon because they aren’t yielding immediate results. Building an understanding and a strong foundation takes time – be patient and commit for the long haul!
Simple steps to get started with your affirmation practice as a beginner:
Ready to begin using affirmations? Here is a very simple exercise you can start with today:
- Choose one simple phrase, such as “I let go in this moment.” Try writing it down or saying it outloud.
- Then, don’t try to add more or do more – sit with this affirmation and let it sink in. Think about what it means to you. What are you letting go of? How does it feel to be present?
- If you sit with it for even just a few minutes, it matters. It might feel uncomfortable at first, because your brain isn’t used to thinking this way. With time and consistency, your brain will learn to adopt these new thinking patterns and the practice will feel natural.
- Repeat this practice 2-3 times to start.
A few more tools to help you:
- We have a free affirmation bootcamp that you can sign up for here.
- Our app, Affirm Me, is designed to help you build a positive daily affirmation habit. Download it on the app store here.
- Check out a few of our other blog posts that share helpful tips.
I hope this post answered your question of “what are affirmations?” and provided you with actionable steps to begin using them.
Sending you love and light,