What Are Positive Affirmations? {And Why You Need Them}

Positive affirmations are specific statements that help you overcome toxic and negative thinking.  They help you visualize positive outcomes, and believe in yourself.  I have seen a huge change in my own life by using positive affirmations daily. 

If you have trouble with negative and self-deprecating thoughts, you definitely need to add some positive affirmations to your morning routine.  Research has shown that by thinking positive thoughts about yourself you can actually change the way you feel.  If you are used to mentally beating yourself up every time you don’t live up to your expectations it’s time to give self love a try.

Over the past several months I have tried to eliminate self-critical thoughts completely.  Although I still catch myself going there now and again, I always redirect, and remind myself about some of my talents or positive attributes.

I started by making a list of some of the things I like about myself.  It felt weird at first, but that just demonstrated to me how desperately I needed this.  It was such a foreign concept to think positive thoughts about myself, instead of beating myself up like I was used to doing.  I picked a few to focus on and when I woke up in the morning I would repeat those statements in my head.

How to Create Your Own Positive Affirmations

Your positive Affirmations should be clear, concise statements that help you feel positive about the day.  It can be something as simple as, “I can do this.”   By telling yourself that you can (bonus points for visualizing yourself actually doing it) you rewire your brain to believe in yourself, and that can make all the difference.

In my coursework to become a personal trainer I learned that the biggest determining factor to whether or not someone would be successful with their health and fitness goals, was whether or not they have ever been successful at a program in the past.  A huge part of this is because they believe in themselves.  They’ve done it before, so they know they can do it again.  That’s pretty powerful if you stop and think about it.  Just by believing that you can achieve something you very significantly improve your chances of actually doing it.

Start by making a list of some things that you like about yourself, or some areas that you know you are overly self-critical in.  Use that list to create some short, but powerful statements that you can repeat in your head first thing in the morning (or really anytime throughout the day).

How I Created My First Set of Positive Affirmations

The first time I created a set of positive affirmations, I really wanted to focus on finding a balance, and on self-love.  I knew I was too critical of my weight, and therefore my appearance.  It was hard for me to stop and admit to myself that even though I may not be at my desired weight, I am still beautiful.  That was a really powerful affirmation for me to tell myself.

I also wanted to tell myself (first thing in the morning) that I can and will do my workout for the day.  I would visualize myself working out, and it helped me to stick to that commitment.

I’ve listed my own personal first set of positive affirmations below.  I built them into my mourning routine.  I would repeat them in my head while I tried to drag my butt out of bed, and you know what, my days started going so much better!

  • I am beautiful
  • I will be successful with my exercise and weight loss goals.  (This was where I actually visualized myself working out, and eventually reaching my goals)
  • I am a caring person
  • I can be patient with my kids

These morning mantras really helped me to find my inner self-love, and Zen for the day.  They started me out on a more positive note and helped me eliminate toxic and self-deprecating thoughts.

Have you every tried using positive affirmations?  I would love to hear some of yours in the comments below!  I am always eager for new ideas, and to hear what is working for others. 

You may also enjoy:
5 Tips for Beating the Winter Blues
5 Inspirational Quotes to Turn Around a Bad Day (or week)
How to Set SMART Goals



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