Daily Affirmations: 102 Powerful Affirmations to Improve Your Life
What are daily affirmations and how do you use them to shift your mindset? Here we'll share some powerful daily affirmations for multiple areas of your life.
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What Are Daily Affirmations?
Affirmations are phrases or statements that we repeat to ourselves to help us shift our minds in ways that, hopefully, improve our lives. Generally, these affirmations are positive (e.g., "I am happy and healthy"), although they could also be somewhat neutral (e.g., "I am present in the moment.") Regardless of their emotional tone, affirmations are used to shift the way our minds think about something. Maybe we want to feel less anxious, more confident, or more focused.
The theory is that affirmations may be able to help us with these goals by forging new neural pathways in our brains. Indeed, both research and theory suggest that deliberate thought processes—like affirmations—can be made automatic over time (Paulhus & Coue, 1993). For example, try to think back to before you knew the answer to 2 + 2. You had to count and think about it. Now, your brain just knows the answer automatically. This is how the brain works—it attempts to automate anything we do often. So if we repeat our affirmations often enough, our brain just might start to think these thoughts automatically.
Daily Affirmations: Are They Good for Us?
The benefits of using affirmations can be supported by a variety of studies on related topics. For example, we know that things like optimism, positive thinking, and various mindsets lead to well-being and other positive outcomes. We also know that when we believe something will come true, it is actually more likely to. Even false beliefs can affect our own and others' experiences (Madon, Jussim, & Eccles, 1997).
Research on affirmations themselves suggests that affirmations can be a good way to maintain self-esteem in the context of threat (Critcher, Dunning, & Armor, 2010). For example, when our bosses, romantic partners, friends, or even strangers say something critical or negative to us, we may use affirmations to dampen negative emotions and feel better about ourselves.
We also know from research on neuroplasticity that we actually can change our brains to think in new ways, even as adults (Demarin & Morovic, 2014). When we put this research together, there is good reason to believe that shifting our thoughts and training our brains to think in new ways is indeed good for our health and well-being.
How to Do Daily Affirmations
Daily affirmations are pretty easy. You just choose a phrase that represents how you want to think or feel, and repeat that phrase to yourself. Here are some tips to help you start an effective affirmation practice:
1. Say your affirmations out loud.
Saying an affirmation in your head is fine, but it may help to add additional senses so multiple parts of your brain experience the affirmation. Saying your affirmation out loud can help you feel it coming out of your mouth and hear it going in your ears.
2. Use the present tense.
Keep your affirmations simple and clear by using the present tense. For example, you might say “I am a good person” rather than “I can become a good person”. This focuses your attention on shifting your beliefs rather than setting a goal.
3. Try not to highlight the negative.
The goal is to shift your mind to thinking in more beneficial ways, so be careful not to frame your positive affirmations in ways that remind you of the negative. For example, instead of saying, "I will no longer get into bad relationships," you might say, "I am deserving of healthy relationships."
4. Choose meaningful affirmations.
When choosing which affirmations to repeat regularly, look for ones that matter to you. If you keep repeating something that's unimportant to you, it won't feel as worth it, and so you may not be as committed to shifting your mindset in that direction.
Video: Powerful Morning Affirmations
Daily Affirmation Examples
Each of us will resonate differently with different affirmations. It likely depends on which thought processes we are most struggling with. For example, if I'm struggling with self-esteem or confidence, I might feel like I really get the most out of self-love affirmations. Or, if I'm feeling stressed out about work or my career, I'll probably get the most out of daily affirmations for success.
Everyone is different, so try to remember there is no right or wrong affirmation. If you want your daily affirmation to be, "I am a radiant being," that's just fine. Someone else may prefer, "I am worthy," or "I am in control of my life." Explore the following different types of daily affirmations to find the ones that you think will work best for you.
Positive Daily Affirmations
Daily Affirmations for Self-Love
Video: Guided Self-Worth Daily Affirmations
Daily Affirmations for Success
Video: Daily Affirmations for Success
Daily Affirmations for Anxiety
Daily Affirmations for Women
Daily Affirmations for Men
Daily Affirmations for Kids
A Few More Powerful Daily Affirmations
Daily Affirmations Journaling
One way to make sure you do your affirmations each day is to get a journal. You might try to write a few affirmations each morning or evening—whenever works for you. After writing your short affirmation statements, it may also be helpful to elaborate. For example, if you write, "I am kind," you might go on to write about the kind thoughts or feelings you have or the kind actions you have taken. These elaborations may help your brain integrate this new information and connect to other thoughts, feelings, or memories.
Books on Daily Affirmations
Want even more affirmations? Here are some books on affirmations to explore:
Daily Affirmation Cards
Here are some affirmation card decks. These cards may make it easier to look over affirmations and keep them handy.
Starting a daily affirmation practice can be a useful tool for developing a more positive mindset. Although we can't expect magic or an immediate change in perspective, the evidence suggests that over time, affirmations may help us change our brains in ways that improve our well-being.