Positive affirmations for mental health are more than just words on sticky notes. They hold a deep power to change the way we think and behave. If you’re striving to improve your mental health, positive affirmations are one of the simplest ways to do it.
How do positive affirmations work?
Repeating affirmations trains our subconscious mind to believe whatever we are telling ourselves. Tell yourself that you’re smart, funny, kind, or loving often enough, and your subconscious mind will find a way to make it happen.
The subconscious mind plays a huge role in the creation of our reality. What we believe about ourselves on a subconscious level greatly affects the choices we make, our responses to situations, the relationships we choose, our tolerance for risk taking – basically everything we do in our lives by choice (even what seems like it’s not so much of a choice).
Positive affirmations help us replace our doubts and fears with confidence and certainty. They bombard our subconscious with new belief in ourselves, shoving out the old, negative thoughts that can hold us back.
Creating the self-fulfilling cycle you want
Our thoughts create self-fulling cycles, both positive and negative.
In simple terms, when we feel positive about ourselves, our lives tend to be better. We make healthier choices. We’re happier. We’re less stressed and can bounce back from disappointment faster. Life just seems easier when we feel good about ourselves. This creates a self-fulfilling cycle: We feel positive, so our lives go better, which reinforces the reasons we have to feel positive about ourselves.
On the other hand, when we feel negatively about ourselves, our lives are much harder. We get derailed by small mishaps. We make unhealthy choices, like indulging in too much food or alcohol, which dims our health and again creates a self-fulfilling cycle that fuels more discontent.
An object in motion tends to stay in motions. In this case, that object in you. With positive affirmations, you start the ball rolling in the right direction by manifesting positive feelings about yourself.
Tips for creating your own positive affirmations
Science has shown us that some positive affirmations work better than others. When creating positive affirmations for your own life, here are some tips to make sure they’re effective.
- Use “I” to make them personal to you.
- Use positive language rather than negative. For example, instead of saying “I hate cigarettes” say “I love my life without cigarettes.”
- Use emotive words. Our emotions drive our behaviors. When creating your affirmations, use words that show emotion to trigger these feelings when you recite them. For example, say “I feel energetic and alive when I eat healthy food” rather than “I eat healthy food.” Focus on what the behavior DOES for you, rather than just the behavior itself.
- Write in the present tense. “I am excited about my budding career” is more effective than “I will be happy when my career takes off.”
How to use positive affirmations
For your positive affirmations to be effective, you have to use them every day. People have all sorts of different methods of putting their positive affirmations to use. Pick and choose from the list below to create a positive affirmation routine that works for you.
- Write them on notecards and stick them to your bathroom mirror.
- Stick them to your car’s dashboard.
- Write them down first thing in the morning or right before bed.
- Say them out loud to yourself in the mirror.
- Download a positive affirmation phone app that delivers your affirmations automatically.
Examples of positive affirmations to get you started
Coming up with your own list of positive affirmations can take several rounds of trial and error to get them just right. Don’t give up! Test drive different wording and delivery methods until you find what works for you. Here are some examples of positive affirmations you can use to get started or to inspire your custom-created list.
- I love myself for who I am.
- I am strong enough to handle this.
- How I feel matters.
- I only maintain positive relationships that are healthy for me.
- I am allowed to let go of things that do not suit me.
- I feel free when I let go of anger.
- I learn something new with every challenge.
- I take care of my own well-being because I am worth the investment.
- I am worthy of love and acceptance.
- I am in control of my own life.
- I have the power to design the life I want.
- I am grateful for my healthy body.
- I am grateful for the chance to heal myself.
- I forgive myself.
- I always show compassion for myself and others.
- I am just as good as anyone else.
- I attract good things everywhere I go.
- I am a blessing to others.
- I get to choose what I allow into my life.
- I am talented, smart, and kind.
- I stand with my convictions.
- I am beautiful.
- I make the world a better place.
- I forgive my brain for sometimes not cooperating – It’s trying its best to protect me.
- I am still a good person even if some people don’t like me.
- I’m allowed to make mistakes. Everyone does.
- I am perfect just the way I am.
- I am not my diagnosis.
- I share my ideas and feeling with honesty and courage.
- I am more than my trauma.
- I live in the present.
- I am a positive human being.
- I am in control of my emotions.
Ready to take charge of your mental health in a positive way?
Jeff Ditzell Psychiatry in New York City offers the most modern, compassionate and comprehensive mental health in the five boroughs. Our office offers innovative treatments for anxiety, depression, PTSD, Adult ADHD, bipolar disorder, addiction, and more. Positive affirmations work best when they are part of a comprehensive mental health treatment plan. Schedule your appointment today, and start your journey toward a positive future. Virtual and weekend appointments are available.