What are positive affirmations?
Put simply, positive affirmations are positive phrases or statements used to challenge negative or unhelpful thoughts. They are a common tool in CBT psychology and life coaching, and proven to have a positive effect on our minds and personal development. By making a habit of listening to, reading, and recording, a series of positive affirmations, we are able to improve common daily struggles such as stress, low self esteem, and motivation.
Positive Affirmations are powerful statements that are used to build a positive internal dialog and by consistently repeating these positive statements or declarations to yourself, you create positive unconscious thoughts. These new, positive, productive thoughts will then replay automatically throughout your life and each time they replay, they'll reinforce the new positive inner-image you have of yourself and your life in general. By replacing old, negative thinking with new, positive unconscious thoughts you'll be able to retrain your brain into a more positive mindset.
How does affirmations work?
Carefully constructed positive affirmations can “rewire” our brains to break negative thought patterns. Most of us don’t realise, but research shows that nearly 80% of our thoughts are negative self-talk, which is affecting our outlook negatively.
Similar to exercise, positive affirmations can actually increase the amount of feel-good hormones in our brains. The idea is that your subconscious can absorb positive affirmations played as background noise, and this way, train your brain toward a more positive mindset.
Is there any science behind positive affirmations?
Science, yes. Magic, no. Positive affirmations require regular practice if you want to make lasting, long-term changes to the ways that you think and feel. There are numerous studies that shows that, when done right, affirmations are a powerful way of retraining the brain into positive thinking, and is widely used by professional psychologists when practicing cognitive behavioural therapy.
The good news is that practice and popularity of positive affirmations is based on widely accepted and well-established psychological theory.
For example, evidence suggests that affirmations can help you to perform better at work. According to researchers, spending just a few minutes thinking about your best qualities before a high-pressure meeting – a performance review, for example – can calm your nerves, increase your confidence, and improve your chances of a successful outcome.
What's more, affirmations have been used to successfully treat people with low self-esteem, depression, and other mental health conditions. And they have been shown to stimulate the areas in our brains that make us more likely to effect positive changes in regard to our health.
Who is the app for?
We all have areas in our lives that we think negatively about - may it be your work situation, relationships or stress and anxiety management. All these areas can be improved with affirmations, to help you feel better about your situation, and teach your brain to think more positively.
Sometimes, negative thoughts can take over your life in the form of depression. In these cases, daily positive affirmations can be a great tool alongside guidance from a professional therapist, to help you overcome your negative thought patterns, and help you see the world a little bit brighter.
How often should I listen to, or recite, positive affirmations?
Affirmations become more effective when you recite, or listen to them regularly. It can take time and work to reprogram your subconscious mind from past negative programming to positive empowering beliefs.
As a general rule it is recommended to listen to or recite positive affirmations daily, or at least a few times a week. Like anything, the more effort and energy you put in the more immediate and obvious the results will be.
What is the best way to listen to positive affirmations?
Listening to affirmations work the best when you are able to take a few minutes of time out during your day to relax, and fully absorb the affirmations in a form of meditation. We suggest as you are winding down in the evening, getting ready for bed, or, as soon as you wake up in the morning, before doing anything yet.
Having said this however, affirmations work best when practiced regularly, and repeated as often as possible. For instance, it can be really effective keeping your affirmations on in the background while doing everyday tasks that require no attention from you - such as brushing your teeth, commuting to work, cooking, or going for a run. When kept on in the background, even if you don’t notice, your subconscious will still pick up on the statements, and effortlessly retrain your brain into a more positive mindset.
How soon can I expect to see results?
The more often you affirm something, the more your mind will accept it, thereby reaping positive changes in your life. Positive affirmations are the first step in creating the mindset you need to achieve your goals. The next step is then taking the appropriate action to see your vision become a reality. Affirmations are followed through by taking the action you are inspired or prompted to take.
As with every time you are trying break a bad habit, and create a new, positive habit does take some time and effort. New research shows that the average time for a new behaviours to become automatic is 2 months (66 days to be precise), which is the time we recommend you to designate to your affirmations.
Can affirmations cure depression?
While affirmations is an amazing aid to retrain your brain to think positively, it is not a magic cure.
Affirmations can indeed be a very helpful part of your journey battling with depression, it is important that you also seek professional help, and understand that affirmations is only a part of efforts to start feeling better.
If negative thinking is affecting your daily life, and/or you have thoughts of self harm, it is advisable to seek professional help.