how to make affirmations work for you

For most of my life I’ve been a skeptic of positive thinking.

“Let’s be real.” I liked to say to those pesky optimists.

Yet, with time, I began to notice differences in the way that my husband and I reacted to things. Where I’d criticize, he’d encourage. Where I’d worry about the negative possibilities, he’d be calm.

And it bothered me.

Then, one day I came upon a month-long affirmation challenge on one of my favorite apps. And I joined.

For the challenge, participants said the affirmations of their choice into their phone camera every day for sixty seconds.

So, I created phrases such as “I am disciplined, energized, and inspired.” It seemed a little far-fetched. But I participated fully, keeping my expectations low.

Affirmations at Work

What happened next was nothing short of shocking for a realist like me.

About 20 days in, I first noticed the difference.

I was in the middle of a run, thinking how hard it is to consistently work out every week. And before ANY time passed, I continued saying to myself “yeah, but I do hard things.”

Whoa! I couldn’t believe it. I NEVER would have said something like that to myself previously, and it just so happened to be one of my morning affirmations from the challenge.

(I also realized that this is exactly how people become brainwashed. It was an interesting first-hand experience into the human mind.)

Since then, I’ve noticed more positive thoughts pop up out of nowhere. And I’ve become a true believer. Now, I use affirmations for anything I can. Confidence. Grit. A self-love challenge. You name it.

Tips for Success

However, I have noticed certain actions that serve better results. So, here are four tips to make your affirmations as effective as possible at changing your thought patterns.

Consistency Rules

As with anything, if you can’t make it a regular habit, you’ll have a hard time seeing lasting change in the way that you think. I notice this in myself when I do it less regularly too.

One minute a day is all you need, but make sure it is a part of your everyday routine!

So, post your affirmations on your bathroom mirror or shower door. Or set a reminder on your phone with the affirmations you’re going to say. Make it obvious and easy.

See Yourself

I’m not entirely sure why this works better, but it DOES.

Say the affirmations into the mirror or a camera. It’s more powerful.

You may feel silly, but does it really matter? You’ll find that the act of seeing yourself helps give feeling and identity to what you’re saying.

Say Them With Feeling

Finally, add passion and emotion behind your affirmations!

Often, I find that it helps to think about what I’m grateful for beforehand because it leaves me in a joyful emotional state. I lose my skepticism.

I’ve also finished a shower on cold while saying them and was impressed at how vivid the mental pictures from the affirmations were.

Either way, associate them with belief and you’ll make them come true in no time!

Focus on Your Actions

The realist within me still takes issue with some forms of woo-woo affirmations.

But I’ve found that, for me, the trick is to attach the affirmations to how I want to feel and act. If I believe myself into thinking and acting this way, the results will come.

In Conclusion

Self-talk is what drives our thoughts, beliefs, and ultimately our actions.

There can be no understating the role it plays in our lives. So, if you’ve never tried affirmations before, now is a great time to start!

“Be careful how you are talking to yourself because you are listening.”

Lisa M. Hayes