The science & benefits of affirmations

The idea of telling yourself that you are awesome may sound completely absurd. I completely get the argument that life is tough and few positive statements can’t change that. But, I believe in magic too, so what if I told you, there was science that backed the magic of affirmations?

The brain’s, main function is to keep us alive, and to do that it helps us make good decisions about security, food, shelter etc. The way the brain functions is that whenever we think of something we cause the brain to send signals and release neurotransmitters. These chemicals control our body’s physical, mental & emotional functions. So, when we practice affirmations repetitively we teach our brain to view ourselves more positively and adapt to situations better. 

Positive self-talk is a research-backed method of scaling to the upper echelons of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs: self-esteem and self-actualization. Social scientist Claude Steele was the first to propose the theory of self-affirmation, where if people can feel relatively positive about themselves in one arena, they can better tolerate a threat to their self-integrity in another. Everything in the world has a vibration and good things like good health, confidence etc. have higher vibrations. As the saying goes like attracts like, so the trick of being successful is raising our vibrations to a high energy level so you might attract other high energy things.

T. Harv Eker said that “Every thought is either an investment or a cost.” So how we choose to use our thoughts is entirely out choice – do you want it to be an investment or a cost?

A good way to start incorporating practicing affirmations is by combining it with goal setting & positive thinking exercises. Make your affirmations authentic, they should tie in to your value system and beliefs, only then will you believe in what you affirm. Also make them real and specific to make them more effective. The technique used is to use statements that describe a goal in its already completed state.

Few examples of affirmations would be:

I am ecstatic walking across the stage as I receive my MBA degree from Harvard.

I am so thrilled and grateful as I am now crossing the finish line of the Marathon.

And my favorite –

“I am enjoying living in my beautiful & cozy mountain home in Dharamshala or somewhere better.”

Here are few tips for you to start and practice effective affirmations –

      1. Start with a consistent routine 3-5 minutes daily & then increase
      2. Repeat each verbally or in written 10 times
      3. Start with the words “I am.”  and use the present tense.
      4. State it in the positive. Affirm what you want, not what you don’t want.
      5. Make it brief, specific and use one word to describe the emotion (thrilled, ecstatic etc.)
      6. Make affirmations for yourself, not others.
      7. Be patient

Affirmations are simple, easy to use, and can be very powerful if done right. Many professional athletes use them to perform well. Successful business people use them to move forward positively and successfully, and artists use them to be creative and come up with innovative ideas.

As Roy. T. Bennet said “Instead of worrying about what you cannot control, shift your energy to what you can create.” Maybe the science of affirmations will lead to magic in your life as well.