Research shows affirmations have been proven to boost academic performance, decrease stress and increase self-care behaviors. Affirmations can give us a more positive perspective, boost our confidence and make it more likely we take actions that improve our mental health and overall quality of life.
Speaking mantras that move, inspire or empower us out loud can shift our perspectives and boost our mental health in the moment and, with consistency, improve our emotional health permanently. Start by creating or customizing mantras or affirmations that resonate with you and integrate them into your daily routine. For example, you can select mantras or affirmations each evening that you’ll speak out loud each morning as part of your “getting ready” routine or your a.m. meditation or yoga practice.
If you find yourself bogged down or bummed out by negative thoughts about yourself, abilities or future, jot those down and write or customize affirmations that shift those perspectives. For example, if you feel not good enough or overlooked at work, write mantras like “I am talented and my ideas are powerful” or “I have a voice and can speak up for myself in meetings” on sticky notes. Then hang these “positive posts” up in a spot where you’ll see them frequently (like on your bathroom mirror, car dashboard or at your desk).
Mantras and positive posts are a great way to start the day and can be integrated into many morning rituals: saying affirmations out loud as part of your morning beauty routine, integrating mantras into your drive to work or school, or integrating affirmations into your morning walk, exercise routine or meditation/yoga practices.
Self-affirmation is powerful and can change us in amazing ways. Just ask Keah Brown – a journalist, author, actor and advocate. She’s also living with Cerebral Palsy and is the creator of #DisabledandCute. A self-affirmation routine is a key part of Keah’s self-care strategy. Join her to learn more about the power of affirmations and a simple routine we can all incorporate into our lives.
More Affirmation Tips
- The keys to an effective affirmation practice include consistency, speaking in the present tense, making them personal and following these mantras with action.
- Being our own cheerleader is a skill we build over time and its benefits are amplified when we are practicing it consistently. When possible, try to do your affirmation practice at the same time each day. If your schedule is busier than usual or you “aren’t feeling it” on any given day, try a simplified practice instead of skipping it completely.
- Make affirmations your own. There are lots of articles and videos online that give sample affirmations and those are great tools to get you started. But it’s important the affirmations resonate with YOU. Sometimes its most powerful to write your own mantras or customize the ones you find from other sources.
- Write in the present tense. The goal of affirmations is to move you toward actions that will improve your emotional health and get you closer to your dreams and goals for your life. Research has indicated that affirmations are most effective when in present tense and attached to actions. For example, a mantra like “I’ve accomplished a lot in my career and made a difference” might work better like “I am good at what I do and will continue to follow my instinct and push my ideas forward.”
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