If you've opened this article you're either a cynic, or at the very least curious about what exactly an affirmation is. That's the first step! Glad to see you made it here.
Sometimes, when we hear trendy words that seem super meta or convoluted, it's easy to look the other way. That said, when said trends aren't actually trends, but have been around for hundreds of thousands of years in a variety of cultures throughout the world. "The use of affirmations is not a new concept, they can actually be traced back to ancient eastern religions, originally known as mantras they were used mostly by Buddhists. Mantras are religious, poems or sayings that are chanted over and over again during meditation." (source)
There's got to be something to it all, don't you think?
What is an affirmation?
Affirmations are sentences aimed to affect the conscious and the subconscious mind. The words composing the affirmation, automatically and involuntarily, bring up related mental images into the mind, which could inspire, energize and motivate. Repeating affirmations, and the resultant mental images, affect the subconscious mind, which in turn, influences the behavior, habits, actions and reactions. (source)
Basically, it's a fancy word that means "fake it till you make it" or "manifest that sh*t" Each day we are bombarded my images, sounds, even people that in turn cause thoughts and ideas to float around in our brains. It's almost impossible to filter out all the negative from the positive. The human brain is remarkable, but flawed in many ways. "Research has shown that we have between 45,000 and 51,000 thoughts a day. That’s about 150 to 300 thoughts a minute. Research has also shown that for most people 80% of those thoughts are negative." (Source)
Think about that for a minute. (See what I did there?) 150 to 300 thoughts a minute, and an overwhelming majority are negative? It's no wonder that anxiety, depression, and stress-related illness are so prevalent nowadays!
How to use them?
What if I told you that you weren't simply a passenger riding the waves of these thoughts, but also a capitan? In comes affirmations!
Each day, you choose a time to take hold of your thoughts, and tell yourself what you know to be true, and what you want to manifest. You repeat. Repeat again. And you begin to create habits that lead to real, and positive change.
But wait, there're more: "Remember that 80% figure of negative thoughts? It gets worse. Whatever you are thinking about, 90% gets carried over to the next day’s 51,000 thoughts. So, if you’re thinking negative thoughts, you will cause yourself to think more negative thoughts."
The more you say it, the more you believe it, and the more you believe, the realer it becomes, and the realer it becomes, the more possible it seems!
What are the benefits of using affirmations?
Affirmations help you to feel empowered and in control of your life. They reduce stress, tension, and anxiety. They help ground you and your thoughts so that you're not flailing helplessly down a negative spiral. They boost self-confidence and self-esteem. Affirmations also help you to feel as though your dreams can, and will be made into reality.
What do I say?
Affirmations are deeply personal, and should relate directly to who you are, and what you want. Here are a few examples:
Day by day my health is improving.
Plenty of money is flowing now into my life.
I deserve to be happy right now.
My moment is now. I am capable and ready.
I cannot control others, only myself and my reactions.
I am strong.
I am open and grateful. My heart is full.
I feel happy, I feel healthy, I feel terrific.
I am well. I am here. I am present.
Everything in the universe is working for my good.
I am deserving of love, light, prosperity and happiness.
My mind is clear focused and energized.
Whatever comes my way, I will handle it one step at a time.
I will do my best, but I acknowledge my best is always changing.
Today, I will leave yesterday behind, and start fresh.
What do you have to lose? That's my question. What does one have to lose by deliberately speaking love and light over their lives?
The answer: absolutely nothing.
I challenge each of you to take the first step.
You are well. You are deserving. You are worth it. Show up for yourself today, and every day.
Danni, Community + Content Director at Las Morenas de España, is a twenty-something, Chicago native currently residing in Madrid. Lover of language, words, and travel, she's managed to combine all of her passions through her work. In her free time, you can find her exploring the winding streets of Madrid, hunting down good flight deals, planning her next adventure and writing & researching for LMDES. Danni loves spicy food, natural hair, music and of course, her wonderful husband. If you need to find her, she’s the girl with huge hair and her face buried in her Kindle.