This is it! You’ve taken a stand against any negativity that gets in the way of meeting your goals. You’ve opened yourself up to the opportunity of learning how to use positive affirmations correctly and consistently.
Before rushing into this habit headfirst though, you’ll need to gain some guidance. If you’re not sure what this practice entails, you might not experience its benefits to the fullest extent.
Possibly, you might even believe that it’s bizarre to “talk to yourself” or even downplay the effects of affirmations. Nonetheless, you’ll see that over the course of 20 to 30 days, you’ll adopt a brighter perspective.
So here are a few tips to apply to your daily practice of effectively using positive self-affirmations.
Speak the affirmations with confidence
First of all, if an affirmation is a message we say with confidence to ourselves daily and repeatedly, our tone should reflect it. Right?
On the one hand, you don’t have to sound like you’re trying out for the college cheer squad, but at the same time, there’s a speck of truth behind the old mantra “Say it loud. Say it proud.”.
In other words, when you affirm a positive message, you’re also awakening your sense of hearing and ingraining this truth into your subconscious.
So, if you can hear yourself clearly as you repeat the affirmation, then with time, your mindset and behavior will follow suit.
Also, don’t forget to say affirmations out loud.
Select or create affirmations with a personal significance
According to a study published in the journal of Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, choosing affirmations that relate most to your core values prove to be more effective than statements about the goal itself or randomly chosen expressions.
In fact, when repeatedly saying an affirmation that affects you in a personal manner, it helps you to attain a positive vision of the future because the “reward center” of the brain is stimulated.
This effect not only makes it easier to uphold this practice for a longer period, you might even be prompted to create your own affirmations that carry a special meaning to you.
Here are a few suggestions:
- First list any criticisms or flaws that have hindered you in the past
- Next write one positive statement that counters each negative one
- Double check your new list of positive affirmations to ensure they bear a personal importance
For this part, you should refrain from over-analyzing your personality or current state in life. This exercise should be as spontaneous and open as possible. If you’re still in doubt, run your list past a trusted confidant.
Choose a specific time of day and stick with It
Just like any other regimen, one way to use positive affirmations correctly is to choose a specific time or even two or three different times a day to include this practice.
Whatever time you opt for typically has no bearing on how effective the affirmations will be as long as you’re free from distractions.
Of course, this depends on your commitment to consistency and perseverance, but here are some ideas to experiment with:
- In the morning right after waking up (check morning affirmations)
- During your lunch break especially if you need extra motivation during your workday
- Before going to bed in order to turn off your brain and relax
You’ll find that including this habit into your routine will be a lot easier if you plan around your established work and leisure schedule.
In other words, the chosen time doesn’t matter as long as you stay with a consistent routine every day.
Incorporate Other Healthy Practices
Another suggestion is to combine your practice of making positive affirmations with other healthy lifestyle changes.
The mind and body work together in close partnership to maintain good health so it only makes sense to include other changes that involve any of the following:
- Deep breathing for relaxation
- Meditation (read about benefits of meditation here)
- Low impact cardio such as walking
- Stretching and/or strength-building
- A well-balanced diet for increased energy levels
- Consistent sleep cycles
Feelings of well-being correlate with optimal mental and physical health. Furthermore, you’ll receive a twofold effect of positivity because when you’re feeling your best emotionally, that tends to carry over to how you feel physically.
Don’t overthink about how to use positive affirmations correctly
You might be tempted to try different strategies in addition to saying your affirmations, such as lighting a candle, playing soft music in the background, or even spending a lot of time finding the perfect affirmation for that moment.
While there’s nothing wrong with experimenting with the ambience of the room in order to encourage a stress-free experience, sometimes you might find this practice more stressful than just simply trying to make an affirmation.
Thus, keep from putting too much effort into every single detail. If you’re focused on the task at hand, and your mind is clear of distractions, that’s all that matters.
Develop the attitude of gratitude
Another aspect of your mindset to consider when learning how to use positive affirmations correctly is your level of gratitude. There’s a lot to be said about looking around and “counting your blessings” so to speak.
For instance, you stand to gain nothing if you say your positive affirmation one hour every day, and then complain during the other 23 hours.
Although you’ll meet bumps in the road that can’t be ignored, you can still ensure that your actions match up to your words.
Affirmations are not a magic spell to eliminate everything that’s challenging in life, but they can remind you of all that’s good and to refocus your attention and energy on those factors.
As an illustration of this, try including ideas that relate to gratitude such as:
- I am grateful for my family who I dearly love
- I am thankful for my job that brings prosperity and success
- I appreciate my talent for…
So, learning how to use positive affirmations correctly does not require a one-size-fits-all approach, but there are certain factors to remember:
- Complete the exercise daily for at least a month
- Try to schedule affirmations for the same time each day
- Create or find affirmations that hold personal importance to you
- Incorporate this practice with other healthy changes
The Key Take-away
An affirmation, when used correctly, greatly influences the mind on what it chooses to believe.
For this reason, we highly advocate for the adoption of positive affirmations to challenge any negative or unhelpful thoughts. The aim is for you to achieve a positive mindset that will place you on the road toward success and well-being.
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