Happy Living,  Healthy Behaviors,  Mental Health

Do Daily Affirmations Work?

I read an article today that made me ponder about daily affirmations. The author is a now a syndicated cartoonist, but he spent 6 months writing out “I will become a syndicated cartoonist” 15 times a day before it ever happened. According to him, he’s a terrible artist too. He said he has used affirmations with several other goals and the goals have come true.

At first blush, this flies against logic and just seems like either coincidence or magic. But if you reflect a bit, you can see how it might work: If I tell myself everyday that I will succeed in a goal (Wholesomeandhappylife will become a successful blog with over 10,000 subscribers!), I am more likely to do the things that will make it come true. And if I tell myself 15 times everyday that the goal will happen, it becomes a part of my belief system after a while.

Putting It Into Practice

After reading about this author’s luck with daily affirmations, I looked for supporting articles and found myself at “Psychology Today.” There I found an article on the power of daily affirmations and how to make them work for you. This is more focused on self-improvement vs. goals, but I think the steps are similar regardless. Here they are:

  • Make a list of personal attributes that you have always thought of as negative: I don’t have enough self confidence, perhaps.
  • Now come up with an affirmation that is a positive version of that attribute: I believe in the work I am doing and that it will help others. Write it down and try to find a friend to critique it to make it stronger.
  • Speak the affirmation out loud for a few minutes 3 times a day, ideally morning, midday, and evening. Alternatively, you can write it down 5 times, 3 times a day.
  • Anchor the affirmation by placing a hand over a body part that felt uncomfortable when you thought of the negative attribute. Or just hug yourself as you say it or after you write it out.
  • Ask a friend or relative to repeat the affirmation to you to help make it concrete from another person. If you don’t feel comfortable asking someone, say it to the mirror and imagine your reflection is another person telling it to you.

Give this process some time to work. The cartoonist says you need to give it at least 6 months, but it probably varies whether it is a goal or a belief about yourself that you want to change. Regardless, it won’t happen overnight, but can be a very valuable tool to help you achieve success and feel better about yourself. Now, go write down your goal, practice your mirror talk, and believe in magic!

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