POSITIVE AFFIRMATIONS: THE POWER OF SELF-TALK AND DAILY AFFIRMATIONS YOU CAN TRY RIGHT NOW
The idea of daily positive affirmations may seem a little new-age to some people, but there is actually a lot of science behind why this practice actually works.
Happiness, positivity, and mindfulness are all key components to living out your dreams and reaching your goals in any aspect of your life. You can certainly become successful in many ways, but if you don’t have happiness along with that success, you’ll never truly feel fulfilled.
Positive affirmations are free, don’t take a lot of time out of your day, and can be done anywhere at any time. In this article, we’re going to give you a rundown on how affirmations work and offer some ideas for kids, college students, stressed out teenagers, and everyone in between.
THE POWER OF SELF-TALK AND POSITIVITY
Here’s some perspective for you: did you know that the average human has up to 60,000 thoughts per day – and of those 60,000 thoughts, 80% are negative? In 2005, the National Science Foundation published a shocking study revealing this data.
So, what exactly is self-talk? It’s essentially exactly what it sounds like: the way you talk to yourself.
You may not realize it, but you talk to yourself a lot. The thoughts that race through your mind every minute are your brain’s way of communicating with you and “talking” to you. For many people, that “self-talk” includes everything that’s wrong with yourself, and not a lot of the things you love about yourself. Eventually, you start to believe all of this and begin to act like you’re not worthy of better things.
This is why affirmations work. When you translate that self-talk into positive words instead of negative ones, you’ll start to see that positivity manifesting into many areas of your life. Repeating positive daily affirmations is a great way to make sure you get those positive thoughts in on a regular basis, and eventually you’ll start to feel the difference.
HOW AFFIRMATIONS WORK
A study by the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in 2013 found a direct link between self-generated thoughts and mood. In this study, researchers found that when participants had positive thoughts, their mood increased.
That same study from the National Science Foundation that determined 80% of our daily thoughts are negative also found that 95% of those daily thoughts are the same repeated thoughts from the day before.
University of Exeter psychology professor Edward Watkins published his findings based on research on repetitive thought. He concluded that repetitive thought has either a constructive or unconstructive outcome depending on the type of repetitive thought that occurred (positive thoughts or negative thoughts). Positive thoughts led to constructive outcomes such as recovery from trauma, better preparation, an increase in healthy behaviours, and recovery from depression. Negative thoughts led to unconstructive outcomes such as depression, anxiety, and decreased physical health.
So, what does this all mean? Essentially, there are two main takeaways from the science:
Constantly repeating the same negative thoughts to yourself has a substantial impact on your mental and physical health.
You can use repetitive thinking to add positive emotions to your daily life and help many aspects of your health and wellbeing.
Ultimately, repeating daily affirmations to yourself helps you “train your brain” or “rewire your brain” to form new patterns of positive thought. That positive thought can translate to accomplishments, increased mental and physical health, higher self-esteem, and ambition.