Some people call them positive affirmations, some others prefer to call them motivational affirmations and there are those who just use the word affirmations.
No matter what you call them, you will find the answers to your questions here if you have been searching for any of these terms.
What are positive affirmations and what are their meanings?
According to the dictionary definition, one of the meanings of the word affirmation is:
“A statement or proposition that is declared to be true.”
In other words, a positive affirmation is a statement of encouragement that declares it to be true.
It is usually something that we want in our life, something that we want to become reality or something that is already a reality and we want it to stay that way.
The goal of positive affirmations is to make us feel good, thus, helping us to maintain a positive attitude even when there are obstacles and uncertainties.
The theory behind it is that we have the power to create our reality. Consequently, if we want our reality to be positive, we will have to use positive affirmations and, in general, maintain a positive language when communicating with our environment and with ourselves.
The characteristics of positive affirmations
- They have to be formulated in a positive form.
- They have to be formulated in the first person.
- They have to be formulated in the present tense.
- They have to be true.
1. To be effective, positive affirmations need to be formulated in a positive form. So, if we wish for something, we have to use a phrase that indicates exactly what we want.
For example, if our claim is that we wish for healthy food instead of junk food, our positive phrase could be:
“I love healthy food and it’s the only thing I want to eat.”
However, it would be counterproductive to use a phrase like this:
“I don’t like junk food.”
What we would be doing in this second case is putting a wrong image in our head.
If we repeat that we love healthy food, the image that we will have in mind will be healthy food, maybe some fruits and vegetables. But, if we repeat that we don’t like junk food, even if the phrase is negative, the image in our head will be that of junk food.
2. The reason why they have to be formulated in the first person is
3. For our positive affirmations, we use verbs in the present tense because we are talking about something current. We are not thinking about the future and we are not asking for a wish, but we are affirming something that is real at that precise moment.
4. Finally, positive affirmations have to be true and realistic. If we are not convinced by what we say to ourselves, perhaps because it is something very far from our present reality, we can reformulate our affirmations by starting the sentences with “I am about to …,” “I am in the way of …” or ” I’ve decided that …. ” or “I’m excited to feel … “
How to use affirmations
The ideal is to use motivational affirmations for something concrete in our life. We can think of something that we want to change and create positive affirmations around that goal.
For example, if our goal is to eat healthier, we can use phrases such as:
“I eat healthy and I love having so much energy.”
Or, if we are already working on changing our diet but we need some help, for example, controlling our cravings, we can use an affirmation like this:
“I love healthy food. It’s the only food I crave.”
Once we have determined the goal that we want to focus on, we can look for several phrases and choose one in particular that will personalize it and make it our own. Once we have it, we will write it down in a note on our mobile phone, or on a piece of paper, so that we always have it on hand.
We can find specific moments in the day that we can take a few minutes to read and repeat our sentence. If we need to, we can set alarms as reminders.
We can also write the affirmation multiple times on paper or mobile phone, giving us more time to reflect, really feeling what we want, thinking and focusing on our goal.
Record your affirmations to get a better result
A practice that makes motivational affirmations even more effective is recording them with our own voice when we are in a positive emotional state, relaxed and at peace.
This way, each time we listen to that recording, we will get back to that moment and will remember that emotional state, regardless of the emotions that we are experiencing at that moment.
Another advantage of recording our positive affirmations is listening to them with our mobile phone at any time, even if we are going through a stressful time at work or in other circumstances.
Motivational affirmations allow us to maintain a positive attitude that helps us to live serenely to avoid stress.
In addition, they help us to set goals and objectives in our lives. In fact, when we take the time to look for some positive affirmations, we are thinking about what aspect of our life in which to focus our energies.
This way, we get to reflect on what our goals and desires are in order to create priorities.
Finally, they help us to create our own reality and get what we want. They help us make the right decisions to live the life that we want.
When to use positive affirmations
The ideal is to think about some moments of our day in which we can find a few minutes to disconnect from everything, and thus, go through our positive affirmations. Once we have identified those moments, we can set alarms to make sure we remember.
I use some positive affirmations during my 10minute yoga practice in the morning. While I make my movements and breaths, my head repeats the phrases I have chosen.
If we have chosen to record our motivational affirmations and have saved them on our mobile phone, we can listen to them at any time of the day when we have our mobile phone at hand, that is, pretty much the entire day 😉 And, if we are not alone, we just need a headset to get some privacy.
My recommendation is to repeat our affirmations several times a day, depending on the phrases we have chosen. For example, if we have a phrase related to doing workouts, we can repeat it in the following moments:
- As soon as we wake up in the morning
- Before exercising
- After exercising and when we have that feeling of satisfaction and we feel better physically
- When we are already in bed, just before going to sleep
We can obviously repeat them as many times as we want or we think we need. Let’s just set the alarms we need, write them whenever we can or leave a note in a visible place, for example, on the bathroom mirror or on the bedside table.
Some other moments that we can use them are while we walk or take the public transport.
I remember while I worked in my last office job (which I hated so much), I used to walk on my way back home and during those 25 minutes, I’d repeat a few motivational affirmations.
This practice not only helped me to disconnect from work, letting go of all of the negative thoughts and energy that
I don’t think it goes without saying that I am very happy with the results that I have achieved 😀
Do affirmations work?
I understand that there may be skepticism on this subject, especially because often, motivational phrases are presented as miraculous and under a more spiritual light, in which we probably don’t identify ourselves.
I also understand that repeating the same phrases several times may not seem the most interesting thing to do and can even seem pretty boring.
But are you going to lose anything if you give it a try? You are the only one who has access to the inside of your head and nobody else knows what happens inside of it if you are either repeating some positive affirmations or if your neurons have decided to go to the beach.
My personal experience with affirmations has been, and still is, positive. So my suggestion is that you at least give them a try. After all, what do you have to lose?
Positive affirmations that work, but don’t make miracles
What I would like to clarify is that positive affirmations don’t make miracles and, by simply reading them for a few days, they don’t bring wonders to our lives.
However, they can be very beneficial if used in conjunction with specific actions chosen to achieve our changes/goals.
For example, if I repeat that the only food I crave is healthy food, my actions will have to go in accordance with that, that is, I will do everything possible not to bring any junk food home and, in general, I will avoid buying it.
Another example is that, if we repeat several times a day that we are a healthy person, but we continue with the same habits as always, it will be very difficult for us to lose weight, gain energy or become stronger.
Positive affirmations are useless if there is no action.
Using motivational affirmations can help us always keep our goal present, to convince ourselves that we can get what we want and maintain a positive attitude, but we have to take into account that we must also put in some work.
How to combine the use of positive affirmations with a habit tracker
If one of our goals is to change a habit or introduce a new one, the use of a habit tracker can be very beneficial.
If you don’t know what a habit tracker is, I recommend that you read my post that explains what a habit tracker is and how to use it. Plus, in the same post, you have the opportunity to download a free habit tracker that can be printed or used online.
This habit tracker is very useful to create and monitor a new habit and, at the same time, it helps to find motivation. If, in addition, we use it in combination with positive affirmations, we are more likely to achieve our goals.
Let’s use a specific example. Let’s say that I want to introduce the habit of doing some exercise every day, even if it’s a quick half-hour walk.
- I download the tracker, print it, or use it online, and every day, before going to bed, check one box if I have done my workout.
- At the same time, several times a day I can repeat an affirmation like this:
“I love exercising because it makes me feel great.”
After only a week, we can look at our tracker and see how many days we have managed to maintain that habit. If the results have not been as positive, it is possible that repeating our motivational affirmations more often could be of help.
When we start to see better results in our habits tracker, that will motivate us to move forward and, in a few weeks, almost without realizing it, we may have created a new habit that we will also be able to maintain.
List of affirmations
There are a lot of positive affirmations out there and everyone can create the most suitable for their goals. However, if you need some inspiration, here are two lists of affirmations, a generic one about health and healthy habits and another, more specific about healthy eating.
Positive affirmations for health and healthy habits
I’m grateful for sticking to all of my healthy habits.
I’m connected with my body and I love to keep it healthy.
My positive attitude helps me be healthy.
I’m physically, emotionally and mentally healthy, and I’m grateful for that.
My priority in life is being healthy.
Being healthy is my new lifestyle.
My healthy lifestyle makes me feel amazing.
I’m grateful for my positive attitude and my healthy body.
I enjoy being healthy and that makes me feel amazing.
I love my body and my healthy habits help me achieve the look I’ve always desired.
I’m thankful for finding the time for self-care and healthy living.
I believe I can change my habits to healthier ones.
I love working out because it makes me feel amazing.
Healthy eating affirmations
I eat healthy and I enjoy being full of energy.
I take care of my body by eating healthy, sleeping enough and doing exercise.
My healthy eating habits allow me to enjoy a deep and relaxing sleep.
I love healthy food, as this is the only food I crave.
I nourish my body with healthy foods that I love.
I only eat healthy food and my body shows its gratitude by having more energy.
I choose to eat healthy and nourish my body.
Your turn: Have you ever tried to use positive affirmations? If not, do you think you will give it a try? I’d love to hear your opinion and your experience in the comments below 🙂
As always, I appreciate you stopping by my blog, and if you think this post might help someone you know to make another step to a healthier lifestyle, please don’t hesitate and share it away!
Happy Healthy Life!
A big hug,
Claudia Canu is a former junk and sugar addict transformed into a Health Motivator with a master’s degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. She has created this website not only to share her “Journey to her Healthy Forties” but also to help other busy women with basic knowledge about nutrition and who don’t love cooking, to live a healthier life and achieve big goals.