"I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggone it, people like me." Stuart Smalley on SNL.
My elementary school was way ahead of the times when I was little. I remember learning about IALAC, which stands for I am lovable and capable. This is our self- esteem and how we feel about ourselves.
We are all born with positive thoughts, it's over time that we ourselves tear ourselves down or we let others tear us down. We lose self esteem and confidence.
Today a lot of people in the health and wellness industry use affirmations. I am sure you have tried or no someone who has tried them. So what are affirmations?
Affirmations are the practice of positive thinking and self-empowerment - fostering a belief that " a positive mental attitude supported by affirmations will achieve success in anything.
Do they really work though? I did some science based research for myself.
Research shows that around 80% of the 50,000 subconscious thoughts we have in a day are negative ones! That's crazy! That's a whole hell of a lot of negativity!! We are a bunch of complainers and pessimists I guess. Affirmations make you consciously aware of your thoughts. So when you consciously think positive thoughts, it is easier to control negative ones that are always there trying to take over.
There is science behind it but not magic. It requires a regular, if not daily practice.
There has been a neuroscientific research aimed at investigating whether we can see any changes in the brain when we use affirmations. There is MRI evidence that certain neural pathways are increased when people practice appfirmations.
But there is a catch. Standing in front of the mirror telling yourself you're beautiful and capable isn't enough. You have to create the awareness too says a study published in Journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, says that practicing self-affirmations activities the reward centers in your brain.
Keep your affirmations real. They tend to work better and have the most benefits when they are centered on specific traits and realistic, achievable goals. An example is if you want to lose weight. You can use affirmations you love your body, you are happy and healthy and safe but if you are not willing to start an exercise program and eat more nutritious and whole foods things will not change.
So remember affirmations can help boost your mood, motivation, and confidence but you will still need to take action. I use affirmations as one of my self-help tools but I use them all together to make them the most effective and I take action.
Practice affirmations every day to get the most benefits from them. It will take time so be patient.
Keep in mind if you have depression, anxiety, eating disorder, negative thought patterns, and any other mental health issue you should seek professional care and a therapist.
So my conclusion. Affirmations generally work as a tool for shifting our mindset and to help us achieve our goals, but there is no magic potion for instant success and or healing. A daily affirmation practice can work for some people, but not everyone.