The Power of Affirmations: How do Affirmations work?


The power of affirmation: how do affirmations work

The Power of Affirmations: How do Affirmations work?

"It's the repetition of affirmations, that leads to belief. And once that belief becomes a deep conviction things begin to change", said Claude M. Bristol illuminating the miraculous working powers of affirmations in our lives. What you think, you become. Your thoughts and mindset affect every aspect of your life including your career, health, love, personal, and professional life. The reason for your happiness or grief lies in the way you think, feel, believe, and thus act upon.

In this article, 'The Power of Affirmations: How do affirmations work?', we shall discuss affirmations, their benefits, how they work, and how they are practiced. We shall also look why affirmations don't work for some people and what needs to be done to make them work. At the end of the article, general affirmations have been provided along with a simple guide  to create yours by yourself.

What are Affirmations?

Affirmations are statements that are usually practiced by saying out loud, to instill, improve self-esteem and faith in oneself. Probably, most of us are familiar with the term 'affirmations', which are basically, simple statements repeated over and over until you believe them. Many successful people acclaim the enigmatic benefits of affirmations and also advise people to do them. Before proceeding further into the topic, 'The Power of Affirmations? How do Affirmations work?' it is necessary to delve into certain topics, like the one mentioned below?

Thoughts manifest into reality

Since ages, if innumerous greatest personalities have been teaching us something it is that our thoughts manifest into our reality. One must be beware of one's thoughts. For, they find a way into your reality. You are what you think. You design and create your life every second, minute, hour, and day. 

What you think becomes your belief. What you believe becomes your conviction. Your convictions shape your mindset and attitude. Your attitude becomes the way of your life which ultimately manifests into your reality, your present, and your future. The power you need, to either build or break, dwells right within you. As stated by J. K. Rowling, "We do not need magic to transform our world. We carry all the power we need, inside ourselves already". Having discussed that, let's move on to the next topic, how do affirmations work.

How do affirmations work?

Affirmations can be done in three ways.
1. Saying
2. Listening
3. Writing

You always have the option to choose the most convenient one. It takes some time for the affirmations to work. If done in the right way, they can work wonders in your life. Loise Hay rightly quoted, "Every thought we think and every word we speak is creating our future. It is as though our thoughts go out into the universe and are accepted and brought back to us as experience". In this section, 'How do affirmations work?', we shall briefly explore the anatomy and working of our brain.

Based on the workings of our brain, it can be divided into two systems namely the conscious or objective mind, and subconscious or subjective mind. As the name suggests, the conscious or objective mind demands reasons to believe things. It decrees realistic, actual reasons to frame things. Unlike our conscious mind, the subconscious mind is subjective, implying, it accepts everything you impress upon it. It's a storehouse of memory and accepts everything you say, think, and feel. It works 24 hours a day, and 365 days a year relentlessly. It never rests. 

After impressing a thought or suggestion on your subconscious mind, the next thing to do is to live that brief imaginary moment as if it were real. Imagine it vividly, feel consciously all sorts of emotions associated with it. Repeat it as often as possible. 

Your subjective mind processes your emotions and accordingly it comes up with ideas to help you achieve your thing. That's why they say that the answers to many questions can be found when you are asleep. Your thoughts lead to ideas which in turn set you to action.

Neuroscience of Affirmations

The human body consists of millions of neurons which form into multiple pathways thus guiding every action and reaction of the body. Whenever you learn something new, your neurons form synaptic connections in regard to what you learnt and this is how a neural pathway is formed. 

Practicing affirmations rewires your brain by altering these neural pathways and building new ones simultaneously. It takes certain time for this orchestration to work. It won't just happen instantly. Nevertheless, it's worth the long-term results.

Affirmations and Self-esteem

As human beings, despite everything we possess, we all have our flaws. While some of us leave peacefully either ignoring or accepting them, some others make their lives miserable and wreck their self-confidence and self-esteem to such an extent that they stop loving themselves all because of the obsession with the downside.

According to a study conducted by the British Psychological society, “self-affirmation manipulation resulted in more positive attitude and intention towards exercise, alongside lowering the levels of self-derogation, in subjects with low self-esteem”.

Body dissatisfaction is one of the contributing factors in this regard. It has been proven that affirmations reduce body dissatisfaction by shifting your focus on aspects other than the body shape and weight. In a study conducted on 220 adolescents, it was found that subjects who practiced affirmations showed significantly greater body satisfaction post-study primarily due to the improvement in self-esteem.

Affirmations for coping with Depression

Depression is a malady, an evil that preys on the souls of its victims. Coping with depression is not at all an easy task. It requires humongous will power.

Fortuitously, certain psychological interventions help cope with depression. Practicing affirmations is one of them since it helps reduce the trauma and symptoms.

A study was conducted on college woman aged 18 to 24 years, who were at a risk of clinical depression. These subjects were randomly assigned to the intervention group (that practiced affirmations) and the control group (that did not practice affirmations). Required data was on depressive symptoms, self-esteem, and negative thinking patterns was collected prior to the study and at intervals of 1, 6, and 18 months post-study.

It was suggested that the symptoms of depression significantly reduced in the intervention group and a rise of depression levels and negative thinking was observed in the control group bearing testimony to the fact that affirmations help deal with depression.

Affirmations for breaking addiction

In life, as long as moderation is maintained, nothing can harm you. But once the balance or equilibrium is lost, things start falling apart.

Alcohol addiction is a severe problem that cannot be left untreated. Alcohol abuse can cause various mental and physical disorders like heart failure, liver damage, cardiac arrest, alcohol poisoning, etc.

Never underestimate the power of affirmations. Because there is more than enough evidence to shed the light on the fact that affirmations can even help break addiction. Yes, you read it right. Affirmation do possess the power to help you break free from whatever you are addicted to.  According to Taylor and Francis, people exhibit increased intentions to reduce alcohol consumption when affirmed. 

How to Practice Affirmations?

Our subjective mind is most active during the time prior to sleep, and early in the morning right after getting up. It is so because the subconscious mind works more efficiently when other senses are in abeyance. It is the best time to practice affirmations. You can still do them at other times of the day without any hesitation. 

Affirmation could be practiced by either saying out loud or writing down. It is suggested to go with the former. For, when you read something aloud, your brain forms auditory links in your memory with regard to the thing you read aloud. 

It is must that you deeply believe in what you affirm. Practice affirmations with a conviction that whatever it is you are hoping for, will turn out good. 
You must believe your thoughts with a greater conviction. Like when you say, "My pain will go away soon and life will bestow upon me happiness", you got to believe that it will happen. If you are cynical or doubtful of what you say, it worsens things. Belief is the most significant aspect of  doing affirmations. "According to your belief is it done unto you" -MATTHEW 9:29 

It would be much better if you ground yourself by inhaling and exhaling a few deep breaths, planting your feet firmly to the ground, and being aware of your senses. Rest your palms on your chest if you wish and practice affirmations. 

Most importantly, you must be patient. Remember that all great things take time. Rome wasn't built in a day. Be patient and stay consistent. Don't ever miss your daily routine of affirmations at any cost. 

The most effective way to practice affirmations is by amalgamating them with visualization. As you repeat your sayings, imagine. Imagine you achieve your dream, living in the moment. Enliven the details. Transcend yourself from reality into your dream. And then, feel those emotions consciously. Keep repeating the steps. This is how you mix affirmations with visualization.

Why affirmations don't work for some people?

Some people rule out the whole scientific orchestration behind affirmations quoting them nonsense and kibosh. There are two reasons why affirmations don't work for some people.

1. Lack of patience- When you sow a seed, you take care of it patiently watering it regularly, providing enough sunlight, nutrient supplements, etc. When you take the right care of it, the seed eventually germinates and insidiously grows into a plant and then a tree. You are not supposed to dig up early and check if it has germinated or not. For, if you do, you destroy it. Tantamount to this scenario, many people lack patience. They want things to happen instantly in a snap of seconds, which is irrational. Good things take time to grow. When you do affirmations, you gotta take utmost care of yourself. You can be likened to the seed in the above scenario. Your patience deficiency can lead you to catastrophe.

2. Skepticism or lack of belief- As stated above, the most primal aspect of affirmations is the belief that your expected outcome will come to pass. Many people fail despite doing affirmations because they doubt themselves and the pragmatic power of their subconscious mind. They simply say affirmations being skeptical, and without believing/ feeling them. 

How to remove negative thoughts and skepticism? : THE STRIKEOUT METHOD

As stated above, negative thoughts and skepticism make you lose. Don't worry. There's always a way to make life better. To wipe out negative thoughts and cynicism, take a pen and paper. First, write down the subject of your affirmations like prosperity, confidence, self-love, health, etc. And then jot down every single thought and even the minutest details regarding the subject. 

After completing the above step, read aloud what you have written. Identify the positive and negative ones. Now, the next step is to be done very carefully with the utmost focus and imagination. After identifying the negative ones, strike them out one by one. And when doing so, imagine the thought leaving your mind and making its way to the garbage bin. To your relief, it works. 

How to create your own affirmations?

People look at the world from various standpoints. And we humans are unique. Very different from another. As a result, our problems and concerns vary. Therefore, you can't always follow pre-set affirmations to deal with your troubles. It is important that you alter things in accord with your wishes and desires. In order to do so, you must figure out two things.

1. What is the biggest trouble in your life that is enervating you right now?
2. What makes you the happiest? ( tip: imagine the outcome and answer)
After you are done with the above steps, rest assured. Start by looking at a few examples and do the rest your way. For, no one knows you better, than yourself.
But there are some basic ones that are applicable to anyone. For, we all have one thing in common and that is, we are all, but, humans. 

Positive everyday affirmations to boost your spirit

1. I am strong. I am confident. I have the strength to deal with what's ahead of me. I won't let anybody or anything turn me down. I will capture this day. This day is mine.
2. Today is a new day. I leave behind my pain and look forward to growth. Like a phoenix, I rise from the ashes of pain, and rejection. I will continue to grow.
3. God always has the best plans for me. He won't simply hurt me. The pain that I bear today, is laying a foundation for an edifice of my stronger self.
4. I am me. I am beautiful. For, I am unique. No matter what, there will never be another me. 
5. Failures are worthy of celebration. I will not give up. Never. I will rise every time I fall. I will keep trying. With my passion, perseverance, and persistence, I will win. Until then I work hard. 
6. I will not let others' judgments and opinions affect my happiness. I am who I am. And I will, forever, continue to be. I work on myself every waking hour and I will strive to reach my goal.

Concluding: 'The Power of Affirmations: How do Affirmations work?'

There are innumerous ways to enhance the quality of our live. But the hitch is that many of us are unaware of them. Even though some are aware, they can't push themselves to do things. There is a solution to every problem. And you too will find your solution once you search for it. Sometimes the problem lies within your mind. In that case, the solution lies there too. Affirmations help you emerge out of it triumphantly.

I hope my article, 'The Power of Affirmations: How do affirmations work?', is of assistance. Subscribe to my newsletter and get all updates delivered straight into your inbox.

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