Be the sunshine: Our top 10 daily affirmations for better mental health
Did you know that positive affirmation can directly impact your mental health? If like me, you struggle with anxiety, depression, or self-doubt, you might be surprised to learn that adding affirmations to your daily routine can actually help to change your thought patterns entirely.
There is scientific evidence that supports the use of affirmations to boost your self-esteem, decrease stress, and improve your mental health. If you’ve never tried affirmations before, sure, it can seem a little bizarre, awkward, or embarrassing. I’m here to tell you, though – there’s more to it than meets the eye.
If you’ve been sleeping on affirmations, it’s time to wake up. Let’s dig into what affirmations are, how to use them, and what science says about it all.
What are positive affirmations?
We all have negative thoughts that live rent-free in our heads, and sometimes, we let them win. We spiral, compare ourselves to others, lose confidence, doubt our abilities, and drown under the weight of our irrational fears. In neuroscience, this is called the “negativity bias”. Our brains are hardwired to focus on the bad because it’s how the brain tries to keep us safe.
Basically, since the dawn of time, if we paid attention to danger and threats, we were more likely to survive. But continuously focusing on the negative can result in becoming ‘stuck’, anxious, and depressed (sad face). This is where affirmations come in: we can rewire our brains to counteract all that negative thinking.
Affirmations are short, powerful statements or phrases that you repeat to yourself to ‘affirm’ your strengths and focus on your heart’s deepest desires. They keep harmful thoughts at bay by building you up and encouraging positive thinking. They can be used to boost your self-esteem and confidence, motivate you, or encourage positive changes in your life.
What the neuroscience says
This 2016 study used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to show that positive affirmations activate the brain’s reward centres, releasing the same chemicals as other pleasurable experiences, resulting in reduced feelings of stress or pain. Future-based prompts were particularly effective at encouraging an optimistic mindset.
Here’s what the research says about the power of affirmations – they help:
- reduce health-deteriorating stress
- help stop or reduce rumination (continuously thinking the same thoughts)
- boost problem-solving abilities
- decrease negative thinking
- improve stress management
- promote physical activity
- better cope with everyday challenges
- increase confidence
- lower stress
- increase feelings of hopefulness
- boost academic achievement.
The beauty of affirmations is that they can help rewire our thinking for a more positive outlook on life. The caveat is that affirmations need to become part of your daily routine to have a worthwhile effect.
How to use affirmations
If the idea of standing in front of the mirror and talking to yourself gives you the ick, there are loads of other ways to work with affirmations. Here are some ideas for you to try:
- write your affirmations down in a journal (repeat each statement three to five times)
- record a voice memo on your phone that you can listen to throughout the day
- write your affirmations on sticky notes and attach them to your mirror or your computer screen
- keep a list of affirmations in a note app on your phone and read them throughout the day
- repeat your affirmations aloud in the shower or car.
The trick is to find what works for you and stick with it!
10 daily affirmations we’re loving RN
Remember, there’s no one-size-fits-all affirmation – work through this list and choose the ones that feel right to you, and adapt the others so that your final list is tailored to your own worries, hopes, and desires. You might need different affirmations depending on the day and your life’s circumstances.
Here are our top 10 daily affirmations for better mental health:
- I am worthy of love and happiness.
- I see the positive in every situation.
- I release negative feelings and thoughts about myself.
- Through courage and hard work, I can achieve anything that I set my mind to.
- I find joy in everything I do.
- I am confident, and I am enough.
- I am safe, resilient, strong, and brave.
- Opportunities come my way easily and effortlessly.
- I am at peace in my body, my mind, and my life.
- I feel calm and capable of handling anything that comes my way.
It’s time to tell those negative thoughts to take several seats! Affirmations may seem simple, but as a daily practice, they can give you the mental boost you need to start seeing changes in your life. Show yourself some love, and remember that the bia tribe is always here for you. Join us on Instagram for more mental health advice and self-care tips.
Haircare for the soul, charged with positivity.