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How to start using positive affirmations

If you’re thinking of using positive affirmations to manifest what your desire in life, you have to know that you’re already doing it. The difference is that you’re most probably not aware of it.

With an average of 60 million thoughts a day, many (maaany) of them are affirmations. Indeed, when you repeat the same thought many times, day after day, that thought becomes your affirmation.

The question is: how many of them are loving and empowering?

I know, it can be scary to realise that we are self-sabotage our own success in life, but the good news is that nothing is set in stone and that you can reprogram your thoughts with the use of positive affirmations!

We start with the basics, so that by the end of the article you will know everything you need to know to create your own affirmations and reprogram your thoughts in a positive way.

What is an affirmation?

In the general context, an affirmation is an act of affirming something (yep, you’re very welcome :p). However, in the context a positive affirmation, it’s the act of repeating a positive statement over and over again until it becomes your new belief.

Our actions are the result of our thoughts and beliefs. By changing your thoughts and beliefs, you change your actions and behaviour. It’s as simple as that 🙂

Note: Your mind is listening to everything you say or think, and doesn’t make any difference whether your serious about it or not. For example, if you always say ‘I’m stupid’ in a tone that sounds funny, well what your mind will remember is only the ‘I’m stupid’ statement.

I know, our mind isn’t the most funny guy around. That’s why you need to pay attention to everything you say or think.

Do affirmations really work?

Of course, they do!

If you are skeptical, I advise you to try it for yourself. I remember feeling this way too, the same as when I first got to know about the Law of attraction (something like: Really? What’s this BS again?)

A few months ago, I experienced it with the help of a hypnotherapist and the shift happened. That’s the reason why I feel legit to write an article about this topic today.

This shift was significant enough that I took a firm decision and moved on with my life, while I had felt stuck for months. Now my news beliefs are working for me, not against me.

You may know what you want or what you need to do in certain situations, but if your conscious mind and your subconscious are not aligned the self-sabotage will go on and on. So you need to ‘speak’ to your subconscious to change the program that has been running for too long.

Once you know how your mind works, you realise there is nothing mystical about it (and maybe just like the Law of attraction in the end).

How long does it take for affirmations to work?

There is this commonly agreed period of time necessary for a change or a shift to happen, and affirmations are no exceptions. You should use positive affirmations for at least 21 days in a row, but the longer the better if you want to make sure the seeds are planted and growing well.

After this period, you can go back to them on a regular basis (once a week or even once a month) to reinforce the beliefs. That’s personally what I like to do.

How do you use positive affirmations?

As mentioned earlier, there is nothing mystical about this practice, but there are still a few things to pay attention to if you want it to work.

1. Watch out the phrasing

First of all, affirmations should be phrased in a positive way. Remember that the mind believes everything you say and think. It doesn’t understand the use of negation, because what it creates is an image.

This example is a common one, but so you’ll understand what I mean: don’t think of a pink elephant … I hope it’s clearer now 🙂

Taking the example we used earlier if you want to replace the ‘I’m stupid’ affirmation saying to yourself ‘I’m NOT stupid’ will have the same effect. The mind picture you as ‘stupid’, and that’s not what we want.

In order for the affirmation to work in your favour, you need a different approach. If you want to stop thinking you’re stupid, that’s because you know you are intelligent, so just say it: ‘I’m intelligent!’

And because saying your affirmations is not enough (but don’t worry, you’ve already done half of the work), the impact will depend on HOW you say it.

2. Feeeeel the positive emotion

Since emotions are messengers, if you want to harness the power of your affirmations you need to generate the emotion you attach to your affirmations.

I know that the first times may be weird and you may not really believe in what you’re saying. Your negative talk may be observing and mocking you like ‘What do you think you’re doing?’ or ‘As if this could be this simple!’. But that’s okay.

Your ego is resisting the change. It just wants to protect you, protect what it knows. Don’t let it discourage you. Go on for at least 3 weeks and you will see the change for yourself!

3. Present tense only

What we do in the present builds our future. Therefore, your affirmations must be in the present tense so your subconscious mind can start working on it right away.

The past is the past, we can’t change it, and the future is something uncertain that we don’t know about. What you know however is how you want to feel, so don’t waste more time any longer and make change happens in the present.

When should affirmations be used?

Affirmations are directed to your subconscious mind. Therefore you should pick a time of the day when accessing your subconscious mind is easier.

The best times to use your positive affirmations are early morning, shortly after you wake up, or before sleeping.

Why is that you may ask? And I hear you.

There are 5 different types of brainwaves, but the ones we are interested in for our affirmations are the theta waves. Our brains tend to produce them when we’re sleeping or dreaming (even during the day, when we do things on auto-pilot mode).

So, right before or after sleeping, your brain is in a theta state. We can reproduce this state during hypnosis and meditation. If you practice self-hypnosis, this is a great tool to rewire your beliefs, and if you meditate, you may want to use your affirmations as a mantra to focus your attention on.

Of course, if you read or listen to your affirmations during the day, that’s fine too! As long as you’re focused and feel the emotion, that will work.

Examples of positive affirmations

Here below you can find a few sets of affirmations I created to give you an example of what you could repeat to yourself.

‘I am’ affirmation list

  • I am fun
  • I am loved
  • I am smart
  • I am enough
  • I am beautiful
  • I am generous
  • I am worthy of love
  • I am a good person/partner/friend

Positive thinking affirmation list

  • All is well
  • I create the life I want
  • I’m grateful for the life I have
  • Today, I choose to have a good day
  • The present moment is all that matters
  • Every day, I’m becoming a better person

Self-confidence affirmation list

  • I am at ease with strangers
  • I can achieve anything I want
  • I know what is best for myself
  • I trust my own judgment and choices
  • I am a strong and independent person
  • I am confident in my abilities to succeed

If you’re looking to get a better sense of self-love, I would recommend you to check out Louise Hay’s work. I fell in love with her story and her work.

How to make your own list of affirmations

Let’s now work on tailoring your OWN affirmations. They have to be personal because they should speak to YOU in order to trigger an emotion within you. ‘Life loves me’ is a powerful affirmation for me, but if it may not speak to you.

So if you listen to affirmation audio and it doesn’t resonate with you, forget about it and look for another one, or create your own list of positive affirmations.

Here is how:

1. Identify what you want to believe

Ask yourself: What is getting in my way? What do I believe that is not true and prevents me from living the life I want?

You may want to keep notes of your negative thoughts for a few days to bring self-awareness. Once this is clear, you can transform your limiting beliefs into positive ones.

2. Choose 8-10 affirmations that speak to you most

Remember to use the present tense, formulate your affirmations in a positive way, as if you already had what you want.

I am not stressed.I am at peace.
I will be successful.I am successful.
I want to loose weight.I feel good in my body.

3. Keep it simple

Don’t make any complicated sentences. It should be simple and go straight to the point.

Final words

Are you ready to get started? I would love to know what affirmations you will tailor for yourself (if not too personal of course).

Don’t forget to use this method for at least 21 days, even though you don’t see any changes in the first place. You can read them for yourself or record your own voice. I used to listen to mine once on the bus on my way to work and once before sleeping.

Important note: Also, I wanted to add an important note with regards to the negative self-talk in general. If you happen to experience severe and constant negative thinking, please refer to a specialist.

Take care.

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