The Science Behind Affirmations
Affirmations. Everyone’s familiar with them. BUT… (Yes, there’s a but to this.)
They’re so common to see from Pinterest boards to vision boards and the I Am statements that crawl across your Instagram app.
But when they’re not digested and processed, affirmations are simple words that can get some weird side-eyes from people who don’t understand how they work. And why are we so resistant to affirmations?
Think of meditation as a practice.
The first time you sit down to meditate, you don’t have it all together. You’re teaching yourself the mental discipline to bring yourself into a calm, tranquil state. The same thing goes for affirmations.
The power of affirmations remains untapped as long as the practitioner holds back from processing the words in their truths, and the truths that they can be.
So…how do we explain the power of affirmations? The proof of affirmations and their power.
What Science Tells Us About Affirmations
Most of the time, when you hear the word affirmation, it’s associated with magical imagery or power that’s higher than you. In truth, affirmations are scientifically proven methods of self-affirmation when consistent in practice.
And that requires self-discipline, love, and patience. The three are often dodged because of our desire for instant gratification. But with time and consistency, affirmations have a positive payout.
Third Space Lifestyle out of London reported a study published in the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience came to the conclusion that the practice of self-affirmation activates portions of the brain that are associated with reward and fulfillment. This acts as a sustainer or stabilizer of motivation because the neural pathways are fired up “and makes changes to those areas of the brain that makes you happy and positive”.
The lifestyle outlet also reported various studies confirmed the positive effects of affirmations include (but are not limited to):
- The decrease in health-deteriorating stress
- An increase in productivity through exercise
- Staying motivated through dietary goals
- Reaching academic goals
It’s all in Neuroplasticity
What is neuroplasticity? By definition, neuroplasticity is the ability of the brain to form and reorganize synaptic connections, especially in response to learning or experience or following injury.
In other words, neuroplasticity is your mind’s way of healing and adjusting to big changes or traumatic events. It’s one part coping strategy and two parts motivator.
Claude Steele, an American social psychologist and a Professor of Psychology at Stanford University, proposed the self-affirmation theory. In the desire to maintain a positive self-image, people overcome specific threats to the self by affirming something equally important, yet unrelated, to restore a sense of self-confidence and worth without facing the specific threat at hand.
Isn’t that neat? You’ve got a built-in cheerleader in your mind. With affirmations, you propel and amplify that confidence-builder’s power.
How To Use Affirmations
Affirmations are spoken, written in first-person, and done so as a true statement. For example, an affirmation looks like I am strong and determined NOT I’ll be strong someday.
To use affirmations to nurture you on your path, try the following:
- Use an affirmation journal
- Repeat affirmations to yourself daily
- Switch up your affirmations every week
- Speak and write until you believe
Recommended: The Self Love Wall Kit
In a world that's constantly telling women not love, honor and cherish ourselves, this pack of 30 inspirational, stylish and self love focused cards are what every woman needs. Self love starts with surrounding yourself with positive affirmations like the ones included in our Self Love Wall Kit.
This kit helps you build confidence, self esteem and self love with daily reminders that can help change the way you think about yourself.
Easy to pin, tape or glue for a fabulous wall of Self Love. Give them to friends, tape them into your planner, use them in whatever way makes you feel good.
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