Affirmations are simple and concise positive sentences that are written and said in the present tense. They are meant to dispel any negative thought loops that may creep into your mind. Therefore, they’re creating new thinking patterns that gravitate toward positivity, inspiration, and motivation.
What Are Health Affirmations?
Health affirmations, in particular, are simply affirmations centered around your health: mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual. You can imagine how this can be an incredible game-changer when we think about our health regimen.
We are often too hard on ourselves and lose steam when we’re working out or hitting a plateau on our weight loss journey. Implementing affirmations steers us away from digging ourselves deeper into the negative “rabbit hole.”
It alters the direction of our mind into a more positive mental state, which helps us deal with depression, anxiety, and other mental health illnesses.
The Science Behind Health Affirmations
Affirmations have a long-standing in the psychology field. A renowned U.S. psychologist Claude Steele coined the term Self-Affirmation Theory that empowers our understanding of affirmations today.((Positive Psychology: Positive Daily Affirmations: Is There Science Behind it?))
Steele’s theory claims that everyone is motivated to uphold some view of themselves, be it as moral, competent, strong, and/or capable human beings. This self-affirmation enables us to essentially maintain our drive to be happy, healthy, and better people.
When external circumstances arise that challenge this view, we fall into what Steele calls “psychological discomfort.”((The American Psychological Association: Self-Affirmation Theory)) We can think of this today as depression, anxiety, and other mental health disorders. They all stem from this imbalance of how we self-affirm who we are.
Steele also argued that the self-affirmation theory is not about creating a sense of perfection of who we are. It’s about nurturing the things we’re passionate about and where we find value, and exercising a sense of flexibility and deeper understanding in those areas.((Positive Psychology: Positive Daily Affirmations: Is There Science Behind It?))
Benefits of Using Health Affirmations
As I previously mentioned, words carry energy and power. Like anything worth pursuing, however, affirmations still require practice.
You will get the most benefit out of them if you practice them consistently. For some, this is an everyday ritual. For others, it’s on an “as needed” basis, when they feel like they need an energetic “pick-me-up.”
The health benefits vary greatly; health affirmations have been known to reduce health-related stress. This is because we’re changing the mental mindset.
If we can introduce powerful and positive statements to the way we think, that will create a ripple throughout the body. In turn, the physical body can only prosper and thrive.
Think of the body as one seamless machine that can only operate efficiently if all of the parts are working together. When the mind is in a positive place, the body follows, and vice versa.
How to Use Health Affirmations for Your Physical and Mental Health
Health affirmations serve best when said out loud, in the present tense, and with positivity.
Some people like to say them before they meditate or while meditating to help anchor their thoughts into their mindfulness. Others like to say them while working out or when they feel challenged in an exercise regiment.
The affirmations help guide them back to their center and to why this regiment matters in the first place. It’s a powerful shift in perspective!
Another empowering and healing way to use health affirmations is by stating them to yourself in front of a mirror. By seeing yourself and meeting your own gaze, your affirmations are intensified.
Imagine that you are sending yourself these words and that the energy of them are cleansing, healing, and supporting you. If you’re starting this practice for the first time, it may feel awkward, forced, and inauthentic. Keep going and saying them, anyway!
Decades of poor mental self-talk is not something that can be reversed overnight. By continuing your practice with health affirmations, you are not just re-building the way you self-affirm who you are, you are also learning how to be deserving of who you are. Be kind and gentle with yourself.
Below is a list of powerful health affirmations that you can choose from, for your physical and mental health:
- I am happy, healthy, safe, and free.
- I trust my own wisdom.
- I listen to my intuition; it always steers me right.
- I believe in myself.
- My body is healthy and thriving.
- I am strong and capable of great things.
- I am loved and supported.
- I am exactly where I need to be.
- I choose to be happy.
- I fully accept and love myself.
- I am resilient, strong, and brave.
- I am doing my best, and my best is enough.
- When I fall, I am motivated to get back up.
- I am brave and not afraid to keep going.
- I am safe and protected.
- This, too, shall pass.
- I am the sky, not the clouds.
- I love you (do this one as you gaze at yourself in the mirror).
- I am beautiful.
- I am on a journey, ever-growing and developing.
There are many sources from where you can gather more affirmations. Mindfulness experts such as Louise Hay have a page on their website dedicated solely to affirmations that are designed for you to pull every day.((Louise Hay: Affirmations))
There are also phone applications, such as Think Up and Kwippy, that offer a randomized pop-up of affirmations daily.
No matter where you find your affirmations, the magic is in how they make you feel. Over time, these words will become powerful bursts of energy that you’ll feel in every area of your body. If that doesn’t happen right away, don’t allow it to discourage you. After all, it’s still a practice.
Lastly, affirmations truly thrive when you can come up with them yourself. If you can create a short sentence on your own, you’re closer to its healing since it’s coming directly from the source: you!
Health affirmations are short and concise sentences that are said out loud, in the present tense, and a state of positivity. Not only does this practice shift the way we think, but it also ripples through to the physical body, creating everlasting change for our optimal health.
It may sound too good to be true that simple words can have such an effect, but our mind is a vast network of spectacular possibilities. If we can change the way we think with the words we choose to use, our entire idea of health can radically change.