“It’s okay to not be okay.”
“You are not alone.”
“You deserve to be happy.”
“The world is more beautiful with you in it.”
“You are enough.”
What do all of these sentences have in common? They’re all examples of positive affirmations — and they’re having a major moment, with experts from Harvard researchers to Oprah attesting to their positive influence on mental health and well-being.
Wondering what positive affirmations are, why they matter, and how to use them? We’ve got you covered with this short guide.
Here is a closer look at the value of practicing affirmations to improve mental health, along with a simple way to embrace — and spread! — positivity to others.
What Does ‘Affirmation’ Mean?
Affirmation refers to, “the action or process of affirming something or being affirmed.” It can also mean “emotional support or encouragement.”
In its most basic sense, an affirmation is a declaration or a “yes.” When you nod your head in response to a question, you’re giving an affirmation. However, they can be so much more than an assertion of yes, especially in regards to mental health.
What Are Affirmations?
In the context of psychology and mental health, affirmations take on a powerful new meaning.
Psychology Dictionary defines an affirmation as “a brief phrase which is spoken again and again...in effort to plant seeds of happy and positive notions, conceptions, and attitudes into one's psyche.” Affirmations use uplifting words and inspiring declarations that assure feelings of security, positivity, and self-love or care.
How to Use Positive Affirmations
No one is immune to intrusive, negative thoughts. For some, these depressive or anxious thoughts can seriously impact mood, self-love, and lead to an inability to enjoy or carry out daily activities.
This is where positive self-talk becomes an effective form of self-therapy and healing. A fulfilling form of self-care, positive affirmations are a proven defense against self-destructive thoughts and their repercussions.
The Benefits of Affirmations
Just how effective are positive affirmations? A growing body of evidence attests to their profound benefits. Some of these include:
- Decreasing stress and anxiety
- Motivating positive changes (to physical behaviors and daily habits)
- Supporting positive academic achievement
- Increasing resilience when challenges arise
- Improving medication adherence
- Decreasing risk of heart disease and stroke
Recent studies have only just scratched the surface of the potential benefits of practicing positive affirmations and self-love. As research continues to be regularly conducted on the practice of affirmations, new health benefits will be realized.
However, there is a catch. For positive affirmations to deliver their full potential and promise, they require regular practice. Make positive affirmations a part of your daily routine to see maximum benefits like improved self-esteem, mental health and wellness, and more!
How to Use Positive Affirmations
Just because positive affirmations need to be recited regularly doesn’t mean the practice is difficult or time-consuming. These five steps can help you effortlessly incorporate positive affirmations into your everyday life:
- Start with dedicating a few minutes at least two times a day. Practicing affirmations in the morning and evening is a great way to start and end the day on a positive note.
- Repeat each affirmation at least 10 times. Make sure to listen to yourself, focus on the words, and believe in their truth as you say them.
- Enlist help. As it turns out, we DO get by with a little help from our friends. Asking someone else to repeat our affirmations can reinforce your own belief in them.
- Keep at it! The more consistent you are in your daily affirmation practice, the more habitual it will become. Resist skipping days, if possible.
- Don’t expect instant results. Positive affirmations may be effective, but they’re not magic — or instantaneous. While you may not see changes right away, practice makes perfect. (Not that you need to be perfect. In fact, that brings us to another of our favorite affirmations: “The point of life is balance, not perfection.”)
Positive Affirmations and Mental Health
Positive affirmations and affirmations for self-love won’t prevent or cure depression and anxiety. Nor are they a substitute for mental health counseling or consulting a therapist for help and support. However, they can boost your self-esteem and encourage you to make positive life changes.
Positive affirmations are currently reaching and affecting millions thanks to an unlikely source: social media. While social media often gets a bad rap due to anything from a lack of face-to-face communication to cyber-bullying, it’s also becoming a channel through which people are sharing positivity and sparking dialogue about mental health and well-being.
Not only is social media functioning to spread positivity, but it’s also raising awareness about mental health issues. Across social media platforms, people engage in an open dialogue, normalizing discussing our struggles and reaching out for help and support.
Need a Little Extra Boost?
At happii, we understand how positive affirmations can make a real and lasting difference in your life and the lives of the people around you. Founded by a mom coping with depression and anxiety, we’re all about encouraging people to adopt good mental health habits — including positive affirmations.
Ready to embrace the power of positivity and help spread uplifting messages to others? Our wearable mental health reminders and positive affirmation stickers are designed to inspire compassion and resilience. Explore our products today and share the positivity with the people around you!