#0014 — Positive Affirmations

Why are affirmations effective?


I’m so bad at this job, they’re definitely going to fire me.

My children are the absolute worst.

I will always be overweight.


🛑 Problem

Everybody has negative thoughts. Some people have them often.

The problem with too many negative thoughts is that they become self-fulfilling prophecies. 


✅ Solution

We can use positive affirmations to make long-term changes to the ways that we think and feel.

Positive affirmations: phrases or statements used to challenge negative or unhelpful thoughts.


🔎 How it works

Positive affirmations strengthen the neural pathways that benefit us. For example, the results of one study suggest that when we practice positive affirmations, we’re able to view “otherwise-threatening information as more self-relevant and valuable”.

In other words: affirmations help us confront challenges. This has a lot of benefits.


💪 Benefits

Positive self-affirmation can:

  • reduce stress

  • mitigate, and even reverse, GPA decline in college students

  • encourage physical activity and exercise


📺 For example

Imagine you wanted to ask for a raise at your job but you’re nervous to talk with your boss. Affirmations are a great tool for this. Just be sure to use realistic affirmations.


✅ Realistic:

I deserve a raise.

I am a valuable member of this team.

I can confidently ask my boss for a raise.


❌ Unrealistic:

I will double my salary.

I can force my boss to give me a raise.


✍️ Try now

Think about the next challenge you need to confront. What are some realistic affirmations you can write for yourself?

Be sure to write them down on paper, or use a mobile app. You can also repeat your affirmations aloud.


🔬 More research

  • In one study, affirmation exercises boosted the problem-solving abilities of "chronically stressed" subjects.

  • Another study suggests that using affirmations to remind yourself of your core values can make you more likely to implement habit changes.

  • A third study found that affirmations can calm your nerves and increase your confidence.


⚠️ You should know

There is evidence that people with low self-esteem may actually feel worse after doing positive affirmations because they can create a conflict between your desires and your current state. This practice is most effective for people with high self-esteem. Check with a mental health professional before practicing.


🌆 Conclusion

Affirmations are a powerful tool when used correctly. Be sure to practice and find a system that works for you.


📖 Read more


📱 Practice more

Download Bold CBT. It’s an iOS app that I made which makes it easier to do mental health exercises like this one.


🙏 Thank you

I’m grateful that you read this far! Please send me an email to tell me what you think. Your feedback makes the newsletter better for everyone.

  • john@boldCBT.com

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