Why Use Affirmations?
People use affirmations for a variety of purposes. Generally speaking,
affirmations are used to reprogram the subconscious mind, to encourage us to
believe certain things about ourselves or about the world and our place within
it. They are also used to help us create the reality we want—often in terms of
making (or attracting) wealth, love, beauty, and happiness.
According to Walter E. Jacobson, M.D., there is value in affirmations of this
nature, because our subconscious mind plays a major role in the actualization of
our lives and the manifestation of our desires. What we believe about ourselves
at a subconscious level, he says, can have a significant impact on the outcome
At the simplest level, when we feel good about ourselves and have a positive
attitude, our lives tend to run smoothly. Proponents of the “law of attraction”
often refer to this is as raising our vibration such that when our vibration is
positive, positive things—such as financial abundance, love, and renewed
health—are magnetically drawn to us.
On the other hand when we feel bad about ourselves and have a negative attitude,
we tend to engage in self-defeating behaviors which may cause negative outcomes,
like financial mishap, interpersonal drama, or acute or chronic illness.
And, on a much more pragmatic level, recent scholarship from a team of
researchers at Carnegie Mellon suggests that self-affirmations actually buffer
stress and improved problem-solving performance in underperforming and
chronically stressed individuals.
So What, Exactly, Are Affirmations (What do they look like?)
Affirmations are simply statements that are designed to create self-change in
the individual using them. They can serve as inspiration, as well as simple
reminders. They also can serve to focus attention on goals throughout the day,
which, in and of itself, has the potential to promote positive and sustained
The formula for writing effective affirmations is actually quite simple.
1. Effective Affirmations are Written in First Person.
Begin your affirmations with the “I” or “I am....” These types of statements
turn affirmations into statements of identity. Identity statements are powerful
motivators for self-change. Examples of I statements would be, “I am secure and
confident speaking in public,” “I enjoy eating healthy food,” “I love exercise,”
“I am a loving and compassionate person.”
2. Affirmations Are Written in the Positive (as Opposed to the Negative).
Always state your affirmations in the positive. So, for example, instead saying,
“I no longer enjoy the taste of cigarettes,” you might say, “I am completely
free from cigarettes,” or “I am a healthy person and I love the way my body
feels when I make healthy choices.”
3. Affirmations Have an Emotional Charge.
Embue your affirmations with feeling. Using emotional words in affirmations is
important, because of the deep association we have between emotion words and
somatic experiences. So instead of saying, “I spend time with my aging parents,”
try: “I feel such love and gratitude spending time with my mother and father.”
Or instead of “I only eat healthy food,” which sounds suspiciously chore-like,
try: “I feel vibrant and alive when I make healthy choices for me.”
4. Affirmations are Written in the Present State.
Write your affirmations as if they are already happening. This means affirming,
“I am happy and confident,” instead of “Two months from now, I will be happy and
confident.” Or “I am sexy and attractive,” as opposed to, “When I lose these
last ten pounds, I will be sexy and attractive.”
This is the step that causes most people to falter, because in some cases they
feel silly writing or saying something that they actually don’t yet believe—at
least at a conscious level—is true. But remember, the purpose behind
affirmations is to rewrite your subconscious mind.
Many holistic traditions suggest that if you act as if something is true, if you
experience the feelings associated with the outcome that you want, the more
likely it is for the outcome to materialize. That is, if you believe that you
are attractive and sexy, you will automatically engage in the behaviors
associated with that (heightened self care), which will help you to attain your
Search Page For All Products