• Nina

An Honest Talk about Positive Affirmations - My Experience As a Beginner

If you’re just starting to explore mindfulness or personal spirituality, you’ve probably come across some mention of the term, “Positive Affirmations,” I’ve mentioned them in my Goddess Tips article, Mindful Strategies for a Positive New Year.

And when you first heard about them, maybe you’re like me and you had the same reaction of: “huh, I don’t know about that. But, okay.” I pictured myself standing in the mirror twice a day, telling myself I’m a rich-money-bags-winner, and it made me feel weird, so I put it away in my book of “things that would probably make me feel good but I don’t know if I actually want to do them because IDK”.

A few weeks ago, after having my bi-monthly realization that I’m standing in my own way, I decided that I really wanted to put in the work to change my mindset. I know that “I deserve success,” but if I really believed that, why do I have such a hard time allowing myself to do the things I want to?

So, feeling inspired, I decided to go ahead and give the positive-affirmation thing a try. It doesn’t cost me any money and hardly takes up any time (living mindfully on a budget, always); there was no excuse left for me to look past it, so I dusted off my journal and got to work.

What are “Positive Affirmations”?

Positive affirmations are a personal set of mantras that we can repeat to ourselves every day, such as “I am worthy of love and respect” and “I love my body, I take care of my body, and am thankful for everything it does for me.” They are positive phrases that we “affirm,” or proclaim to ourselves on a regular basis. You can choose to affirm the same phrases every day, or change it up based on your needs at the moment. Your positive affirmations should always be written or spoken in the present-tense. For example, if you currently don’t feel wealthy but are looking to become wealthy, don’t write “I will be wealthy.” You are creating your own reality, the main key of affirmations is to state them as if they are true: “I am wealthy.” You are affirming these statements as truths, not possibilities. Affirmations are a form of manifestation; you are declaring these statements as fact, sewing them into the fabric of the universe.

What are they supposed to do?

Check out this article posted earlier this month on The Healthy for expert guidance on the effects of using positive affirmations. In short, many mental-health professionals attest that using these positive mantras on a daily basis are an effective way to nurture a more positive mindset and give you the tools you need to achieve your goals. Our thoughts and emotions dictate our actions and the way that we approach our lives; when you tell yourself enough times that you are confident, it becomes your reality.

But, they're not a bandage

Positive affirmations are part of your greater internal healing. However, if you’re not feeling okay, don’t just affirm to yourself “everything is great and I am perfect”; allow yourself to feel and work through your more trying emotions. Attempting to “correct” your sadness by pretending everything is fine could be considered “toxic positivity.” It isn’t about pretending those feelings aren’t there, it’s about helping you heal through them. Think of positive affirmations as your friend who cheers you on. They’re meant to help you treat yourself the way you deserve, they’re not makeup for your scars.

So, I took a dive into the practice of reciting positive affirmations, and wanted to share with you how it went. Do I think it works?

My experience

As a writer - I first gravitated towards writing down my affirmations, rather than saying them aloud. So, I got started off by compiling a list of universal affirmations that I wanted to assert to myself every single day. I won’t list all of them, I find positive affirmations to be a very personal thing, but a few that I repeat every day are:

  • I am confident in my abilities

  • I love myself

  • I always treat my body with kindness

  • I never judge or punish myself for my missteps, I reflect and grow

  • I attract wealth in a variety of ways

I also decided that I would add in a few extra phrases catered to whatever’s been going on that particular day.

At first, I was writing my daily positive affirmations in my journal before bed, after writing out whatever was on my mind, and before planning out my schedule for the next day. The very first night that I did this, I remember thinking to myself after I’d finished: “this feels really nice.” I tucked myself into bed feeling pretty at ease, and excited for the morning.

By the third day, as I was settling down for the evening, it felt really natural to open up my journal and scribble down a list of affirmations. They were just pouring out of me, based on what had happened to me that day and what I felt like I needed to remind myself of:

  • I am grateful for my amazing loved ones

  • I am talented and love to share my art with others

  • I love being me

  • I always remember to balance work and play

And so on. Already, writing down my positive affirmations felt like a breath of fresh air, like stepping into a hot bath at the end of a long, stressful day.

By the end of the first week, of my own volition I had started to incorporate positive affirmations into my morning in addition to my nightly session. I couldn't help myself, the positivity was addicting. I tapped into my heart at the beginning and end of the day, and wrote down 5-10 affirmations for myself based on how I was feeling or what I was preparing to do. Not only did it feel really refreshing, but that week, I had actually completed almost all of the tasks that I'd set out to do - AND - I didn't feel exhausted by it! Clearly, something had shifted.

Now that it's been several weeks-worth into my practice, I still write my affirmations every night, and in the morning if I feel like I need the extra boost. I prefer doing it at night, because it resets my head at the end of each day and sets me up for a good night's rest, feeling confident and content with my present state.

Major take-aways

So, have I gained everything I've ever wanted and more? No, not yet. But, after a few weeks of incorporating positive affirmations into my every-day routine, I'm starting to understand that I am worthy, and I deserve to let myself go after those things. Do I think they work? Yes. I've been enjoying my work more, and been more consistent about taking care of myself. If you've been having a difficult time finding motivation or sticking with your projects, I do recommend trying to incorporate a positive affirmation practice. It doesn't cost anything, and certainly wouldn't hurt; however, If you are currently working with a therapist, I suggest that you ask them for guidance as to whether they think positive affirmation practice would be beneficial to your mental health, and how to do it in a way that works for you. Personally, I have found it to be a fantastic healing tool for self-care; in combination with other changes that I've made to my daily wellness routine, I have genuinely felt the benefits. Maybe in a few weeks I'll try speaking them aloud, and see how that feels.

If you're ready to try positive affirmations, this article from MindValley provides a great guide for creating your practice. Positive affirmations can be a wonderful way to change your mindset in 2021; you deserve to make your self-care and wellness a priority, so, if you think you might benefit from a daily dose of positivity, give it a shot.

If you're on TikTok, I highly recommend following @raemoonrose for a bit of positive affirmation and self-healing inspiration, her videos are such a refreshing post of positivity on my feed.

Do you recite positive affirmations? Let me know if you decide to try adding them to your practice in the comments below. I hope you're having an amazing week <3

**A note! If you're interested in joining me for some casual morning coffee talk, visit my new YouTube Channel, Broke Goddessery. If you're not already following me on Instagram or Pinterest, I've added those links right here. And of course, if you'd like to be updated every time I upload a blog post (twice a week), check the footer of this page to sign up for the Broke Goddessery email list. Thank you for all of your support, it means so much, I am so glad to have you here.

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