What Are Positive Affirmations?

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  • Written By: Marjorie McAtee
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 31 March 2020
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Positive affirmations are positive self-statements that many people use in an attempt to think more positively about themselves or their lives. It is believed that regularly repeating positive affirmations to oneself can, over time, gradually change negative thinking patterns to more positive ones, even if they are rooted in the subconscious mind. Many who use positive affirmations struggle with negative thoughts about themselves, and wish to replace those thoughts with more positive, gentler ones. The use of positive self-talk is said to help improve overall health and well-being, and may even extend life. Changing from a consistently negative to a consistently more positive perspective can help uplift mood, and may help to bring about positive life changes.

There are a number of ways in which positive affirmations can be used to improve negative patterns of behavior. Some people use affirmations in conjunction with self-hypnosis, which is believed to help make the affirmations more effective. Others like to make recordings of themselves repeating the affirmations, and listen to them while they're going about their daily tasks. Some people may simply repeat the affirmations to themselves, either aloud or inwardly, several times daily. Still others like to place notes to themselves around their homes, making the positive affirmations visible throughout the course of daily activities.


Most experts in the use of positive affirmations believe that they should be constructed and used in a certain manner in order for maximum effectiveness. The ideal positive affirmation is believed to be a sensible one, since it is believed that the subconscious mind will automatically ignore positive affirmations that do not seem plausible. These affirmations should, however, remain positive, rather than negative in nature, and should contain an element of hopefulness and optimism.

It's generally considered important to put some thought into what kind of positive changes and attitudes one desires before choosing a positive affirmation or affirmations. Different people have different goals for self-improvement, so positive affirmations are usually very personalized. These goals should generally be boiled down into a single statement, that is positive in nature. Those who wish to use positive self-statements for self-improvement are generally advised to structure their self-statements as though the desirable state of affairs has already come to pass. It's generally considered best to avoid negative grammatical constructions, and to express what is desired rather than what is not desired.



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