What Are Power Affirmations?

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  • Written By: B. Miller
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 02 January 2019
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Power affirmations are mental tools that people use to increase self confidence, or help them to view situations in a more positive light. An individual might find a certain phrase, or even just a word, that makes him or her feel calmer, braver, or more powerful, and may repeat it to herself throughout the day, or in a challenging situation to access those feelings. Research has shown that positive thinking itself is very powerful, and can be helpful in reducing stress and anxiety in certain situations. Power affirmations are a natural extension of this, and are often encouraged by psychologists, life coaches, or other people in the business of helping individuals change their perceptions of their own lives.

The power affirmations that work for one person may not work for another; it is important for each person to find a short phrase that works for him or her. In general, it is best to use a positive phrase rather than a negative one. For example, even though, "I won't fail," and, "I will succeed," mean essentially the same thing, "I will succeed" is a positive statement that boosts the self-esteem, whereas "I won't fail" is a more negative statement that is more likely to generate tension and fear. It is generally possible to rewrite nearly any statement to make it positive and active rather than negative and passive.


Repeating power affirmations will, theoretically, change the way the mind perceives certain things over time. People who are constantly negative and down on themselves may find that it takes a significant period of time to change these thoughts, but it can be done. It is important not just to repeat the affirmation without any feeling behind it, however. Each time the affirmation is said, whether it is said silently in one's mind or aloud, it should be said with conviction and a belief that it is true.

Even if power affirmations do not change the way an individual thinks, they have another important effect on the brain, which is redirecting the attention in the short term. It is much more difficult to be anxious or scared if an individual is thinking "I am strong and confident," or, "I can do it." Combining positive affirmations with deep, calming breaths is another way to stop anxiety or panic attacks in their tracks. Some people find that writing their own affirmations is most effective, while others prefer to use favorite quotes of others; there is really no right or wrong way to do it.



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