Shifting Your Mindset With Affirmations
It is just as important to take care of our mental health as it is to take care of our physical health. Mental health issues have increased during the last year due to the many challenges people faced worldwide and personally. Anxiety and depression are two of the most common mental health illnesses in the United States. Now more than ever, it is important to make sure that we are taking care of our mental health and learning strategies to help us to do so. Incorporating positive affirmations into your life can be an effective way to help take care of your mental health by changing the way you view your life and increasing resilience during stressful times.
What are Affirmations?
Affirmations are encouraging statements that are used to create more positive thoughts and attitudes. These statements can be said out loud or written down and have the ability to change a person’s frame of mind, which can lead to a plethora of benefits including improved confidence and decreased stress. When you take the time to foster positive thoughts into your mind, it can help you shift away from negative thoughts and fixation on stress. There are lots of different types of affirmations to choose from; it is important to find ones that resonate with you and your goals. Depending on the affirmations that you choose, you can increase your confidence, motivation, and positivity while reducing stress and worries.
Check out the list of affirmations below. Maybe even say some out loud to inspire yourself!
1. I am strong and determined.
2. I will have an amazing day.
3. I am capable of achieving my goals.
4. I believe in myself.
5. I am doing my best and I am proud of myself.
6. I will be kind to myself and others today.
7. I make a difference in this world by being in it.
8. I acknowledge and accept my emotions and will let them go.
9. I trust that I am on the right path.
10. I am learning valuable lessons from new experiences.
Positive Impact on the Brain
These short statements may seem silly to some, but science supports that they have the ability to impact our thoughts! According to a study from Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, self-affirmation activates brain systems associated with self-processing and reward or valuation. In this study scientists separated participants into two different groups: participants who practiced affirmations and a control group. MRI data showed that affirmed participants had significantly greater activity in the reward centers of the brain when exposed to everyday scenarios as compared to the control group. In other words, you could say those in the affirmed group went through the day with a more positive view than those who did not use affirmations.
How to Include These in Your Day
You can include affirmations in a variety of ways. Try to add affirmations into your daily routine so that they become a habit. You can say your affirmations to yourself in the mirror each morning as you get ready or write them down in a journal at night before bed. For those on the go, keeping a list of powerful affirmations in the notes section of your phone that you can refer to can also be effective. Can't remember to say your affirmations? Set a reminder on your phone to take a five minute break and complete this mental health exercise. There are many fun and easy ways to incorporate affirmations into your routine. Get creative with them and try to find what works best for you!
Challenge yourself to incorporate affirmations into your daily routine to improve your thoughts and mental health. Affirmations really are such a powerful tool that can reinforce hope and positivity in your life.
Written by: Kylie Stupalski, Wellness Workdays Dietetic Intern