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The Power of Positive Affirmations

Positive Self Affirmation – What, Why, and How?

We wouldn’t think twice about giving encouragement to friends and family, but the majority of us can probably admit that we very rarely encourage ourselves (if at all). Positive affirmations are positive statements used to motivate and encourage, and ‘self’ obviously means you are directing these statements to yourself. They are reminders to yourself of the positive things in your life, whether that’s personal qualities or the people you are surrounded by. 

Research has shown that using positive affirmations can improve your feelings of self-worth. If you often find yourself engaging in negative self-talk, positive affirmations can help to replace these thoughts with more helpful ones. They have also been found to reduce stress, and to view ‘threatening’ messages (e.g. the graphic images on cigarette packets) with less resistance. In relation to that last benefit, the use of positive affirmations has been found to increase adherence to healthy living interventions.

Try picking two or three positive affirmations that feel like a good fit to you. They need to be a genuine reflection of what you think about yourself, not something you do not really believe. Then start repeating them each day in whichever way you see fit. For example, you could write them down in a journal before you go to bed or say them out loud when you get up in the morning. There is no right or wrong as this is truly a personal exercise.

Here are a few examples to get you thinking (but remember, they need to feel right for you);

  • I am confident in my ability to stand up for myself
  • I feel proud of myself when I start new tasks straight away
  • I accept my emotions and let them serve their purpose
  • My drive and ambition allow me to achieve my goals
  • I put energy into things that matter to me
  • I am grateful to have people in my life who make me laugh
  • I am at peace with who I am as a person
  • I believe in myself, and trust my own wisdom
  • I am confident and capable in what I do

You may not feel a difference straight away, but keep at it as regular practice is required to make long-term changes to how you feel. It is easy to be put off by this practice as it sounds quite self-indulgent and awkward (no one likes the idea of bigging themselves up!), but positive affirmations are not statements declaring yourself an exceptional person. Instead, you are focusing on being competent across a number of areas that you personally value in order to be a good, moral, person. 

So give it a go and see if you can feel the benefits!

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An attitude of Gratitude


The idea behind a gratitude journal is taking time to stop, notice and reflect upon the things you are thankful for, no matter how big or small. Doing this daily can increase well-being and life satisfaction.

Try to notice new things your grateful for everyday – it may seem hard at first but with practice you will start seeing more of the good and less of the bad. Little by little how you perceive situations will change as you have adjusted your focus.

Be more specific with your gratitude – such as a moment that occurred in the day. Rather than saying I am grateful for my health, be more specific about something that happened that day or week.

Try to think beyond yourself and look for examples outside of us that we can be grateful for.

If journaling isn’t for you then maybe have a gratitude jar and some paper, when you feel grateful for something write it down and put it in the jar. Then every few months you can go over what you wrote to remind yourself of the good things.

How to have more gratitude everyday

Appreciate everything – Don’t be picky and look for the big things in life, you can be grateful for a clear day to go outside, a good nights sleep, a word of encouragement from a friend or having no dishes to wake up to one morning.

Find gratitude in your challenges – what have you faced in the past that you are grateful for today? What challenges lay ahead? What can you be grateful for in the midst of adversity?

Share it with others – express yourself and show your gratitude to the people in your life. Tell them, it will lift their day and yours as well.

Volunteer – giving of your time to help others in your community. No matter what’s happening there is always someone you can help. You don’t necessarily have to look very far to help out. You could go shopping for a neighbour, offer to take their bins out if they are unable to, cook them a meal or make yourself available for a weekly chat if they are lonely. It takes our mind off our own problems; it will make you more grateful for the things you have; and it makes a difference in that persons day or week.


Improves physical health

Improves mental health

Enhances empathy and reduces aggression

Improves sleep

Improves self esteem

Increases mental strength

Give it a go and see if it makes a difference