How Positive Affirmations Work
What Are Affirmations?
Affirmations are simple statements, sentences that affirm something to be true. Most of our thoughts are basically affirmations: we affirm that it is sunny outside when it is, just as we affirm that I am happy when we are.
We have a lot of thoughts about ourselves, about what we want, how we feel, what we can or can’t achieve in life - some scientists say that we think between 40,000-60,000 thoughts a day, and you can bet that at least half of them are in some way related to ourselves. And that’s a lot of thoughts!
Now the thoughts we have and the words we use to express them, out loud or only in our minds, consciously or not, they all make a stream of affirmations which directly forms and influences our self-image. A huge concentration of negative thoughts related to, say, our ability to find a better paying job creates a belief within our mind that we’re actually unable to do it, and even worse - it makes us lose the will to even try because what the heck, we won’t succeed anyway so why bother. On the other hand, the concentration of positive thoughts related to the same thing motivates us to do what it takes to get a better job because we feel not only capable, but also entitled to it.
This works for every single thing that happens in your life: your professional life, your romantic life, the way you intimately feel about yourself, and the very direction your life will take - it all depends on the predominant thoughts in your mind. Because every affirmation you say to yourself, consciously or not, is both a reflection of your inner truth and the building block which makes that belief stronger.
So basically it all comes to this: your beliefs form your life, and your thoughts form your beliefs. The only way to change your beliefs and your life is to change the thoughts that define your truth, and to create a different stream of your internal affirmations which will motivate you to move forward and to achieve all the things you’re now only dreaming about.
How and Why Positive Affirmations Work?
Imagine if your entire life you were told that you’re beautiful. Your parents, your aunts, your friends, your school teachers – everyone around you helped you form a strong belief that you’re really beautiful, so your self-talk becomes no different: you simply know that it’s true, and your behavior follows. But what if your belief system was fed with another kind of thoughts? Yes, you guessed it right.
Most of us aren’t immune to self-defeating and/or negative thoughts, but at the same time we wish that it could all somehow change: that we were more self-confident, that we had more of an entrepreneurial mindset, that we were able to cope with the challenges in our lives more easily…
Well, our mind can make these changes – we simply have to feed it with different kind of thoughts, and that’s where the affirmations come in.
When faced with statements that affirm something different than we currently believe is true, our subconscious has two choices: to avoid it, or to reconsider its previous beliefs. Its first reaction is usually to stay with its perceived inner truth, especially if the gap is too big, simply because it’s easier, but your job is not to give up before, first, it gets familiar with the idea that the truth might actually be something more beneficial to you, then starts accepting this more positive self-image as quite possibly your own truth, and finally turns it into a belief, a conviction just as strong as if it has been with you your entire life.
So you see, even though you might have been raised to believe that beautiful is something different than you, you can re-program that belief and completely change the way you feel about yourself and, consequently, the way others see you. And the best part is – you can do that with practically anything you’re not happy about in your life!
How Recorded Affirmations Work?
Most people think that reciting the affirmations by themselves is the most effective way for a new, positive beliefs to take root in our minds. This can be true for some people, but the limitation of this approach is that you can’t recite them when there’s someone else in the room, or when you’re doing something else, like when you’re exercising or cooking (too many things to focus on at once).
Recorded affirmations remove these limitations: you can play them whenever you want, as many times as you want – even when you sleep, and they will still have the same beneficial effect. Why?
Well, first of all, all of our affirmations have been professionally recorded so that they reflect the excitement and conviction that they should inspire within you, so that you can identify yourself with them more easily.
Second, even if you’re not consciously paying attention to them, they still enter your subconscious and make changes within it. You will notice that the more you listen to them, you’re feeling less of the resistance you perhaps felt when you just started, and that will be the first proof that they actually do work. Feeling much better about yourself will be the next one, followed by a strong empowering feeling that you can finally change your life the way you’ve always wanted to.
About Our Tenses
Each album consists of three sets of affirmations:
Present tense affirmations
The affirmations in this set usually begin with “I am”, “I choose” and similar statements formulated in the present tense. This set is for you if you feel that the gap between your current beliefs and the ones you want to acquire isn’t too big, so by affirming that the change has already occurred or that it is occurring right now you are only filling the missing blocks of thoughts that should fill the gap and strengthen your conviction.
In other words, if you’re already feeling that the change you want to induce within yourself is possible and on its way, that you’re close to it and that you only need a consistent reminder and focusing – then you won’t go wrong with this set.
Future tense affirmations
This set of affirmations is formulated to help your subconscious get accustomed to the possibility that one day in the near future, you will become the kind of person you want to become and that your life will turn the way you’d like.
This set is for you if you’re right now finding it difficult to believe that what you want is something you can actually have – if your current beliefs are too far from it and if your internal resistance is too strong. If that’s the case, you should first use this set before moving on to one of the other two. It will basically plant the seeds of change within your subconscious and bridge the gap which currently exists.
Natural affirmations are formulated so that they are timeless in a way. There are two cases when this set is a good choice:
- When you want to affirm that you’re so firmly set in your positive belief that it’s all natural, that the change you want to induce is already reflecting on your life so that you don’t need to be actively engaged with it anymore
- When you want to “trick” your mind into believing that something is just a natural behavior (that it’s less scary than you thought, or that it’s commonly accepted, or that it’s a universal truth for example).
That’s why it’s best to use this set in combination with one of the previous two, depending on the way you judge your current state and, of course, the way this set of affirmations makes you feel.
What Is the Best Set for You?
As we have previously explained, each set has its own characteristics but the easiest way to decide which one is currently right for you is to read or listen to all of them once or a few times, and to observe how you feel: the set that resonates with you the most, the one that sounds most natural to you is the one you should go with.
You can also combine two sets and listen to one after another, or in different periods of the day, if you feel that the combination would be the best choice for you. You will most probably not need to listen to all three albums during the same period, but you certainly can if you feel that you need them all.
The Science behind Positive Affirmations
It’s pretty much a matter of common sense that positive thoughts make you feel positive and motivated while negative thoughts deprive you from drive, ambition and generally make your life much worse than it is, and than it could be. But is there some science to back up the statements that affirmations indeed make changes to your brain, your self-image and ultimately your life?
Reciting these positive beliefs is much like working a muscle: the more repetitions you do, the stronger the belief becomes. Neuroscientist Richard Davidson once said: "Our brains are continuously being sculpted, whether you like it or not, wittingly or unwittingly." It's called neuroplasticity, the brain's ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections. In other words, you can relatively easily teach an old brain new tricks!
Another neuroscientist, Andrew Newberg, explains it like this: "The more you focus on something — whether that's math or auto racing or football or God — the more that becomes your reality, the more it becomes written into the neural connections of your brain".
Here are only a few scientific studies that prove the effectiveness of affirmations in different areas of life:
A study from April 2009 shows that self-affirmation can improve willpower and self-control because of a concept known as “ego depletion”: we only have a limited amount of willpower at anytime, so when we use our willpower in one task we are less likely to use it in the next task. However, with positive affirmations we can push ourselves a bit further and exercise willpower and self-control when normally we would be fatigued and tired.
Another study, called Rewriting the Self-Fulfilling Prophecy of Social Rejection researchers found that affirmations can improve our social confidence – the participants of their experiment used the affirmations for only 15 minutes, and the effects lasted for up to two months, demonstrating that “it is indeed possible to rewrite the self-fulfilling prophecy of social rejection”!
With consistency, affirmations can help you make significant and lasting changes to your belief system and improve virtually any area of your life. Feed your mind with healthy thoughts, and the results can only be positive.