Positive Affirmations That Actually Work
Have you ever tried repeating positive affirmations to yourself? I have. Years ago I gave my best effort at practicing morning affirmations. I had found a list. It was probably on Pinterest. The sentences of positive affirmations for women were jaw-droppingly beautiful. The list included thoughts like:
- I believe in myself!
- I am worthy of love and attention!
- My body is full of energy and strength!
- I am a sexy goddess and embody the energy of the universe!
I closed my eyes and repeated these mantras to the point of frustration. My thoughts about the experience? This sucks. This. Is. Stupid. I can’t do this.
I knew in my head these things were supposed to be true. But when I said the words out loud they felt clumsy and rehearsed. The fact that I wasn’t magically feeling full of love and light only further contributed to my feelings of helplessness and anxiety.
Have you ever felt this way?
Have you ever thought, “Affirmations suck!”
Positive Affirmations For Women…
But not for me.
Over the years I’ve realized something about these statements of affirmation. It’s not that these affirmations are bad or wrong. It’s that they are not my affirmations. They are someone else’s. Some woman who had the energy to type them up and make a pretty post on Pinterest. I want to give this woman a big high-five. Truly! I do!
But I don’t talk like this person, ever. To be totally honest, my most inner-coach voice tends to curse a lot. She’s fiery, let me tell you. And she speaks directly to me, never using I-statements. She says things like “You’ve fu##cking got this!” (Not, “I’ve got this.”).
Making My Own Positive Affirmations For Anxiety
Something inside of me liked the idea of affirmations. I mean, I talk to myself all day long. I bet you do too. I talk to myself about lots of things regarding my mental health. These conversations range from how I am feeling and if I want to feel differently or how I’ll take better care of myself and my family. I have conversations with myself about:
- Whether I’ll go to yoga or not to reduce stress.
- What I’ll make for dinner (a tough call if I’m struggling with brain fog that day).
- Showing up for my kiddos even though I feel anxiety about my productivity.
- How early to get out of bed for self-care before my toddler is awake.
How You Talk To Yourself Is Important
I know I can talk myself into something or out of something. This talking-to-myself… It’s kind of a big deal. And how you talk to yourself is a big deal too. Your self-talk could walk you into more anxious feelings. Or it could contribute to your self-care, focus and coping skills. But you get to choose and practice how you talk to yourself. That’s powerful!
Personally, doing positive affirmations for motherhood was especially important during my postpartum. Whether it was the baby-blues, PPD or postpartum anxiety (I experienced all three) being able to affirm my experiences helped me connect to my experience and my needs for self care. Along with getting my own therapy for depression and anxiety these affirmations became part of my recovery.
Create Your Own Positive Affirmations For Anxiety
It was time to fix my relationship with positive affirmations and my morning affirmation practice. I learned a few things along the way. These simple steps have been game changers. These steps have taken my positive affirmations from stupid to second nature. They’ve ignited my productivity and empowered me through my most difficult moments. My positive affirmation changed my relationship with myself and the dreams I have for my life.
Now before this all sounds too good to be true (believe me, I still think most affirmations are ridiculous), let me ask you this:
- What would change if you talked to yourself with kindness, acceptance and grace?
- What would it sound like if you were your own most encouraging, most honest inner coach?
- How would it feel to experience yourself as valuable and worthy, even on your worst days.
- What if you stopped borrowing other people’s truths and discovered your own? Would you feel a fire under your feet to live differently?
- What is it worth to learn how to do this once and have the skills for the rest of your life?
If you want to learn the specific steps I took to rewrite my inner dialogue, reduce shame, shake guilt and create a powerful momentum in my life then read on. I am here to pass the knowledge on to you! These are not the only steps I took but they did lay the ground word what would become my practice of personal affirmations.
Step 1: Morning affirmations, every day.
I highly recommend practicing your affirmations in the morning. They are a great way to start the day. Imagine if the first words you heard each day were loving and encouraging. Not, “What time do you need to be in the office?” or “I don’t want to go to school today!”
Let the day begin with you giving yourself a little love and boost to your self-esteem. But regardless of the time you choose, just pick one and do it every day. Commit.
Step 2: Speak directly to yourself with positive affirmations.
Some people like to use “I-statements” They use affirmations such as “I can do this.” But I prefer to use “you-statements” I like to look at myself in the mirror and tell myself “You can do this.” It’s like hearing how my best friend would talk to me.
There is no right or wrong way to speak to yourself. Experiment with both styles of positive affirmations and go with what feels best to your emotional health.
Step 3: Set a timer for positive affirmations.
This step is so basic but it made a real difference for me. I set a timer for 1 minute on my phone. I knew that whether I had a lot or a little to say, I was going to show up for myself for exactly 1 minute.
In the beginning this held me accountable. Some days I didn’t have much to say. I simply looked at my reflection with loving kindness. Other days the timer would beep but I was on such a roll I’d do positive affirmations for 2.. 3… 4 minutes! Using the time helped me see that I was getting more comfortable showing up for myself.
Are You Ready To Practice Positive Affirmations For Anxiety?
In the end, there is no one way to do morning affirmations. There is no right or wrong way. There is only what works for you. Pay attention to your results. How is your struggle with anxiety? If you struggle with depression, notice if you feel more hopeful after your morning affirmation practice. Are you more gracious with yourself when your PTSD symptoms are triggered? Practicing positive affirmations can have these wonderful effects on your mental health.
So what do you have to lose? Think of those questions I asked earlier. What would change if you talked to yourself with kindness, acceptance and grace? I wonder if deep down you know exactly what you need to hear on your hardest days. I encourage you to breathe. Pay attention to what you most want to hear and then say it to yourself. Positive affirmations for women can be game changing if only you are willing to experiment.