Lots of people are using positive affirmations in their daily life to help them reach their goals – and people connected to this website will find a host of Affirmations and resources here. But affirmations are MUCH more than motivational slogans.

There is plenty of scientific evidence to show how and why affirmations work on your subconscious mind. There are even health benefits to using affirmations, including help with healing anxiety, depression, changing your mindset, and eliminating toxicity.

The research that supports the use of affirmations tends to fall into two camps: psychological theory and neuroscience. Stay with me as we explore these aspects a little further.

Affirmations and Your Identity – Self-affirmation Theory

black and red floral happy birthday cardMost forms of psychological therapy or counseling are based on the idea that you can improve your mental health by changing your view of yourself. You can change your mental script about who you are, and you can bolster your self-esteem by acknowledging and focusing on the positive aspects of your being to become more confident about your capabilities.

Self-affirmation theory asserts that your self-identity is flexible and that you can change your view of yourself as a person. This means you can choose to see yourself as strong, smart, and capable of doing whatever you want. And this is where affirmations that align with your personal values can be particularly powerful.

Affirmations and Your Brain

There is increasing research that shows the physical impact of affirmations on the structure of your brain. When you practice positive affirmations, you are introducing new concepts to your brain and opening new neural pathways. This is what helps to change your mindset from negative self-doubt to positive confidence. Scientists have mapped the changes that occur in the brain when we choose to move to a more optimistic frame of mind that builds and reinforces those new neural pathways.

When you think about your own personal values, you are activating the part of your prefrontal cortex that is involved in self-related processing of information and positive valuation. Repeating your affirmations regularly throughout your day and continuing the practice (over at least 30 to 60 days) keeps activating this part of your brain, reinforcing positive self-identity.

Affirmations and Your Physical Health

woman wearing black sports braScience has also proved some surprising physical health benefits of consistently practicing positive affirmations.

Daily practice of affirmations has a measurable impact on your resilience and how well you deal with stress. In addition to having a positive effect on depression and anxiety, regular and consistent use of affirmations can help lower your levels of cortisol and adrenaline, both harmful stress hormones. As your stress response declines, your heart rate and blood pressure will decrease, reducing your risk of stroke and heart attack. People who use affirmations are also more likely to lead healthier lifestyles, exercise more, and eat a healthy diet.

Science shows us that we have nothing to lose and everything to gain by using positive affirmations daily. If you’re not currently engaged in a consistent practice of using positive affirmation, I encourage you to start right away. You can begin today – you’ll find in the section marked “Related Posts” below several posts from the blog that have specific affirmations targeted to areas of your life, and that provide immediately applicable information on how to put affirmations to work for you.

Don’t wait another day, or even another moment – check the posts below and get started!

About the Author Dianne Daniels

Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan and a current resident of Norwich, Connecticut, Dianne M. Daniels empowers women 35+ to uplift their Souls, build healthy Self Esteem, and deepen Self-Discovery & Self-Knowledge with the proven practices of Affirmations and Journaling.

Dianne is a Unitarian Universalist Minister and holds a Master of Divinity degree from Starr King School for the Ministry. She's an avid reader, a lover of old houses (she currently lives in an 1850s vintage Greek Revival home with her family), and proudly serves her community as a Registrar of voters.

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