How to Make Affirmations Work for You

How to Make Affirmations Work for You

Affirmations are positive statements about yourself that you repeat in your order to change your thought patterns and achieve your goals. They’re kind of like mental push-ups that train your brain to think in more positive ways, which will, in turn, have a positive impact on your life. Affirmations have been shown to help reduce stress and anxiety, which is important to your overall wellness at any stage of life.

First, in order for affirmations to work for you, you need to cultivate a healthy sense of self-esteem. Self-esteem is your perception of and relationship with yourself. People with high self-esteem believe that they are capable, and are more resilient when faced with new challenges. Low self-esteem can make it more difficult to overcome challenges and may cause you to avoid challenges, which will only worsen your self-esteem.

Your self-esteem will fluctuate based on different scenarios, so don’t expect to have positive self-esteem 100% of the time! Developing self-esteem is a practice of developing self-compassion and learning not to be too critical of yourself.

In order to increase your self-esteem, you first need to identify what false, negative beliefs you hold about yourself. Thought awareness is an important aspect to developing healthy self-esteem and identifying these beliefs. Practice noticing your thoughts: What thoughts are recurring? When do you experience certain negative thoughts most frequently? What belief is underlying these thoughts? Meditation is one way to learn to notice your thoughts and the beliefs that inform them.

Next, it’s important to acknowledge your positive attributes. Write them down and read them to yourself. This is when you can begin to use positive affirmations to change your internal dialogue. You should also be careful and notice the words you use to talk about yourself and your life to others; avoid self-deprecating talk. Additionally, notice the relationships in your life that make you feel capable, confident, and strong. Avoid relationships with people that make you feel like you’re less.

Now, it’s time to create your affirmation! Pick one that’s meaningful to you and your current goal. Perhaps, you’re trying to get pregnant, or you’re struggling to breastfeed. Create the affirmation using a present statement, such as “I am,” “I know,” or “My body is.” This practice helps trick your mind into thinking that what you want has already been accomplished!

Believe in your affirmation, and try to visualize your affirmation as if it were true. How would you feel? What would your body feel like? Enjoy the positive, warm emotions that flood over you as you think about your affirmation. Rest in those feelings. If you’re not feeling positive right away or believing your affirmation, pretend as if it were true and as if you believed. What you feed grows, and eventually, you’ll feel more confident about yourself and your affirmation.

Repeat your affirmation at least 5-10 times a day. You can your affirmations in the morning, at night, or at any time of day. Just make sure that you’re doing them every day.

Here are some affirmations to try for your stage of life:

Fertility:

My body was created to bring new life into the world.

My body is ready for a baby.

My body is fertile.

I am ready to be a mother.

(P.S. We have a great blog post about fertility affirmations.)

Pregnancy:

My body was made to support life.

I am strong.

My baby is healthy.

I am ready for motherhood.

Postpartum:

I am a good mother.

I am capable.

My body is healthy.

My mind is calm.

Nursing:

I can provide for my baby.

My baby gets everything he/she needs from me.

My body knows how to nourish my baby.

I am capable of breastfeeding my baby.

Source: MindTools.com, SkillsYouNeed.com, MayoClinic.org, verywellfamily.com, PubMed.gov, Fertility Centers of Illinois, verywell family, MindTools.

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