Repeat after us.

Words byHayley Hayley

We are far more powerful than we think. We’re stronger than we know, and our thoughts have the capacity to shape our lives and change how we move through the world. Though it might sound like some intangible, unattainable approach, living life positively – with self-love and positive thinking – is totally within reach.

If you ever read The Secret, the idea that the repetition of positive statements and optimistic thinking can change your life probably isn’t foreign to you. The echoes of these statements (whether spoken aloud or written in a journal) burrow deep into your subconscious. They uproot toxic thoughts, deep-seated insecurities and uncertainty and replace them with hope and light.

And while it certainly sounds like magic, there is actually a scientific basis for the power of affirmations. These self-encouragements influence our neural pathways, effectively rewiring our brains. Studies have shown that neural pathways increase, and are even visible on MRI scans, when people regularly engage in affirmation practice.

When we speak positively to ourselves, we influence our minds. And when we influence our minds, we are better able to get the results we want.

Often, it’s easy to get distracted from our goals or dreams, but when we practice affirmations and really lean into magical thinking, we become more motivated and highly focused. Thinking about what we want regularly and saying it out loud keeps our ambitions at the forefront of our minds. It holds us accountable.

No matter where you want to make a change in your life, you can probably feel the positive impact of affirmations. Issues with self-esteem, money, stress, emotional resilience and relationships, romantic or otherwise, are all great for starting to flex those affirmation muscles. But the key is to really believe what you’re saying. Because if your affirmation feels too far from the truth, it won’t work and can even have the opposite effect.

So, how do you do it?

  1. Figure out where you’re struggling and where you’d like to make a change.
  2. Determine your ideal end result. What do you want your affirmation to help you feel or do?
  3. Always use the first person. This could be anything from “I am capable.” to “I will love myself.”
  4. Look at your affirmation again. Is it positive? Or is it underscored with negativity? Rather than saying something like “I don’t want to be bored at work.” try something like “I will find fulfilment in my life, whether at work or outside it.”
  5. Repeat, repeat, repeat. Set a reminder on your phone or place a journal by your toothbrush. The more often you work with your affirmations, the more effective they’ll be!