With a little bit of positive thinking, you can change your mindset and have a sunnier outlook.
Imagine that it’s midweek and your to-do list seems like it will never end. Instead of making plans for the weekend, you can only think about how you’ll never get everything done. Don’t let negative thoughts ruin your week. Instead, turn your attitude around with positive affirmations.
What are positive affirmations?
“Positive affirmations are short, empowering statements we repeat to ourselves to overcome negative thoughts and attitudes,” says Lynne Ann Gallagher, outpatient pediatric therapist at Geisinger Health Plan.
This form of self-talk can help reframe your mentality, recognize your strengths and even boost your confidence. When you start believing in the words, they can inspire you to make meaningful changes or work toward an achievement.
Harnessing the power of positivity
Getting started is simple. And it only takes a few minutes.
“Think about something you’d like to achieve,” Ms. Gallagher says. “It could be landing a job, reaching a specific goal or changing a behavior.”
After you’ve focused on a target, make a short list of positive statements related to that change.
Consider using “I” or “me” statements to make them more personal. And focus on messages that are motivating and empowering. Examples of powerful affirmations include:
- I can do anything I put my mind to.
- I am strong/beautiful/capable.
- Today I will have a good day.
- Each day brings me closer to my goals.
- I will achieve my goal.
After you’ve built your list of statements, it’s time to put them into action. Plan a designated time to say your affirmations. That could be when you wake up, before bed or at the end of your workday. Take a few minutes to breathe and state your affirmations out loud. Repeat them a few times to help you focus. “The more a statement is said or heard, the truer it becomes,” says Ms. Gallagher.
And if you’d rather not speak them out loud, consider writing them down. Display them in a spot you use regularly, like on your mirror or in your home office. To take things further, try to visualize what your goal looks like. That visualization can keep the goal at the front of your mind.
The benefits of positive self-talk
Encouraging self-talk shapes your beliefs and thoughts. And a little positivity goes a long way. Just a few short daily affirmations can do more than you think.
Disrupting negative thinking patterns
Stuck in your own head? Try saying a few positive words to reframe things. For example, if you think your entire day is ruined because you woke up late, try focusing on the things that went right. Maybe you found time to work on a special project or got the garage cleaned out. And if your to-do list feels overwhelming, focus on the things that need to be done the soonest and leave the rest for later. “This can help provide a sense of control, especially in stressful situations,” Ms. Gallagher says.
Giving yourself grace
If you’ve dealt with setbacks lately, saying some affirmations can help you be gentle on yourself. Choose to focus on the fact that you’re human and the situation is temporary. Reminding yourself that we all encounter roadblocks from time to time can help you see yourself with more compassion, even in challenging circumstances.
We all feel down on ourselves at times. If you need a boost, focus on a few things you love about yourself. If you’re having a good hair day, say it out loud. Tell yourself you love your smile. Or mention when you feel like you’ve done a good job. Homing in on the things that make you feel good can release hormones that boost your mood, like serotonin and dopamine. Those happy hormones can give you a much needed lift. And help you build confidence by concentrating on the positives.
If you want to conquer an important project, think about your strengths. Then talk about them. Whether it’s your ability to stay cool under pressure or your spreadsheet skills, remembering those attributes can help you ace whatever task lies ahead.
Talk the talk
If you’re ready to add some positive self-talk to your life and you’re not sure where to begin, browse the web. You’ll find examples of positive phrases and ideas to help you get started. You’ll be on your way to a better attitude in no time.