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The Strength in Positive Affirmations

"I am capable; I am enough."

Words often hold power over our actions. When we start our day with negative self-talk, we often succumb to that negativity and, inevitably, feel the effects. When we take time to focus on our strengths, goals, and the present mindset; we stray away from automatic negative thoughts, worry, and self-doubt. What is a positive affirmation? A positive affirmation is exactly how it sounds. They are statements focusing on inner strengths and goals designed to ignite inner happiness. They fight off self-sabotaging statements and thoughts, and promote positive thinking. Positive affirmations are magic words that help us reframe thoughts to cause change and benefit ourselves. They can also be a wonderful way to calm the mind in moments of overwhelming anxiety. You can often check in with yourself using a positive affirmation statement, reminding your mind and body of what is happening in the present and what you are capable of. How do you create a positive affirmation statement? There are a number of ways to find a statement to use to confirm and build upon your best qualities, as well as help distress and de-clutter your mind. First, you can start by listing all of your positive qualities, ie: creative, hard-working, passionate, empathetic, kind, genuine, friendly, determined, funny, etc. You can keep going until you've run out of words! This simple act of thinking out and physically writing down your strengths can help boost self-esteem. Second, determine whether a simple statement or a more in depth sentence will be helpful for you to remember. Sometimes, lengthy statements can be stimulating, but often harder to hold onto. This statement will be like a mantra--one you will repeat in times of stress. Next, narrow your list down to one (or two or three if you decide to make a more detailed affirmation) positive characteristic. Continue by adding "I am...," or, "I will continue to be...," in front of your chosen words. Finally, formulate your statement! Some examples may be: -I am strong enough to get through this -I am kind -I never give up -I am determined -I find the good in things -I am friendly -I am loved -I have so much love to give When can you use a positive affirmation statement? Anytime. But these statements are often most effective as reminders in times of struggle and stress. We tend to focus on the difficulties and disregard our strengths when enduring painful and anxiety provoking experiences. Having a statement to rely on can serve as a reminder of factual strengths. We are not telling ourselves lies; we are focusing on truths we often forget. When someone struggles with anxiety, they ruminate on automatic negative thoughts. Challenging those thoughts by reframing and bringing attention and awareness to present strengths can be helpful. These statements can help focus the mind, and ground us when feeling out of control with those anxious thoughts. When you feel yourself digging deeper into the negative thought process, utilize your affirmation statement. Repeat it as many times as needed for you to focus on said statement and self-regulate. These affirmation statements not only help improve self-esteem, but also provide grounding to bring awareness back to the present. Positive affirmation statements can be as creative, fun, and simple as you want them to be. They are words with power to change mindsets and ease the mind at the same time.

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