What are positive affirmations?

Positive affirmations are short sayings or phrases to manipulate and alter the way we think of ourselves. Used daily, they can create a new sense of self-worth and self-confidence as well as attracting more positive experience and opportunities to come our way.

Put simply – a positive affirmation changes the way we think from bad to good.

How do affirmations work?

Our thoughts and emotions are, by nature, geared more towards the negative. If you’re familiar with Freud, it would be related to what he referred to as the ‘Id’, our most primal instincts. We often fall back onto negative patterns of thinking to stop any pain or hurt, whether physical or emotional.

Positive affirmations work to change that. Think of it like training your brain, or the ever popular phrase, “fake it ’til you make it”. The more something is repeated, the more you believe it. It’s similar to the analogy many counsellors use that if you’re told not to think of a pink elephant, you will. If you surround yourself with negativity, reiterating negative thoughts, you’ll inevitably feel more negative. Think more positive and you’ll inevitably feel more positive.

How to begin…

Affirmations are a great tool to use in your mindfulness routine, but it can be hard to know where to start.

Start by writing down your one main insecurity – the one most persistent and impactful negative thought and write the opposite. You don’t need to jump exactly to the opposite end of the scale, but changing it from negative to positive, in any way, is what’s important. Repeat it several times to yourself, out loud, either in a mirror or during a moment of meditation. It might take a while, but slowly your thoughts will transform and with them, so will you.


Let’s use one of my own insecurities as an example.

Negative thought: “I’m fat”

Whilst fat is in NO way synonymous with ugly or unlovable, that’s how I feel about myself. To create a positive affirmation from this, I could start my day by saying to myself in the mirror:

“I am worthy of love no matter the size of my body.”


“I am beautiful as I am.”

OR I could combine them:

“I am worthy of love no matter the size of my body, I am beautiful as I am.”

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