Life isn’t exactly easy, so it’s important to stop for a moment and consider how you are feeling and if you need to focus more on your wellness. One of the reasons we began our bucket list was to improve our mental health, because we found ourselves stuck in the day to day without anything to aspire to.
Making sure you are mentally fit is as important to bucket listing as booking the flight to somewhere incredible. You have to feel safe and happy within yourself, before you can consider anything else.
One great form of self help is introducing positive affirmations into your daily life. You may have heard the term affirmation but you’re not sure what it actually means, well we’re here to explain.
What are positive Affirmations?
So, what exactly is an affirmation? It’s primarily used within the wellness space for terminology which promotes positive thinking and self-empowerment. Most of you will regularly see affirmations on social media, without even realising it. The key is that you focus on the words which will help you transform your negative thoughts and feelings into positive ones. The hope is that by focusing on the positive and being able to adapt your thoughts, you can decrease the negative self-talk which seems to invade our minds on a daily basis.
How you use them and which affirmation you choose is personal and it should reflect on what’s important to you, i.e. what are your goals, interests, core values, aspirations and personal history. We have one which we have individualised, and we choose to say it daily just before we get out of bed.
If you’ve never done anything like this before then the idea of saying something positive about yourself can feel a little uncomfortable. But our advice is to go with it and ‘fake it till you make it’. Why not say your mantra in front of a mirror so you have to face yourself.
Having a tool like this in your wellness kit is ideal for those times when life is demanding and hectic, because we can lose ourselves and focus on our failures. That’s why adapting your brain so that its automatic approach is to focus on the positive, will help you when things are going right, but also when you’re struggling.
Daily affirmations are ideal when you combine them with other self-care practices such as meditation, journalling, and gratitude’s.
If you’re interested in meditation but you have no idea how to begin, then check out our guide on Meditation for Beginners.
Benefits of Adopting Daily Affirmations
We’ve mentioned a little above and we’ll detail more about the process below, but here are a few benefits to adding affirmations to your day.
- You begin your day on a positive note.
- It helps you become more resilient to setbacks, so you can bounce back when things go wrong.
- Improves your self-confidence / self-esteem / self-image / self-worth.
- Converts negative talk in your mind to positive.
- It can impact your physical health, but it is scientifically proven to improve your mental health.
- Can push you to do things you would never normally consider, such as going for that promotion in work. Once you stop the self-sabotage then anything seems possible.
How do Positive Affirmations Work?
The root of how positive affirmations work is mainly to do with the brain and more specifically the neural pathways found in the brain. Neural pathways are a series of connected neurons which send signals from one part of the brain to another. These pathways are dependent on our habits and behaviours, so the more we repeat a thought or action, the stronger they get until they become a physical structure of your brain.
The brain can create and change new neural pathways to adapt to new experiences or when the person learns new information or creates new memories. This is done via a process called neuroplasticity and it allows us to adapt and learn new skills at any age. Again, the stronger the neural pathway the more embedded the thought, belief or behaviour becomes to the brain.
Current research into positive and negative thinking has shown that happier people may be less reactive to emotional stimuli than negative thinkers. This means they can regulate their emotional reaction in stressful situations because they have created self-affirming neural pathways which will activate the brains systems which are responsible for self-processing and valuation.
The key to an affirmation or mantra is that over time it becomes a belief, and they can influence the way we behave in our lives, including what things we focus on. This can be true whether its positive or negative, so it’s important to consider how we view ourselves and the world around us.
Studies have shown that self-affirmation can alter the brains reward system which can be found in the amygdala. Positive thoughts can create associations between positive stimuli and positive outcomes.
All of this means that simply by focusing on your affirmation, you can create a mental environment which pushes you to achieve your goals and dreams, boosts your self confidence and strive for relationships which nurture your soul. All of this can only be a good thing!
Affirmations and Mantras That Will Add Inspiration to Your Life
If you’re thinking that positive affirmations sound great but you have no idea where to begin, then let us help. This list of 100 affirmations or mantras will help you combat the negative and add more joy and confidence to your life. Take a look through and choose one which resonates or get a little greedy and pick a few; because why not, you deserve it. The key is that you realise how incredible you are, and you can only achieve this by repeating it over and over again.
- I believe in myself. I choose myself.
- I am enough. I have enough.
- I am grateful for another day of life.
- I am calm, happy, grateful, and content.
- My life is a gift and I appreciate everything I have.
- I am allowed to ask for what I want and what I need.
- I am allowed to feel good.
- Changing my mind is a strength, not a weakness.
- I am in the right place, at the right time, doing the right thing.
- My only job is to learn and grow.
- My past is not a reflection of my future.
- I am strong enough to make my own decisions.
- I’m courageous and stand up for myself.
- I will succeed today.
- I am worthy of love.
- I love myself deeply.
- I deserve to forgive, and I deserve to feel joy.
- I am proud of myself and my achievements.
- I am worthy of what I desire.
- My body is healthy, and I am grateful.
- All is well.
- Life is about balance and not perfection.
- I’m allowed to take time to heal.
- I am growing and I am going at my own pace.
- I am held and supported by those who love me.
- I am optimistic because today is a new day.
- I can do hard things.
- I am resilient in the face of challenges.
- I do my best, and my best is good enough.
- My potential to succeed is limitless.
- I let go of everything that doesn’t serve me.
- I am close to achieving my goals.
- My life gets better as I get older.
- I can do anything I put my mind to.
- I’m worthy of respect and acceptance.
- I have everything I need to succeed.
- I leave room in my life for spontaneity.
- I let go of the things that sit achingly out of reach.
- I look forward to tomorrow and the opportunities that await me.
- I strive for joy, not for perfection.
- I overcome my fears by getting out of my comfort zone.
- I trust myself to make the right decisions.
- I am safe and supported.
- When I allow my light to shine, I subconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
- My contributions to the world are valuable.
- I have the power to create change.
- Difficult times allow me to appreciate the good times.
- I choose only kind words for myself and others around me.
- I surround myself with positive people who will help bring out the best in me.
- I welcome the wisdom that comes with growing older.
- I will allow myself to evolve.
- My pleasure does not require someone else’s pain.
- My sensitivity is beautiful, and my feelings and emotions are valid.
- My weirdness is wonderful.
- Saying no is an act of self-affirmation too.
- Today is an opportunity to grow and learn.
- Sometimes the work is resting.
- My life is full of amazing opportunities that are ready for me to step into.
- I attract abundance into my life.
- I am blessed with amazing family and friends.
- My needs and wants are important.
- I know exactly what to do to achieve success.
- I make a significant difference in the lives of people around me.
- I am open to new adventures in my life.
- I’m bold, beautiful, and brilliant.
- I’m free to create the life I desire.
- I don’t need someone else to feel happiness.
- I have everything I need to achieve my goals.
- I allow myself to make mistakes as they help me grow.
- I trust that I’m heading in the right direction.
- My body is perfect and how it should be.
- No amount of worrying can change the future.
- I deserve to forgive and be forgiven.
- I will accomplish everything I need to do today.
- I prioritize my well-being.
- Letting go creates space for opportunities to come.
- My heart knows its own way.
- My perspective is unique and important.
- There is peace in changing your mind when it is done in love.
- There is something in this world that only I can do. That is why I am here.
- When I release shame, I love into myself more beautifully.
- When I speak my needs, I receive them abundantly.
- I alone hold the truth of who I am.
- Asking for help is a sign of self-respect and self-awareness.
- Negative thoughts only have the power I allow them.
- I seek out mystery in the ordinary.
- My life is not a race or competition.
- I am listening and open to the messages the universe has to offer me.
- To make small steps toward big goals is progress.
- I am well-rested and excited for the day.
- I am doing the work that works for me.
- I am responsible for myself, and I start there.
- I breathe in trust, I exhale doubt.
- I do not pretend to be anyone or anything other than who I am.
- I have come farther than I would have ever thought possible, and I’m learning along the way.
- I make decisions based on a good gut, I make changes based on a growing heart.
- I make time to experience grief and sadness when necessary.
- I celebrate the good qualities in others and myself.
- I can control how I respond to things that are confronting.
- I am complete as I am, others simply support me.
Sadly, at times we can be our own worst enemies, with thoughts about ourselves being hypercritical. This barrage of self-sabotage can be deeply engrained, but there is a way of changing this and that is through daily positive affirmations.
Starting a daily affirmation may seem a chore, but it’s incredibly easy and something you can do quickly every day. The hardest part is picking one which resonates with you, but you can choose as many as you like and quote whichever one impacts you more that particular day.
It’s amazing how focusing on something positive can turn a difficult day around, especially when it is done regularly. For those of you who struggle with anxiety or depression, this is a great option to add to your toolbox, but it should be noted that it is not a substitute for counselling and therapy when needed. Either way it doesn’t hurt to make better mental habits, especially if they create permanent physical and mental health benefits.
The best part of positive affirmations is they are free, and you can do them anywhere, including your desk at work. No one has to know about it and you’re significantly impacting your brain in a positive way.
If you enjoy focusing on affirmations, then why not write them on a chalk board or on paper and hang them on a wall in your house. Then you’ll see them every time you walk past, and you can remind yourself of how incredible you really are. There is research that suggests if you write down your mantra then you will experience deeper more positive feelings.
The likelihood is that positive affirmations won’t turn your life around immediately and make everything sunshine and rainbows. But over time they can support your efforts to focus on your goals, change destructive behaviours and build your confidence. So why not give them a try and who knows what aspirational bucket list items you will achieve by adopting an optimistic, encouraging, and self-assured mind set.
If you’re looking for inspiration, then check out our Instagram page.