If you’ve been struggling with self-esteem and self-confidence lately, we hear you, and we see you. Self-care and self-love are both incredibly difficult to achieve in a world where there’s always another hurdle to overcome. But one practice that can help is affirmations.
What are affirmations, and what are the benefits?
Affirmations are positive statements we repeat to ourselves to boost our confidence, increase self-love, and improve our mental and emotional well-being. They might sound cheesy, especially if you’re not used to speaking out loud to yourself. But just think of affirmations as a way to hype yourself up.
For example, if you’ve ever heard the gospel song “Encourage Yourself” by Donald Lawrence and the Tri-City Singers, it’s the perfect melody for capturing the amazing things that can happen when you speak over yourself in a positive manner. (Listen to it here.)
Research has shown that affirmations can have a powerful impact on our lives, and it’s not just a placebo effect either. One study published in the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience found that when people practiced self-affirmation, they showed reduced neural responses to social threats in the brain.
So, for example, instead of interpreting a stranger’s face as mean, people who use affirmations are more likely to view the perceived “threat,” aka, the stranger’s face, as someone who’s just lost in their own world. In other words, affirmations can help us feel less stressed and anxious in unclear or difficult social situations.
Another study published in the journal Psychological Science found that affirmations can help boost our performance, while another discovered that affirmations help us stop ruminating, lower stress, and promote optimism. Clearly, these positive mantras are small but mighty acts of self-care!
How to create your own empowering affirmations:
So, how can we use affirmations to improve our mental and emotional well-being?
One way is to focus on the negative self-talk that already runs through your head and rework that thought into an empowering affirmation. For example, instead of saying, "I am not good enough," repeat affirmations like, "I am more than enough, and I am deserving of love and respect."
Here are a few more examples of affirmations that you can use:
- I am strong and resilient.
- I am beautifully and wonderfully made.
- I am proud of who I am and where I come from.
- I am deserving of success and happiness.
- I am surrounded by an overflow of love and support.
Of course, these are just a few examples. The key is to choose affirmations that resonate with you personally and don’t be afraid to make them your own.
Simply start by thinking about what you want to affirm to yourself and write it down in a positive, present-tense statement. For instance, if you want to feel more confident in your workplace, you might write, "I am confident and capable of performing to the best of my abilities at work."
Once you've created your affirmations, make a habit of repeating them to yourself daily. And that’s it! You can say them out loud or silently to yourself, whichever feels more comfortable. But what you’ll find is the more you repeat them, the more they will become ingrained in your mind and help boost your self-esteem and well-being.
Ready to add affirmations to your self-care bag?
We’re rooting for you! Let us know how it goes in the comments.
P.S. You can wear positive affirmations out loud and proud with Chocolate in the City apparel. Learn about our clothing line, faith-based products, Black pride t-shirts, and more here: chocolateinthecity.com.