Every second and minute of the day, our body, feelings, actions, and emotions constantly change in response to the thoughts that run through our minds. The human mind is so powerful that it can generate thoughts far beyond our understanding. Our thoughts, feelings, and actions are closely related; that when our mind produces negative or positive thoughts, it causes your brain to send signals releasing neurotransmitters that will indicate your mood and how you are feeling. Good thoughts bring about positive feelings, while negative emotions develop from negative thoughts. Want to learn more about the impact of affirmations on your mental health? Then keep reading to find out more!
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The power of our minds
Because of how powerful the mind is, over time, with repetition (something done through neuroplasticity), it has been proven that your thoughts can change your brain. So what you think, visualize, and say to yourself can change your life.
One way to channel this power is through the use of positive affirmations. Despite how simple this gesture may seem, it holds a lot of power because it can help us respond less defensively and less resistant to life challenges we encounter.
Affirmations can be used as one mental health tool that can help you develop a healthy sense of self, build more resilience, and harness a well-rounded mental health.
Understanding affirmations and mental health
Affirmations, also known as positive affirmations or positive self-talk, are thoughts you intentionally come up with that helps you to overcome negative thoughts that are self-sabotaging and negatively impact your mental health. These positive thoughts can also help support, encourage, and calm the mind and body. In a nutshell, it is pretty much anything you say or think in a positive manner that will help to retrain and influence your thinking patterns, behavioral habits, and your mood.
“Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.”
Affirmations and the subconscious mind
In psychology, the subconscious is the part of the mind that is not currently in focal awareness. According to Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalytical theory of personality, “the unconscious mind is defined as the reservoir of feelings, thoughts, urges, and memories, that is outside of conscious awareness. It is a data bank that stores your beliefs, previous experiences, memories, and skills. Everything you have seen, done, or thought is also there. It is your guidance system.”
The function of your subconscious mind is to store and retrieve data. The conscious mind houses all your thoughts and actions that you are aware of, while the subconscious mind is where your memories are stored, your habits exist, and your actions are on autopilot. The subconscious mind makes everything you do and say fit a pattern consistent with who you are as an individual.
This is why positive affirmations are so effective because any thought that is repeated continuously will make an imprint on the subconscious mind. The more you say or think something, the more your subconscious mind will adapt and accept it. With repetition, affirmations can help reprogram your thought patterns into positive and uplifting ones and help to enhance your overall mental health.
With that in mind, your subconscious mind will act on any request you make. It will make sure that you respond precisely the way you are programmed. It does not have the power to think or reason independently. It obeys the commands received from your conscious mind.
The impact of positive affirmations on your mental health
Good mental health depends on a positive outlook and having a good sense of self-awareness. This allows you to become more in tune with reading and understanding your emotions and how your thoughts influence your feelings, mental health, and outlook on life.
Becoming intentional with developing a positive outlook on life while practicing positive affirmations can have a beneficial impact on your mental health in many ways:
- It can help to decrease negative stress
- With lowered stress, it can also help to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression
- It can increase feelings of hopefulness
- It can help to treat people with low self-esteem, depression, and other mental health conditions
- It can help you perform better at work and life
- Under high levels of stress, it can help you remain calm while boosting your confidence
- It can help you cope with everyday challenges
Are affirmations alone enough?
Positive affirmations are an excellent tool for shifting your mindset and reprogramming your thought patterns into healthier ones. Still, affirmations alone are not good enough because it is not a magic pill to heal and have more restorative mental health.
Repetitions of affirmations encourage your mind to respond positively where you genuinely believe what you are saying. But actions are required for it to be fully effective. Affirmations boost your mood, your thoughts, and feelings, but you still have to take some action yourself. Affirmations are a step towards change, but it is not the change itself. What you do as a follow-up action will help anchor you and build your mental health.
For example, an affirmation that says, “I am calm even when I am upset,” should lead you to do deep breathing, yoga, walking, or grounding exercises. This action, combined with your affirmation, is what will help you push through the stressful situation you just encountered. Therefore, with Affirmations plus actions comes power!
Why are affirmations so powerful?
Affirmations help bring us new beginnings and change our thought patterns to positive things. Affirmations are effective because of the impact it has on our subconscious mind. The subconscious and conscious mind are connected. When you consciously repeat your positive affirmations to yourself and genuinely believe what you are saying, it will reproduce positivity in the subconscious mind, so your reactions will be what you repeat.
Affirmations are powerful because they release you from negativity, worry, and self-sabotaging behaviors. When affirmations are repeated with purpose, and they are believed, they take charge of your thoughts, slowly changing and retraining your thinking pattern that will positively impact your mental health.
Positive affirmations and what they can attract
The power of affirmations can help you attract so many things. Here are a few:
- A healthy well-being
- Improved mental health
- Better relationships
- Healthy habits
- A fulfilled life
Can you think of others? Leave a comment below.
Mental health affirmations
Now that you have a better understanding of affirmations on how powerful and effective it can be in your life, here are some mental health affirmations your can start to repeat to yourself each day as you face daily life struggles.
- Take a deep breath, then read the statement
- Say the statement
- As you say the statement, believe in what you are saying
- Speak these affirmations daily with intent, confidence, and power!
- Healing is possible for me
- I am enough
- I channel any negative thoughts into positive ones
- I love myself
- I accept who I am
- I am powerful
- I am worthy of love and happiness
- I treat myself with love and kindness
- I value my mental health
- How I feel matters
- My feelings are valid and important
These are some examples you can use to affirm and build your mental health. In conjunction with this, it’s also best to compose your affirmations as well. The effects will be much stronger. Always ensure that your affirmations are in the present tense, positive with no negations, short and personal.
“I am courageous NOT I am not scared or I will/should be courageous.”
When deciding on what affirmations you need, start with the areas you engage in negative self-talk and choose affirmations to battle them, then continue onto other areas you want to work on.
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Get in the habit of saying affirmations more frequently. Don’t only say them when challenges or stressful situations arise; say them daily and throughout the day. Remember, it is okay to have a bad day and not to feel your best. Please don’t beat yourself up about it. What’s key is always to attach your emotion to your affirmations and feel positive and confident about what you are affirming.