Seems like everyone is talking about positive visualizations and affirmations these days, and for good reason: they work!
They work on the days we are feeling happiest and they work on the days we are feeling the blues.
If you haven’t jumped on the bandwagon yet, read on. I’m going to share some valuable information about how affirmations can boost your confidence, just when you need it most. How do I know? Because I use affirmations in my life, too.
Aye, Aye, Captain!
Here’s the thing, our conscious mind is the captain of the ship. The subconscious mind cannot fight against the orders of the conscious mind, which is why affirmations work so well.
If you really take on a positive affirmation and repeat it to yourself with emotion multiple times a day for a period of time, it will affect your subconscious mind. Without realizing it, you will start to take actions every day to make your affirmation come true. Your mantra can lead to healthy habits.
Put simply, if we give the subconscious the right orders, we will succeed in whatever we set out to accomplish.
Here’s the 4P formula for affirmations:
- P: Personal
- P: Present Tense
- P: Positive
- P: Powerful
Let’s compare “I will make healthy choices” versus “I make healthy choices,” for example. On the surface, they seem affirmative enough. However, one is more powerful than the other. Saying “I will make…” suggests a future action that may happen. However, “I make…” demonstrates ownership in the present moment; that’s your powerhouse.
If I told you NASA did it, would you believe me?
NASA has done extensive research on how the brain adapts to new information. In one study, they put astronauts in goggles that made the room appear upside down to test how their bodies would react in space. They made the astronauts wear these goggles for 30 days.
Somewhere around day 25, the brain actually flipped the image so that everything appeared right side up to the astronauts.
After they did that study, they did another one where they allowed the astronauts to remove the goggles on day 15 and put them back on at day 16. The result? These astronauts did not have the experience of the brain flipping the image.
When you put it altogether you see that the mind is a powerful thing and it will focus steadfastly wherever you lead it. This study essentially tells us that you must practice your mantra for about a month so your brain has time to adapt, and that consistency is key.
Let’s make your affirmations more real!
Consistently use positive affirmations to have lasting effects. Just like the astronauts with the goggles, you need at least 25 consecutive days of affirmation practice for a positive shift to occur in your mind.
Get practical. Type it up, print it out, and read it out loud to yourself for at least 60 seconds - in the mirror for emphasis. Do this every morning when you first wake up and every night before you go to bed. If you can do it at noon as well, that’s a bonus.
Now you can’t just read these affirmations in a monotone voice without purpose. Add some gusto by reading with emotion because your subconscious mind understands feeling. Start with affirmations that are true for you and believe that your affirmation is possible, or it just won’t come true. Then choose something that scares you a little bit, but still feels attainable, and challenge yourself to go after it.
If you're not sure where to start, here are 32 Daily Affirmations to get started.