What if we exercised our brains the way we do our bodies? Showing up day after day to put in the work and make positive changes adds up over time, and this is as true for our minds as it is our abdominals. It’s easy to forget that, when it comes to living out our fullest potential, we’re in the driver’s seat.
I frequently remind myself that there are no shortcuts in life, and real growth comes from focusing on the process – those small changes that, over time, change everything.
All that being said, the process can sometimes be a pain in the ass. We don’t usually treat ourselves with the same kindness we might show other people, especially when we’re in a funk. We all know that feeling: your brain gets cloudy, your anxiety skyrockets, and you can’t find the motivation for even the smallest of tasks like making your bed. I know I’m in a funk when I’m constantly getting in my own way. I get reactive instead of intentional, worried instead of present, and distracted instead of grounded. I start to look outside of myself for validation and peace, when I know those things can only be found within. Stress, exhaustion, big life events and burnout are usually to blame, but there are so many reasons why we might feel off our game every once in awhile. During these times, it’s especially important to be aware of how you’re talking to yourself. You might be ruminating, dwelling on something out of your control, or you’re simply on autopilot because your brain is everywhere else but the present moment. This, my friends, is where the process (and affirmations) come in.
Your whole world is built by your thoughts. Some of these thoughts swirl around at the forefront of our minds, but even those that exist deep down affect the way we think and make decisions. Of course, being self aware can often lead to healthy self-criticism, and staying true to yourself is always a good thing. But the goal of practicing positive affirmation is to tap into these reservoirs of thought, both conscious and unconscious, in order to challenge the negative thinking patterns we can all fall into. By writing down just a few of these mantras daily, you can completely change your mindset for the better. In fact, self-affirming is so powerful that it can literally rewire your brain. It’s been scientifically proven that positive affirmations help lower stress levels, improve well-being, and actually increase neural pathways in the brain. Our minds are powerful, but we don’t give them the same attention and care that we might our bodies or our homes.
Below is a list of affirmations I’ve collected from books, journals, and various corners of the internet that have helped me reinforce a positive mindset. If you’re new to affirmations, “fake it ’till you make it” is the name of the game here. Choose a few to write down and meditate over in your journal day after day, even when you feel totally fine. It might be a little uncomfortable to write to yourself about how awesome you are, but trust me, it works. Over time, you’ll gain confidence, awareness, and feel more connected to your values. You’ll also be able to better regulate your emotions, and respond more constructively to stressful situations.
We can’t control most of what happens to us, but we can control our minds. Positive affirmations have the power to translate words into thoughts and thoughts into actions. So go tell yourself how awesome you are, and start feeling good! You deserve it.
- I am committed to being a better person today than I was yesterday.
- I am a positive influence on the world.
- I have everything I need to make today great.
- I release my need to impress others and I don’t need approval or permission from anyone.
- I don’t compare myself to others. I am living my own version of happy.
If I don’t ask, the answer is always no. I ask for what I need because I deserve it.
- I release my desire to be perfect. I’m already good enough to be respected and loved.
- I am right where I need to be. I embrace the challenges and opportunities facing me and I choose to learn and grow from them.
- I release my need to control the future, and I choose to focus on allowing the best to happen.
- I have it within me to overcome any challenges I might face today.
- All I have is right now. Time will continue to move forward whether I do or not.
- I embrace my best self today and I choose to live in a way that will bring peace and positivity to myself and others.
- Today is a gift. Life is short and nothing is guaranteed – don’t wait for anything.
- Today I have a brain and a healthy body that allow me to see, taste, feel, hear, smell and touch the world around me with energy and gratitude.
- I don’t rush through my life, other people’s time is just as valuable as my own.
- I am grateful for the opportunity each morning to wake up and start a new life.
- I approach everyone and everything with enthusiasm.
- In every circumstance, ask yourself, what would love require of me?
- Seek the beauty in people, and they will seek and celebrate the beauty in you.
- I go out of my way to meet people I admire.
- I am calm in the face of conflict.
- I allow myself to be open to new opportunities and possibilities.
- Done is better than perfect.
- I take things one day at a time.
- Today I will make progress toward my goals.
- I am my only obstacle.
- If I can change my thoughts, I can change anything.
- I don’t sweat the small stuff and I don’t take myself too seriously.
- I accept valuable feedback with gratitude, and I let go of feedback that doesn’t serve me.
- I am responsible for how I respond to the world around me. The world doesn’t owe me anything.
- What I say I am, I become.
- I choose to be present, moment to moment, as life unfolds around me.