The benefits of positive thinking have been touted for decades. In the landmark 1952 self-help book The Power of Positive Thinking, author Norman Vincent Peale posited to readers that if you change your thoughts, you can change the world.
“When you expect the best, you release a magnetic force in your mind which by a law of attraction tends to bring the best to you,” Peale wrote, adding that readers should believe in themselves and have faith in their abilities. “Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy. But with sound self-confidence you can succeed.”
In 2006, The Secret author Rhonda Byrne doubled down on positive thinking. She explained to readers that “thoughts become things,” adding that whatever you think about constantly will eventually become your reality. “Your power is in your thoughts, so stay awake,” she wrote. “In other words, remember to remember.”
Peale, Byrne, and countless other self-help authors agree that catching negative thinking as soon as it happens can improve self-confidence and self-esteem. When you identify negative self-talk, replace those negative thoughts with positive ones. That’s where affirmations come in.
What Are Affirmations?
Affirmations are positive statements that can help retrain your mindset. Affirmations involve mentally spinning the globe to look at situations from a positive angle or focus on the positive aspects of your life. They don’t need to be complex — just uplifting. For example, sample affirmations may include statements such as “I am intelligent,” “I am capable,” and “I believe I can succeed.” They can also apply to a specific situation, such as “I am capable of earning a degree” or “I am grateful for my supportive family.” The goal of affirmations is to combat negative thinking patterns and learn to think positively about yourself. Individuals typically try to say affirmations (out loud or silently) to themselves several times per day.
Benefits of Positive Affirmations
The transformative effects of positive affirmations are backed by real-world evidence. Self-affirmations have been shown to decrease stress, are linked positively to academic achievement, help make individuals more resilient, and may even help people live longer.
A 2019 study conducted by researchers at Boston University School of Medicine and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that optimistic people live an average of 11%-15% longer than their less optimistic counterparts. Daily affirmations help people focus on the positive and the possible, which can lead to increased optimism — and longer lives.
How to Write Your Own Affirmations
A quick internet search will return thousands of websites that contain affirmations. However, if you’d like to write your own, here are just a few tips for crafting effective affirmations.
- Start with phrases like “I am …” or “I can …”
- Speak in the present tense; instead of saying “I will be great,” say “I am great.”
- Keep it short.
- Keep it positive; if you’re a student, you might say “I am grateful that I am able to further my education” or “I am grateful that I am able to go back to school while raising a family.”
31 Positive Daily Affirmations for Inspiration
Are you ready to start using affirmations but not sure where to begin? Below you’ll find a month’s worth of positive daily affirmations that can help define who you are, what you’re capable of, and who you want to become. We hope these affirmations can serve as daily inspiration for you to meet your goals and reframe your mindset. Choose a new one each day and repeat it several times.
- I am capable.
- I deserve happiness.
- I am confident in my abilities.
- I am happy and content.
- I deserve joy and success.
- I can meet my goals.
- I can learn from situations that make me feel challenged.
- Roadblocks are learning opportunities.
- Taking time for myself is healthy.
- I choose to be happy.
- I am taking positive steps to advance my goals.
- I am focusing on positive thoughts.
- I choose to be kind.
- I am compassionate, understanding, and good.
- I am inspired by the people I have in my life.
- I am thankful for my friends and family.
- I am grateful for my support system.
- I am thankful for the opportunities that life has given me.
- I am capable of attaining my dream job.
- I can do anything if I put my mind to it.
- I am proud of where I am in life.
- I am grateful that I am able to go back to school.
- I am excited to be taking steps to further my career.
- I am confident that my problems have solutions.
- I am proud of my accomplishments.
- I am excited that my potential is limitless.
- I am not going to let negative thoughts control me.
- I am allowed to take time for personal growth.
- I am not afraid to make mistakes.
- I am not going to take criticism personally.
- I am not my mistakes.
Taking a Brave Step Forward
Affirmations are to the mind what exercise is to the body; you need to practice and be consistent to see results. If you’re ready to begin, consider committing yourself to use positive daily affirmations for the upcoming week, month, or even year. Reprogramming negative self-talk takes time, but once you gain control of your negative thinking, you’ll be confident in your abilities and inspired to spin challenging situations into opportunities for learning and growth.