• MJ Jones

Do Affirmations really work?



The answer is....It depends. If you have ever read a self help book by authors like , Louise Hay and Napeleon Hill you have came across the term affirmation. Affirmations are positive statements and beliefs that are usually repeated out loud. There are many accounts that affirmations have help people live empowered lives. But they don't always work for everyone. How can this be?


Affirmations have been proven to work, because your mind can be programmed and not know the difference between what's real and fake. This is also why visualization works. According to cognitive neuroscientists, 95 percent of brain activity is beyond our conscious awareness. Our usual experiences are a result of our unconscious beliefs . In order to transform our conscious experience when must and a look at our unconscious mind.


First it is important to look at cognitive distortions to identify these negative beliefs. I usually reccomend to my clients to keep a thought journal. This is when you experience an unpleasant emotion, note the situation that seemed to stimulate the emotion. If the emotion occurred while you were thinking, then note the automatic thought associated with the emotion. For example, you texted your friend and they didn't respond. Your automatic thoughts may be "People don't like me. I am not fun to be around, I don't have any friends." Once you can see a pattern. The next step is to challenge that cognitive distortion. You can ask yourself some questions such as


1. Am I overgeneralizing?

2. Do I have evidence?

3. Is there another perspective?

4. Does this really matter?


Once you are able to challenge your cognitive distortion you can create an affirmation to improve how you feel. Creating a positive affirmation should be done in a stragetic manner, If we want the affirmation to have an positive affect Dr Tchiki Davis offers 11 ways to make affirmations stick.


1. Positive affirmations should be spoken out loud and repeated

2. Always use the present tense when saying positive affirmations

3. Avoid negatives in positive affirmations

4. Create positive affirmations that focus on the solution and not the problem

5. Craft positive affirmations that are specific, simple, and direct

6. Fill your positive affirmations with passion.

7. Add visualizations to your positive affirmations

8. Ground your positive affirmations in your body

9. Set aside 10-15 minutes a day to repeat your positive affirmations

10. Take action on your positive affirmations

11. Stick to your positive affirmations


Remember consistency is key.


Phd, T. D. (2019, January 18). Positive Affirmations: 11 Keys To Affirmations That Work. Retrieved March 4, 2019, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/click-here-happiness/201901/positive-affirmations-11-keys-affirmations-work


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