Positive Affirmations

Positive Affirmations

Many times in SEL we talk about things that we need to do better at, but sometimes forget to talk about what it is that we do well. We spend a lot of time making smart goals for students, colleagues, and even ourselves. But how often do we spend time reaffirming our beliefs and having positive regard for ourselves? How often do we intentionally teach our students to have positive regard for themselves? Probably not as much as we could – and this is why we wanted to spend some time discussing the benefits and how-to’s of positive affirmations.

So what is a positive affirmation? Well according to Berkeley Well Being Institute, positive affirmations are positive sayings and phrases about ourselves that are used to elicit positive goals and mindsets. Positive Psychology also notes that these positive affirmations can be used to challenge negative mindsets, boost self-esteem, and change behaviors. Many times we find ourselves judging ourselves, thinking negatively about ourselves, or just feeling down about ourselves because we are not achieving a goal that we had in mind – this is where positive affirmations can come in handy. 

However, positive affirmations are not only beneficial to help change negative thought patterns, but can benefit multiple areas of your life. This short article by Mindtools notes that positive affirmations can increase your self-confidence in the workforce, help regulate negative emotions such as anger, and increase productivity. WebMD and Positive Psychology also note that using positive affirmations can help to decrease stress, improve academic functioning, and increase physical activity and healthy eating. 

As you can see there are many benefits to utilizing positive affirmations, but how do you practice or use positive affirmations? Well there are many ways to use positive affirmations, some people like to use a visual which requires you to either write or type out your affirmations. While other people like to vocalize their positive affirmations out loud – some people do this in front of a mirror, while others do this more quietly to themselves. Regardless of how you “practice,” what really matters is that you are using statements that are meaningful and important to you! It is also utterly important to remember that these practices are going to feel a bit uncomfortable and even strange at first, but don’t give up! And for more ways to practice positive affirmations, check out this article by Berkeley Well Being Institute.

This brings us to the last part about Positive affirmations, which is how do I create my own positive affirmation? Well you can begin by taking a look at the list below for some ideas, but if none of them work for you we suggest trying to make your own affirmations. Please check out Positive Psychology, MBGmindfulness, and Mindtools for many more examples of positive affirmations that may work for you.

Positive Affirmation examples:

  • I choose to be happy.
  • I can do this!
  • I am capable.
  • I intend to forgive myself.

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