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The Power of Positive Affirmation

I’m sure you’ve all heard it said at some point that it is good to be kind to yourself and say positive things to yourself.

Well these are actually quite sound pieces of advice.  There is a theory that supports the benefits of positive self-affirmations, and this is really underpinned by three central ideas.  There is MRI evidence suggesting that certain neural pathways are increased when people practise self-affirmation tasks (Cascio et al., 2016).

These are really worth bearing in mind if you are like many other people who have a tendency to self-berate or self-criticise.  It is also a good idea to understand how positive affirmations work according to the theory.

In terms of study and learning affirmations, here are a few examples:

  • I have sharp memory power.
  • I am well focused on my studies.
  • I easily understand the subjects I study.
  • I am getting good marks in all my subjects.
  • I believe in myself.
  • I am capable and today I am going to learn a lot.
  • I am improving every day.
  • I will do my exams well.
  • I am a responsible person.
  • I am set for whatever experience comes my way today.
  • I am improving and increasing my knowledge every day.
  • I enjoy learning and studying.

Firstly, self-affirmation helps us to keep a positive narrative going about ourselves.  In this narrative, we are becoming more flexible, have a good set of morals, and are becoming more capable of adapting to new and different circumstances.  This supports an ongoing positive mental attitude, helping us to experience and accept all the unique things about ourselves and to positively adapt to new and different situations.

Secondly, self-affirmation isn’t about being perfect, but more about being competent and that trying our best is good enough.

Thirdly, by acting in ways that are congruent with the self-affirmations, we develop greater integrity and develop our sense of self-worth.  This is not about just doing things because we want to receive praise, but is more about acting in ways which are consistent with the positive self-affirmations because we want to become more fulfilled individuals.

There are many benefits that can be experienced when we commit to daily positive affirmations.  Here are a few reported benefits:

  1. Decreased stress levels.
  2. Increase in desire for physical activities.
  3. Less phased by demanding situations.
  4. Better overall health and increased levels of self-care.
  5. Positive impacts on academic achievement.

I hope you are encouraged to speak well to yourself.

If you want to read further about the MRI evidence mentioned at the beginning of this message, here is a link to their research.  Online ref: 22/05/2019 http://www.scn.ucla.edu/pdf/Cascio(2016)Oxford.pdf