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Last Updated on July 2, 2020

What Are Positive Affirmations (And Why Are They Powerful)?

What Are Positive Affirmations (And Why Are They Powerful)?

They say that actions speak louder than words. However, this doesn’t mean that words don’t have any power. In fact, they do, and this is why what people say often affects us either negatively or positively, even if we don’t want to admit it sometimes.

However, you can also utilize this fact to your advantage. You can use words to affect your mood and thinking or other peoples’. You can make use of positive affirmations to motivate yourself or encourage other people.

But first, what are positive affirmations?

What Are Positive Affirmations?

This topic has been covered by motivational speakers and has become popular throughout the years. I believe we are currently in a spiritual revolution where increasingly more people are practicing meditation and relaxation. In other words, Eastern medicine is becoming more popular through mainstream media, as we see more of it on television.

However, people still don’t know what is meant by the phrase “positive affirmations”. Here’s a quick definition:[1]

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“An affirmation is really anything you say or think. A lot of what we normally say and think is quite negative and doesn’t create good experiences for us. We have to retrain our thinking and speaking into positive patterns if we want to change our lives.” –– Louise Hay

Why Are Positive Affirmation Powerful?

Positive affirmations can help bring you a new beginning and change your thought patterns, opening up opportunities you never knew existed before. However, that’s not all, as you’ll learn below.

1. It Beats Depression

The power of positive thinking has been known to beat depressive thoughts. Depression has many causes. However, thoughts of low self-esteem and not being worthy or even good enough definitely play a role.

Fortunately, by saying positive affirmations, you can change your thought process.

There was research done at the University of Arizona that determined affirmations can be useful as a supplemental form of treatment for many depressed and/or anxious patients.[2]

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What’s even more exciting is that for some patients, affirmations were the most influential part of their recovery process.

Some of the best ones used to beat depression are the following:

  • I am strong.
  • Life wants the best for me.
  • I love myself and who I am.
  • I love myself unconditionally.

To make the most of these statements, you must repeat them whenever a negative thought enters your mind.

It’s not saying that you can cure depression only through positive affirmations. As mentioned, it can only be a supplemental form of treatment. But it’s still an effective one, nonetheless.

2. It Enlightens People Around You

Positive affirmations help motivate people around you.[3] Being around positive people will transform you and your energy.

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Often, the reason we are depressed or feeling down is that we fight our own thought processes. Being around people with positive energy can change your thought process quickly.

Keep positive people in your life and try to spend as much time with them because it will transform your overall energy quickly. Similarly, try to avoid negative people because they can affect your energy negatively as well. Though it’s also possible that you can help them by giving them positive affirmations to affect their energy positively.

3. It Transforms Businesses

Motivational speakers, like Anthony Robbins and Deepak Chopra, have made millions writing about positivity. It’s important to note they have done a great job and have transformed people’s lives.

There are stories of people who couldn’t run a successful business and then transformed their company within a short period after changing their way of thinking. In other words, there is enormous money in positive affirmations and businesses know this.

Online developers are also making enormous money by selling positive affirmation apps for the smartphone. It helps that nearly 75% of the world’s population has a mobile phone capable of downloading applications.((Mashable: 75% of World Has Access to Mobile Phones [STUDY])) It’s an amazing market, and things don’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon.

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4. It Strengthens Relationships

Through positive affirmation, it’s easier to transform your relationships with others. The power of positive thinking can flourish new relationships, old ones, and those which have tension between them.

Perhaps it’s because positivity changes the way people think, eliminating old habits and building new, more mutually beneficial ones. This is useful in all aspects of your life, and it benefits not only you but also the people you build relationships with.

Final Thoughts

The power of positive thinking and incorporating positive affirmations in your life can change the way you view situations. It’s amazing how fast this practice is growing and much of it is because of mainstream media. We have motivational shows, as well as talk shows and even TV series that feature meditation.

If you have not started to incorporate positive affirmations in your life that’s your choice. However, look into them to see how transforming and powerful they are.

More Positive Affirmations to Inspire You

Featured photo credit: Steve Harvey via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Rizvan Ullah

Rizvan is the founder of CareerCrawlers. He shares career and motivational advice on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

For the original article by Celestine: 13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

“We all have problems. The way we solve them is what makes us different.” ~Unknown

“It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” – Hans Selye

Have you ever experienced moments when things just don’t go your way? For example, losing your keys, accidentally spilling your drink, waking up late, missing your buses/trains, forgetting to bring your things, and so on?

You’re not alone. All of us, myself included, experience times when things don’t go as we expect.

Here is my guide on how to deal with daily setbacks.

1. Take a step back and evaluate

When something bad happens, take a step back and evaluate the situation. Some questions to ask yourself:

  1. What is the problem?
  2. Are you the only person facing this problem in the world today?
  3. How does this problem look like at an individual level? A national level? On a global scale?
  4. What’s the worst possible thing that can happen to you as a result of this?
  5. How is it going to impact your life in the next 1 year? 5 years? 10 years?

Doing this exercise is not to undermine the problem or disclaiming responsibility, but to consider different perspectives, so you can adopt the best approach for it. Most problems we encounter daily may seem like huge issues when they crop up, but most, if not all, don’t have much impact in our life beyond that day.

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2. Vent if you have to, but don’t linger on the problem

If you feel very frustrated and need to let off some steam, go ahead and do that. Talk to a friend, complain, crib about it, or scream at the top of your lungs if it makes you happy.

At the same time, don’t get caught up with venting. While venting may temporarily relieve yourself, it’s not going to solve the problem ultimately. You don’t want to be an energy vampire.

Vent if there’s a need to, but do it for 15 to 20 minutes. Then move on.

3. Realize there are others out there facing this too

Even though the situation may be frustrating, you’re not alone. Remember there are almost 7 billion people in the world today, and chances are that other people have faced the same thing before too. Knowing it’s not just you helps you to get out of a self-victimizing mindset.

4. Process your thoughts/emotions

Process your thoughts/emotions with any of the four methods:

  1. Journal. Write your unhappiness in a private diary or in your blog. It doesn’t have to be formal at all – it can be a brain dump on rough paper or new word document. Delete after you are done.
  2. Audio taping. Record yourself as you talk out what’s on your mind. Tools include tape recorder, your PC (Audacity is a freeware for recording/editing audio) and your mobile (most mobiles today have audio recording functions). You can even use your voice mail for this. Just talking helps you to gain awareness of your emotions. After recording, play back and listen to what you said. You might find it quite revealing.
  3. Meditation. At its simplest form, meditation is just sitting/lying still and observing your reality as it is – including your thoughts and emotions. Some think that it involves some complex mambo-jumbo, but it doesn’t.
  4. Talking to someone. Talking about it with someone helps you work through the issue. It also gets you an alternate viewpoint and consider it from a different angle.

5. Acknowledge your thoughts

Don’t resist your thoughts, but acknowledge them. This includes both positive and negative thoughts.

By acknowledging, I mean recognizing these thoughts exist. So if say, you have a thought that says, “Wow, I’m so stupid!”, acknowledge that. If you have a thought that says, “I can’t believe this is happening to me again”, acknowledge that as well.

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Know that acknowledging the thoughts doesn’t mean you agree with them. It’s simply recognizing the existence of said thoughts so that you can stop resisting yourself and focus on the situation on hand.

6. Give yourself a break

If you’re very stressed out by the situation, and the problem is not time sensitive, then give yourself a break. Take a walk, listen to some music, watch a movie, or get some sleep. When you’re done, you should feel a lot more revitalized to deal with the situation.

7. Uncover what you’re really upset about

A lot of times, the anger we feel isn’t about the world. You may start off feeling angry at someone or something, but at the depth of it, it’s anger toward yourself.

Uncover the root of your anger. I have written a five part anger management series on how to permanently overcome anger.

After that, ask yourself: How can you improve the situation? Go to Step #9, where you define your actionable steps. Our anger comes from not having control on the situation. Sitting there and feeling infuriated is not going to change the situation. The more action we take, the more we will regain control over the situation, the better we will feel.

8. See this as an obstacle to be overcome

As Helen Keller once said,

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”

Whatever you’re facing right now, see it as an obstacle to be overcome. In every worthy endeavor, there’ll always be countless obstacles that emerge along the way. These obstacles are what separate the people who make it, and those who don’t. If you’re able to push through and overcome them, you’ll emerge a stronger person than before. It’ll be harder for anything to get you down in the future.

9. Analyze the situation – Focus on actionable steps

In every setback, there are going to be things that can’t be reversed since they have already occurred. You want to focus on things that can still be changed (salvageable) vs. things that have already happened and can’t be changed. The only time the situation changes is when you take steps to improve it. Rather than cry over spilt milk, work through your situation:

  1. What’s the situation?
  2. What’s stressing you about this situation?
  3. What are the next steps that’ll help you resolve them?
  4. Take action on your next steps!

After you have identified your next steps, act on them. The key here is to focus on the actionable steps, not the inactionable steps. It’s about regaining control over the situation through direct action.

10. Identify how it occurred (so it won’t occur again next time)

A lot of times we react to our problems. The problem occurs, and we try to make the best out of what has happened within the context. While developing a healthy coping mechanism is important (which is what the other helping points are on), it’s also equally important, if not more, to understand how the problem arose. This way, you can work on preventing it from taking place next time, vs. dealing reactively with it.

Most of us probably think the problem is outside of our control, but reality is most of the times it’s fully preventable. It’s just a matter of how much responsibility you take over the problem.

For example, for someone who can’t get a cab for work in the morning, he/she may see the problem as a lack of cabs in the country, or bad luck. However, if you trace to the root of the problem, it’s probably more to do with (a) Having unrealistic expectations of the length of time to get a cab. He/she should budget more time for waiting for a cab next time. (b) Oversleeping, because he/she was too tired from working late the previous day. He/she should allocate enough time for rest next time. He/she should also pick up better time management skills, so as to finish work in lesser time.

11. Realize the situation can be a lot worse

No matter how bad the situation is, it can always be much worse. A plus point vs. negative point analysis will help you realize that.

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12. Do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it

No matter how bad your situation may seem, do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it. Life is too beautiful to worry so much over daily issues. Take a step back (#1), give yourself a break if you need to (#6), and do what you can within your means (#9). Everything else will unfold accordingly. Worrying too much about the outcome isn’t going to change things or make your life any better.

13. Pick out the learning points from the encounter

There’s something to learn from every encounter. What have you learned from this situation? What lessons have you taken away?

After you identify your learning points, think about how you’re going to apply them moving forward. With this, you’ve clearly gained something from this encounter. You’ve walked away a stronger, wiser, better person, with more life lessons to draw from in the future.

Get the manifesto version of this article: [Manifesto] What To Do When Things Don’t Go Your Way

Featured photo credit: Alice Donovan Rouse via unsplash.com

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