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Last Updated on December 3, 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

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Rizvan Ullah

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

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Published on February 22, 2021

How To Focus on the Good Things In Life (When Times Are Tough)

How To Focus on the Good Things In Life (When Times Are Tough)

Scott Peck’s first sentence in his book, The Road Less Traveled, is, “Life is difficult.” He then goes on to say that if you accept this, you are going to be okay. There is a lot of adversity in life, and none of us are exempt. That’s why we need to focus on the good things in life for us to move forward.

Here are 4 ways you can focus on the good things in life, especially during tough times.

1. “Tough Times Never Last, But Tough People Do”

“Tough times never last, but tough people do.”

The above quote is the title of Dr. Robert Schuller’s outstanding book. The title tells you all you need to know about the book.

We have been through a tough 2020, and 2021 could very well be just as tough. The hope is that vaccines and proper protocols will get us through these difficult times. Americans in the 20th century suffered through two World Wars and the devastating Great Depression. To get through these times, they had to be tough—and they were. Now, it is our turn to show our toughness.

I can think of three examples where people showed their toughness in recent years.

The first has to do with the Catholic Church and the awful pedophilia scandal. I believe it was one of the worst times in the history of the Church. What happened to the children was unconscionable. Another side of the issue was the clergy who were falsely accused. Two of them in the Chicago area knew they were innocent and showed their toughness in different ways.

The first got through it with prayer—praying especially for his accuser. Prayer can be a great way to get through tough times. The second was able to retain his optimism. He said he kept repeating a sentence from John and Bobby Kennedy’s mother, Rose: “After the storm, the birds always sing.”

Both men were exonerated after a most difficult and humiliating time. Their accusers ultimately admitted they had lied.

Another way of getting through times is by calling on the best of people. Winston Churchill, during the worst bombing of London in World War II, told the British people, “Never, never give in!” The British people did just that.

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Another way of getting through times is through determination and work. We were looking to build a gymnasium at Providence High School when I worked there. We drafted a paper giving the rationale as to why we needed the gym and presented it to people of means in our community.

The vote was 16-0 that we should not try to build during such tough economic times. Providence has a gym today because of the work ethic and the determination of one man—Father (then Bishop) Roger Kaffer.

Finally, teams go through tough times in athletics. We started one season 3-6. We decided to go back to the fundamentals. We finished 9-2 and played for the conference championship because we returned to the fundamentals. All organizations can return to their core values during tough times.

Prayer, optimism, calling on our best selves, determination, work, and our core values can get us through tough times.

2. Keep a Good Thought

“Keep a good thought” is an Irish maxim encouraging people to stay positive. We can find the good through tough times by our thinking.

Dale Carnegie wrote, “It isn’t what you have or who you are or where you are or what you are doing that makes you happy. It’s what you think about.”

I enjoyed the basketball coach who had an interesting take on thinking. He asked the referee if he could give him a technical foul for what he was thinking. The ref said of course not; the coach then responded, “I think you stink!”

Willie Nelson, in one of his many songs, stressed to be careful of negative thinking. Paraphrasing, the refrain was, “Think of the good times because the bad times weigh like lead on your mind.”

Our students at the University of St. Francis would annually go to Bolivia to help the people build and repair homes. When I asked them what they learned from the trip, they said two things—they could not believe the poverty the people lived in nor could they believe the positive attitude with which the people lived. Their kindness, humor, and compassion were incredible. Somehow, they consistently kept a good thought, despite their tough circumstances.

Mother Teresa summed up keeping a good thought when she wrote, “Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.”

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You can focus on the good things in life when you are determined to “Keep a Good Thought” through hardships.

3. Be in the Moment

We focus on the good things when we are happy. Roy T. Bennett wrote, “If you want to be happy do not dwell in the past, do not worry about the future, focus on living fully in the present.”

Two emotions that can deprive us of our happiness are guilt and worry. Jeffrey Nevid called them the “useless emotions.”

Guilt refers to the past. We can elect to carry guilt for something we did in the past. That is our prerogative, but the bottom line is we cannot change it. It’s over! What we can do, however, is learn from it, then move on. Learning from it is the easy part; moving on, the only realistic thing to do, admittedly is the hard part.

Mark Twain had a great insight into guilt’s partner, worry, when he wrote, “I have lived through some terrible things in my life, some of which happened.”

Too often, we worry about things that never materialize. If guilt and worry are tied to our past and future and if they are “useless emotions,” then the only alternative is to live in the present.

In my first 25 years of coaching basketball at the University of St. Francis, we had no bus to take us to road games. We, the coaches, drove the vans. There were 21 NAIA teams in Illinois and only 6 made the playoffs. We finally had the chance to be one of the 6 but we had to win one more game. The team we played was about 5 hours away. We were down 12 with 4 minutes to go in the game. We rallied to make 2 free throws with 2 seconds left to go and we were up by 1 point.

They inbounded the ball to our free-throw line, some 79 feet away from their basket. Their player threw a “Hail Mary” ball toward their basket—it went right in and knocked us out of the playoffs! I had the option of dwelling on that incredulous ending and living in the past or living in the present and driving our players back to campus safely! Fortunately, we made it home.

We can focus on the good by making ourselves happy. Many people have validated that we can make ourselves happy.

Aristotle kept it simple, “Happiness depends on ourselves.”

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The Dalai Lama wrote, “Happiness is not something that is readymade. It comes from your own actions.”

The actress Aubrey Hepburn had this insight, “The most important thing is to enjoy your life – to be happy – it’s all that matters.”

Mahatma Gandhi saw it this way, “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”

When we will ourselves into a state of happiness by staying in the present moment, we can focus on the good things in life.

4. Help Others

Mark Twain wrote, “The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer someone else up.”

A former high school classmate, Pat Warren, was constantly cheering up our friends when they were experiencing tough times. I would hear about the person suffering and tell myself I must get to see him. Inevitably, by the time I finally got to see him, Pat had already been there. He constantly focused on the good things he could do for others, especially during their difficult times.

Joe Madden, the former Chicago Cubs manager, used to tell his players, “Don’t ever let the pressure exceed the pleasure.” I saw one of his players execute the pleasure.

One of my grandchildren was playing in a Little League game on Chicago’s north side. He was playing on one field and there was another game on an adjacent field. When I looked to the other field, the game had stopped and all the players and fans had surrounded someone.

Ben Zobrist lived near the park where the kids were playing. He had been the Most Valuable Player of the previous year’s World Series. So, there was a lot of pressure on him to perform well this next year, but he did not let the pressure exceed his giving pleasure.

The Cubs had a game that day and he lived close enough to Wrigley Field, their home park, so he would often ride his bike to games in his uniform. However, before riding to his game this day, he rode over to the park where we were.

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The players and the adults were excited to see and meet the 2016 World Series MVP. He stayed in the park until he signed every autograph for every person on both fields! It was an act of random kindness as he gave the kids great pleasure. He focused on the good despite the pressure he was about to face in his game.

Numerous pundits have great insights into the many facets of helping others.

Catherine Pulsifer said, “People appreciate and never forget that helping hand, especially when times are tough.”

Martin Luther King wrote, ”Somewhere along the way, we must learn that there is nothing greater than to do something for others.”

Charles Dickens spoke about the two kinds of people who help. “There were two kinds of charitable people: one, the people who did little and made a great deal of noise; the other the people who did a great deal and made no noise at all.”

Finally, Jim Rohn wrote about the relationship between giving and receiving, “Only by giving are you able to receive more than you already have.”

Helping others, especially during tough times, enables you to focus on the good things in life.

Final Thoughts

We can focus on the good things in life during difficult times in four ways:

  • By being tough and not fearing the tough times
  • By keeping a good thought
  • By staying in the moment
  • By being there for others

Remember that tough times are inevitable, but they will also inevitably end. The key is to focus on the good, and you’ll get there eventually.

More Tips on How to Focus on the Good

Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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