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Published on May 27, 2020

20 Health Affirmations to Stay Fit Physically and Mentally

20 Health Affirmations to Stay Fit Physically and Mentally

To understand how to use health affirmations, you have to have a clear understanding of what they are.

Affirmations are simple and concise positive sentences that are written and said in the present tense. They are meant to dispel any negative thought loops that may creep into your mind. Therefore, they’re creating new thinking patterns that gravitate toward positivity, inspiration, and motivation.

What Are Health Affirmations?

Health affirmations, in particular, are simply affirmations centered around your health: mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual. You can imagine how this can be an incredible game-changer when we think about our health regimen.

We are often too hard on ourselves and lose steam when we’re working out or hitting a plateau on our weight loss journey. Implementing affirmations steers us away from digging ourselves deeper into the negative “rabbit hole.”

It alters the direction of our mind into a more positive mental state, which helps us deal with depression, anxiety, and other mental health illnesses.

The Science Behind Health Affirmations

Affirmations have a long-standing in the psychology field. A renowned U.S. psychologist Claude Steele coined the term Self-Affirmation Theory that empowers our understanding of affirmations today.[1]

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Steele’s theory claims that everyone is motivated to uphold some view of themselves, be it as moral, competent, strong, and/or capable human beings. This self-affirmation enables us to essentially maintain our drive to be happy, healthy, and better people.

When external circumstances arise that challenge this view, we fall into what Steele calls “psychological discomfort.”[2] We can think of this today as depression, anxiety, and other mental health disorders. They all stem from this imbalance of how we self-affirm who we are.

Steele also argued that the self-affirmation theory is not about creating a sense of perfection of who we are. It’s about nurturing the things we’re passionate about and where we find value, and exercising a sense of flexibility and deeper understanding in those areas.[3]

Benefits of Using Health Affirmations

As I previously mentioned, words carry energy and power. Like anything worth pursuing, however, affirmations still require practice.

You will get the most benefit out of them if you practice them consistently. For some, this is an everyday ritual. For others, it’s on an “as needed” basis, when they feel like they need an energetic “pick-me-up.”

The health benefits vary greatly; health affirmations have been known to reduce health-related stress. This is because we’re changing the mental mindset.

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If we can introduce powerful and positive statements to the way we think, that will create a ripple throughout the body. In turn, the physical body can only prosper and thrive.

Think of the body as one seamless machine that can only operate efficiently if all of the parts are working together. When the mind is in a positive place, the body follows, and vice versa.

How to Use Health Affirmations for Your Physical and Mental Health

Health affirmations serve best when said out loud, in the present tense, and with positivity.

Some people like to say them before they meditate or while meditating to help anchor their thoughts into their mindfulness. Others like to say them while working out or when they feel challenged in an exercise regiment.

The affirmations help guide them back to their center and to why this regiment matters in the first place. It’s a powerful shift in perspective!

Another empowering and healing way to use health affirmations is by stating them to yourself in front of a mirror. By seeing yourself and meeting your own gaze, your affirmations are intensified.

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Imagine that you are sending yourself these words and that the energy of them are cleansing, healing, and supporting you. If you’re starting this practice for the first time, it may feel awkward, forced, and inauthentic. Keep going and saying them, anyway!

Decades of poor mental self-talk is not something that can be reversed overnight. By continuing your practice with health affirmations, you are not just re-building the way you self-affirm who you are, you are also learning how to be deserving of who you are. Be kind and gentle with yourself.

Below is a list of powerful health affirmations that you can choose from, for your physical and mental health:

  1. I am happy, healthy, safe, and free.
  2. I trust my own wisdom.
  3. I listen to my intuition; it always steers me right.
  4. I believe in myself.
  5. My body is healthy and thriving.
  6. I am strong and capable of great things.
  7. I am loved and supported.
  8. I am exactly where I need to be.
  9. I choose to be happy.
  10. I fully accept and love myself.
  11. I am resilient, strong, and brave.
  12. I am doing my best, and my best is enough.
  13. When I fall, I am motivated to get back up.
  14. I am brave and not afraid to keep going.
  15. I am safe and protected.
  16. This, too, shall pass.
  17. I am the sky, not the clouds.
  18. I love you (do this one as you gaze at yourself in the mirror).
  19. I am beautiful.
  20. I am on a journey, ever-growing and developing.

There are many sources from where you can gather more affirmations. Mindfulness experts such as Louise Hay have a page on their website dedicated solely to affirmations that are designed for you to pull every day.[4]

There are also phone applications, such as Think Up and Kwippy, that offer a randomized pop-up of affirmations daily.

No matter where you find your affirmations, the magic is in how they make you feel. Over time, these words will become powerful bursts of energy that you’ll feel in every area of your body. If that doesn’t happen right away, don’t allow it to discourage you. After all, it’s still a practice.

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Lastly, affirmations truly thrive when you can come up with them yourself. If you can create a short sentence on your own, you’re closer to its healing since it’s coming directly from the source: you!

Final Thoughts

Health affirmations are short and concise sentences that are said out loud, in the present tense, and a state of positivity. Not only does this practice shift the way we think, but it also ripples through to the physical body, creating everlasting change for our optimal health.

It may sound too good to be true that simple words can have such an effect, but our mind is a vast network of spectacular possibilities. If we can change the way we think with the words we choose to use, our entire idea of health can radically change.

More Positive Affirmations

Featured photo credit: Denys Nevozhai via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Positive Psychology: Positive Daily Affirmations: Is There Science Behind it?
[2] The American Psychological Association: Self-Affirmation Theory
[3] Positive Psychology: Positive Daily Affirmations: Is There Science Behind It?
[4] Louise Hay: Affirmations

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Aleksandra Slijepcevic

Accredited and Certified Vinyasa Yoga Teacher writing for Health & Fitness

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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