Do you need to uplift your spirit? Try giving yourself a little pep talk.
Positive affirmations are specific statements that you are meant to say to yourself. The idea is that saying these affirmations will subconsciously program your brain to believe them, thus allowing you to manifest the subject of your affirmations effectively.
Some scoff at the idea, but it has a scientific basis! When you’re feeling down, who better to talk you back up again than yourself? But how do you make positive affirmations? What words and sentences suit the task? Here’s how therapists reveal 10 positive affirmations to uplift your spirit.
1. I recognize and appreciate my many good qualities
This affirmation reminds you of the things you are capable of and is a fantastic way to boost your self-esteem. Instead of focusing on the negative, it encourages you to turn your attention to your positive qualities, reminding you that you are more than just your setbacks.
- Changing how you interact with others and yourself
- Changing the voice with which you speak to yourself
- Believing in yourself
- Living by your values and beliefs
- Doing your best and recognizing that you do
Using affirmations like “I recognize and appreciate my many good qualities” helps you interact with yourself with personal power. You’re sending a message to your unconscious mind: you are worthy.
2. This one moment does not define who I am. I believe in myself and am not afraid to keep going
Do you have anxiety or depression? Cognitive distortions and overgeneralizations are common in individuals who struggle with the aforementioned disorders. Research proves that these problems can further exacerbate themselves, creating a cycle of unhealthy thinking.
One widespread way that this manifests is through exaggeration. Upon experiencing one negative moment, you may immediately feel horrified and start to catastrophize, losing your positive thinking. That’s why it’s important to remind yourself that this one situation will pass and is not a representation of who you are.
- I have come so far and am proud of myself, and I will keep going.
- This moment is isolated and is not a reflection of the larger world. Things will improve from here.
- I am stronger than this situation; I will emerge victoriously.
3. I am strong, brave, and powerful, and I am always becoming stronger
Many times, you may feel small or as if the world is too much for you. You may feel as if you aren’t worthy of that world, especially if you are often talked down or treated as lesser-than. And if you are a highly sensitive person, you may feel that pressure keenly. Saying that you are powerful, strong, and courageous and emphasizing how your power grows is a great way to bring back the pep in your step and boost your positive thinking, reducing stress even in difficult situations.
This affirmation comes at the author’s recommendation, certified life coach and Live Bold and Bloom founder Barrie Davenport. She talks about using the present tense in your affirmations as a method of manifesting something in the present. This language tells your brain that the affirmation won’t just become real but is already happening now.
4. I love who I am and who I am becoming
This affirmation is rooted in concepts of cognitive-behavioral therapy, or CBT, specifically positive CBT. Positive CBT focuses heavily on improving wellbeing without a focus on pathology and without the need for treating specific disorders. It also focuses on amplifying your own strengths and making you more aware of them, which is exactly what this affirmation does.
Behavioral neuroscience research and psychologist Joaquín Selva states that this form of CBT is often used to treat depression and other similar disorders. It is also commonly used in conjunction with more traditional treatments for various conditions, and it’s been shown to benefit many patients undergoing it!
5. I am safe and calm, and no one can disturb the peace of my world.
This affirmation is a great one for those who deal with anxiety. Often, anxious thoughts are filled with rumination, which is a series of repetitive negative thoughts that begin to control and consume you. Studies have found that using positive affirmations can halt rumination in its tracks, which is a great one to try.
Moore recommends using affirmations like this one when you feel stressed out, worried, or anxious, even if you don’t usually find yourself susceptible to nervousness. As you use the affirmation, make sure you regulate your breathing. Take soothing, deep breasts slowly and steadily, attuning yourself to the patterns of inhalation and exhalation. Here are some ideas for similar anxiety-busting affirmations:
- My anxiety does not control my actions or my life; I am in control.
- I feel serene and peaceful within.
- I’m liberated from doubt, fear, and worry.
- I recognize irrationality in my thoughts and stop them.
- I breathe deeply with collected and calm thoughts.
This affirmation is a great way to manifest your strengths into fruition. Intuitive psychologist, relationship expert, and author Dr. Carmen Harra states that affirmations like this are wonderful to affirm ambitions and dreams, thus empowering yourself with confidence and reassurance to turn those affirmations into reality.
Harra also talks about how affirmations, just like exercise and rewards, help to produce positive hormones in the body, leading to better responses to situations and challenges overall. It’s a way of saying “no” to fear and putting power into your hands, which is truly incredible!
7. I am equipped with humility to be open to learning and growth
For those who find themselves stagnating in their current personal progress, this affirmation helps you be humble enough to ask questions and learn from those around you. It’s important to remember that every single person you meet has the potential to teach you something important, and you’ll miss out on those things if you’re too proud to learn from them. That’s why this affirmation can be so useful for self-improvement!
Well-being technology expert and consultant Tchiki Davis, Ph.D., outlines the importance of using positive affirmations that focus on the solution instead of the problem. In other words, if you phrased this affirmation as “I am not too proud to learn,” that might backfire because your brain is focusing on something inherently negative: pride. Basically, state improvements and goals, not the bad things that lead to the need for the affirmations in the first place.
8. I form healthy habits that further uplift me
This affirmation sounds generic, but it can be specific if you speak its energy into certain areas of your life. We all have habits that we wish we could work on, and this affirmation may help you get there.
Therapist and clinical psychologist Dr. Angele Close discusses the importance of making positive affirmations about experiences, not goals. If you focus on talking about specific things you need to stop or start doing, you’re creating statements that sound like chores instead of the aforementioned affirmation. That’s not very encouraging at all! Here are some examples of goal-based affirmations that you should not use.
- I will exercise every day.
- I will stop watching TV at 10 pm.
- I’ll lose 5 pounds.
- I will learn to knit.
9. I can do this (gain confidence + uplift your spirit)
This very simple-sounding affirmation is effective purely because of its simplicity. Licensed clinical social worker and board-certified TeleMental Health Provider Katie Leikam is a huge proponent of this affirmation. When you doubt yourself, it’s a great quick reminder to reaffirm that you are the person with power, in control, with the ability to do what must be done, she says.
This type of quick, short affirmation is useful for in-the-moment necessity. For example, you might use it when the following events occur:
- Getting the jitters before a performance or presentation
- Facing a difficult conversation with someone
- Finding yourself losing hope in the face of a complicated situation
If you’re choosing daily affirmations to say in the morning, you will likely benefit from something more specific that branches off this general idea.
For example, you’ll uplift your spirit with these sentences:
- I have the qualities necessary for success.
- My confidence soars as I recognize my self-worth.
- I am an indestructible powerhouse.
- I’m full of all the energy I need to conquer the day.
- I can do anything that I set my mind to.
- I welcome challenges and meet them with strength and capability.
- I’m the best at my job.
10. I breathe in positivity and exhale negativity
This affirmation is one to do along with focused breath, which is a powerful tool to uplift your spirit. Licensed clinical marriage and family therapist Tracie Strucker, Ph.D., states that it’s a great way to use your breath and mindfulness to release stress, tension, and other negative emotions, replacing it with more positive things.
This is especially useful for those who have trouble with affirmations, to begin with. When you anchor the affirmation to a physical action or two, it becomes more solid and real in your mind, making it more likely to be effective.
Eventually, enough uses of affirmations in conjunction with breathing exercises will begin to automatically make the affirmations for you when you take a steadying breath. In other words, you may reach a point where taking deep breaths immediately reminds your brain of the affirmation you’ve used! Other breathing-based affirmations include:
- I breathe in peace and exhale stress.
- I breathe in optimism and exhale pessimism.
- I’ll breathe out anger and hatred and replace it with love and kindness.
Positive affirmations are powerful. Of course, the more you tell yourself positive things, the more your brain will recognize and apply those statements. The marvels of the brain allow these things to come to fruition. Even if you fake that positivity, you’ll still get some benefits, as your mind will register your words as truth regardless.
So try adding positive affirmations to your daily routine! You might be surprised by how much you uplift your spirit.