You may have heard of the term “words of affirmation” before. To better understand their meaning, consider the following definition: Affirmations are sentences aimed to affect the conscious and the subconscious mind. In turn, they affect our behavior, thinking patterns, habits, and environment.
The concept behind affirmation words is to inspire, energize, and motivate the mind by creating positive visualizations or mental images, whether automatically or involuntarily. These resultant mental images created from affirmations allow for permanent changes for the better to behavior, habits, actions, and reactions.
What Do Affirmations Do?
- Increased focus, specifically on the goal
- Influence and activate the powers of the subconscious mind
- Change thought patterns and behavior permitting you to open up to others who may be capable of helping you heal
- Increase energy levels, positivity, and activity, allowing you the ability to transform your visualizations into reality
When you begin to experience anxious thoughts, try to instead replace them with positive affirmations. Harsh, negative beliefs and self-beliefs are commonly associated with anxiety, and commitments allow one experiencing anxiety to replace these negative thoughts with positive thoughts.
Instead of being at the mercy of anxious thoughts, positive affirmations reinforce positive control of thought choice.
The application of positive affirmations can be employed at all times: during low-stress periods, during an anxiety attack, or during periods of intense anxiety and will permit healthy, positive thoughts and beliefs.
Anxious thoughts create authentic illusions that feel uncontrollable to the person suffering from anxiety. Using positive affirmations, it is possible to realign thoughts and feelings to those ideal in helping counteract anxious thoughts.
Guidelines for Creating Positive Affirmations for Anxiety
Affirmations, specifically positive, should follow a general set of guidelines designed to maximize their effectiveness, including:
- Keep them short and sweet (to the point)
- Align them to your personal beliefs and goals
- Fit them to your personality
- Design encouraging statements
- Incorporate factual information (i.e., strengths or accomplishments)
- Design them with anxiety in mind by using reminders that you can go back to during an anxiety attack
- Positively create them meaning to emphasize on your strengths instead of your weaknesses
- Utilize “I” statements
- Focus on the present rather than the past or future
- Honestly, believe in the statements you create
- Design your affirmations directly around your anxious, harsh self-talk
Examples of Positive Affirmations for Anxiety Relief
Do not place a limit on the number of positive affirmations you create for yourself to replace anxious thoughts. When developing them, the central focal point is to ensure they have a personal meaning and counteract negative self-talk. You may consider using the following list when creating your own positive affirmations and adjusting them to better fit your needs:
- I have survived this before; I will survive now.
- I am healthy and can persevere.
- My anxiety will not control me.
- I will focus on taking things one step at a time.
- Only this moment matters for me.
- I will approach this situation with positivity and openness.
- I am Someone who can focus on the beauty around me.
- I control my breathing rate, fast or slow.
- I enjoy my feelings of inner relaxation.
- I am actively taking steps to reduce my anxiety.
- I am talented and have much to offer.
- My family needs me.
- I love to make others laugh.
- My listening skills are excellent.
- I cultivate patience to overcome anxiety.
- I am courageous and will conquer my anxiety.
- My unique strengths will help me move beyond anxiety.
- I value and focus my energy on the positive instead of the negative.
Regardless if you choose to use the positive affirmations from this list, tailor them to yourself, or create your own, it is essential to remember them. Perhaps you can write them down in your phone or carry small cards or other objects with you that have them written down. Ensure they are easily visible or retrievable. Just like you would, when studying for a test, take the time to remember the affirmations you have created for yourself; this will make them more useful. The goal is for them to become second nature and engraved into your brain, so they become natural reoccurring thoughts.
Anxiety can be overcome through affirmations by replacing negative self-talk with more realistic self-talk that directly relates to the truths about ourselves instead of the unrealistic image we have painted of ourselves.
This is an extract from my book Understanding Anxiety and Panic Attacks published and available from Amazon. Further details are available here