What are Positive Affirmations and How do They Work? Thumbnail

Positive affirmations help rewire the brain and promote new connections in the brain.

Positive Affirmations

Positive affirmations are positive statements people repeat to themselves to challenge negative and unhelpful thoughts. As we know from cognitive behavioral therapy, thoughts affect our emotions and our emotions affect our behavior. Repeating positive affirmations helps people develop an affirming inner dialogue. 

Positive affirmations need to be practiced regularly to reap the benefits (Moore, 2019). 

They can be simple phrases and you can use positive affirmations for anything you want to improve your thinking on such as:

  • Motivation
  • Confidence
  • Self-worth
  • Patience
  • Calmness

Positive affirmations help rewire the brain and promote new connections in the brain. With practice, you’ll experience less unhelpful, negative thought patterns. 

In addition, positive affirmations can encourage:

For instance, when a person is having anxiety, reciting a positive affirmation can help change the course of their anxiety and calm intense symptoms, which can also help boost the person’s ability to cope and sense of self-efficacy to manage their anxiety.

Positive affirmations are used best with words that stimulate positive emotions or feelings. The negative in those statements, “not’ and “will not” carry a negative element; therefore, changing the statement to reflect the positive will be more beneficial. The idea of the affirmations is to encourage the individual to believe in themselves. 

People will want to pick affirmations that are at least a bit believable to them for them to work with regular rehearsal. A positive affirmation with zero believability will not work well. 

Some examples of positive affirmations may include:

  • I choose to be happy.
  • All is well.
  • I am okay.
  • I am worthy.
  • I am enough.
  • I am smart, strong, and confident.
  • I can do hard things.
  • I accept and love myself.
  • I am loved.
  • I am capable.
  • I am calm.

By learning to challenge unhelpful thoughts to more helpful ones, new pathways between neurons are created and with regular practice, strengthened. Although positive affirmations are not a cure for anxiety or depression, regular, long term practice can help with managing depression and anxiety symptoms, promote general sense of wellbeing, and helps people be more adaptive and resilient in social and life situations which can positively affect health (Moore, 2019).

Ready to Talk?
At CHE Behavioral Services, we understand the challenges of living with anxiety, stress, depression and worry. We are committed to helping those who are struggling. We offer online talk therapy and medication management designed to help people manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life. Our licensed mental health professionals work with clients to create personalized treatment plans that meet their unique needs and goals.

For more information about talk therapy at CHE, please call 888-515-3834. We are ready to talk and ready to listen.

Work Cited:
Moore, Catherine. “Positive Daily Affirmations: Is There Science behind It?” PositivePsychology.com, 4 Mar. 2019, positivepsychology.com/daily-affirmations/.

Makenzie Pacubas, MSW, LCSW (they/she)
CHE Quality Assurance Associate

Makenzie is a clinical social worker who has worked in the mental health field for over a decade and now works in clinical quality assurance with CHE Behavioral Health Services. Makenzie lives in Kansas City, Missouri with her partner, Justin, and their three pets. Makenzie likes art, singing, exercising, reading, getting outdoors, and trying new restaurants.