How can we maintain a positive self-view in the face of numerous adversarial scenarios we encounter daily? It is not easy to perceive ourselves as competent and able to fulfil diverse roles assigned through family or profession. Can we be a good mother or father? Can we ace our professional challenges without feeling crushed? At the end of the day, it leaves us a little hollow.

The mind is a complex mechanism and there are ways to counter the anxiety, the dissonance we feel by developing the healthy habit of practicing self-affirmations. Science and healing traditions posit that self-affirmations can restore the sense of self-value and allow us to operate with self-competence. But what’s the magic behind these words; can we locate the underlying mechanisms?

Let’s talk about science. The controlled study group with people who practice daily affirmations noted in comparison to the group who never practiced such things that the first group showed increased activity in the key regions of the brain which are responsible for self-processing and connected these via neural networks to the part of the brain responsible for valuation. This neural activity highlights neural processes associated with successful self-affirmation. The study concluded that the key pathways of the brain are amplified resulting in reward, positive valuation and emotion regulation.

One you find the best set of affirmations suited to your personal needs; you need to set aside time to repeat them early in the morning. It could be done before you step off your bed. Keep repeating the statements and observe your whole day. How did this practice help you cope through the day? Did it impact your conscious mind, as in, did it change the way you see things, your mindset for the better? Say you’re feeling down at work just step aside and in the powder room, practice self-affirmations. Your unconscious knows what you want and now it is ready to broadcast that to your conscious and to everyone around you.

It’s not some New Age mumbo-jumbo, but it is now acceptable through a vast corpus of literature that self-affirmations decrease stress, increase well-being, enhance academic grades and open individuals up to behavioral change.

Now that we’ve understood the science, we can try to grasp the magic behind this concept! After all, affirmations are used to affirm one’s self value, and it is this self-value that is the most powerful weapon in the arsenal of personality. If we value ourselves, we tend to take the risk to prove ourselves and to display a broader view of who we are! Repetition of core values cement our idea of self-competence and helps us manifest the life we deserve!

It is also noted in various studies that the effects of self-affirmation often appear without explicit awareness and one day the individual suddenly sees change and, in that suddenness, one loses the ability to introspect and pinpoint the specifics. How can repeating sentences bring behavioral change?

It changes our overall perspective, thereby reducing negative emotional responses and fosters a sense of psychological well-being; you just have to be ready to develop a consistent practice for it to become a stress-buffer. The unbelievable happens when a person’s focus changes. Sometimes, we need to completely change the ways we are taught to think. Unpack and unlearn everything and from that mind-space, there is only magic and manifestation!

If you really think about it, self-affirmations allocate more efficiency to the way we use our psychological resources when we deal with an imminent threat; an effective tool to manipulate our mind into releasing pent-up anxiety. Studies have also shown that the parts of the brain relevant to personal goals are the same that are involved in self-affirmation, thereby deducing that both future thoughts and self-affirmation rely on similar mechanisms and mutually reinforce one another. Self-affirmations are based on the imagination. Can we imagine a better future? If we can, we manifest it!


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