Wondering how affirmations and mental health go together?
One simple yet profound way to improve mental health is to practice positive affirmations regularly. Research shows positive affirmations can help change thought patterns and influence different behavioral changes for the better.
This can be particularly helpful for those who struggle with anxiety, depression, or self-esteem issues.
Below we dive into what affirmations are, how using them daily can benefit mental health, and several examples of affirmations employees can use at any time.
What are Affirmations?
Affirmations are brief statements or phrases that can be said aloud or in your head. These are used to build confidence, and self-esteem and to affirm yourself. These can be particularly helpful during difficult or emotional times.
These phrases are a great way to counteract negative thinking and can stop unhelpful thoughts from spiraling out of control and causing self-doubt. In a world where it’s easy to compare ourselves to others, it’s a good method and mental activity to use to not get bogged down in negativity.
Affirmations and Mental Health
Can affirmations improve mental health? Research says yes. But it isn’t a technique that can be used every once in a while. Affirmations work best when practiced daily and authentically.
Here’s what the research says about affirmations and mental health:
- Self-affirmation phrases are shown to reduce stress
- Self-affirmations are proven to decrease health-deteriorating stress
- Affirmations can make us less likely to dismiss harmful health messaging
Additionally, a study in Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience found that stating motivational positive affirmations can boost confidence. Affirmation usage has also been shown to improve stress management by creating skills for effective problem-solving.
RELATED: 9 Science-Backed Reasons You Should Meditate on a Daily Basis
Affirmations Worth Saying Daily
It may feel strange at first to repeat a certain phrase in your head, but it’s worth a try. There’s not a single, perfect affirmation that’s right for everyone. It’s personal and the affirmation you may need can change from day to day.
The key is to ensure what you’re telling yourself feels authentic.
Here are some affirmations to consider each day:
- “I choose to be happy.”
- “I decide how I feel today.”
- “I am unique and beautiful.”
- “I have faith in my abilities.”
- “I am stronger than my anxiety.”
- “I am stronger than my depression.”
- “When I fall, I get back up again.”
- “This is hard, but I can do hard things.”
- “My feelings are making me uncomfortable, but I accept them.”
- “I am in charge of my thoughts and don’t judge them.”
- “I am resilient, strong, and brave.”
- “My life is happening right here, right now.”
- “My happy thoughts help create my healthy body.”
- “I deserve a happy and healthy day.”
- “My dreams, goals, and desires are as worthwhile as anyone else’s.”
- “Wellness is the natural state of my body. I am in perfect health.”
Practicing With Affirmations
Beyond repeating the above phrases, there are also other opportunities to put affirmations to use. Check out apps on your smartphone that deliver daily affirmations or reminders to practice affirmations. Some apps even allow you to record your voice saying the affirmations, which some may find can be helpful.
Writing down affirmations in a journal is a visual way to embrace positive thinking, too. Write these in the present tense, experts advise.
Remember to be patient with yourself as you start a daily practice. Just like anything else, it will become a habit over time if it’s important to you. The more often you say it, the deeper embedded into your brain the thoughts become.
Share Weekly Affirmations With Your Team
If you’re looking for a more positive vibe in your work environment, affirmations are a great place to start. Even simple discussions around affirmations can open your employees up to the possibility of improving their mental health with these simple statements.
The beauty of affirmations is they don’t need to be said aloud to benefit someone, either. Simply giving your employees the tools and statements can encourage them to try it on their own. They can use them when they’re stuck in traffic, having an argument, dealing with a tough situation, or just feeling overwhelmed. No one needs to know they’re using it but it still benefits them at the moment if they know to use it.
Considering affirmations and mental health go hand and hand together, try these ideas to benefit your workers:
- Start the week right - At the start of each week, send out an affirmation via email or on your team’s communication platform for them to consider.
- Put them on display - Create a wall of affirmations in the workplace.
- Create a monthly affirmation newsletter section - You might also collect suggestions from employees and put them in your next newsletter.
What other ways have you seen affirmations used in the workplace? Share your insights in the comments below!