The Science Behind Affirmations + a free printable!
**Download the FREE printable above by clicking here.
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Affirmations are nothing new. They have been so overly talked about and used that most people disregard them as woo-woo “fluff” without giving them a second thought. I too have done this by not giving them the time of day or the weight they deserve to actually implement in my life…. Until that is, I started to learn about the research on affirmations and the science behind how they work.
In research done by Cascio et al, “Self-affirmation theory posits that people are motivated to maintain a positive self-view and that threats to perceived self-competence are met with resistance. When threatened, self-affirmations can restore self-competence by allowing individuals to reflect on sources of self-worth, such as core values.”
Cohen and Sherman (2014) found that "affirmations can decrease stress, increase well being, improve academic performance and make people more open to behavior change.”
Often what makes affirmations so powerful is that they set a person up with a solid foundation of values about their self-worth. There are many talented, successful people that believe strongly in the importance of this solid foundational mindset that affirmations can create. One of those people is a business mentor of mine, James Wedmore, who teaches his students that to be successful (at least from his experience), you need to have a success mindset and master your inner game first. From there you can build on your business strategy. For more from James, check out his Podcast titled, The Mind Your Business Podcast. I've listened to most of his episodes and they are full of incredible insight and business ideas, but also mindset and spirituality.
“One of the key psychological theories behind positive affirmations is self-affirmation theory (Steele, 1988). So, yes, there are empirical studies based on the idea that we can maintain our sense of self-integrity by telling ourselves (or affirming) what we believe in positive ways.”
“Very briefly, self-integrity relates to our global self-efficacy—our perceived ability to control moral outcomes and respond flexibly when our self-concept is threatened (Cohen & Sherman, 2014). So, we as humans are motivated to protect ourselves from these threats by maintaining our self-integrity.”
If we look at self-affirmations as a buffer towards threat, it makes sense that those who tell themselves positive affirmations have a greater ability to handle perceived or real threat and therefore end up having greater resiliency. This can lead to less stress overall and increased self-worth.
In relation to parenting, it can be tremendously helpful for our children to hear us provide them with affirmations about their behaviour, their personality or their values. This in turn, over time, can become their own self-talk. So, making an effort to give your child positive feedback and positive affirmations can go a long way in how they view themselves and really help to increase their confidence and self-efficacy.
In conclusion, positive affirmations do have scientific credibility behind them as an effective tool. We do however have to take into account a lifetime of negative comments, thoughts, words, and beliefs we’ve been fed by others and by ourselves that won’t just go away over night. Affirmations take time and repeated use in order to work on a long-term basis in order to see lasting change. That is why I created this free printable for you to hang on your fridge, your mirror, your nightstand or even put a copy in your car so that you can see them as much as possible and start to create a habit in your life towards using them!
Pro-tip: Use affirmations first thing in the morning and right before you go to bed. Research has found that during these times we are most influenced by information we see and hear because our brains are in a theta brainwave, which is like a daydreamy state. Therefore, feeding ourselves positive information during these times, will more easily gets passed into the subconscious mind.
A great book that I have and helped me to really understand the power of affirmations, how to word them, and how to use them in my daily life is "52 Weekly Affirmations: Techniques to Unleash the Power of Your Subconscious Mind" by Dr. Joseph Murphy. His book "The Power of Your Subconscious Mind" is incredible and basically shows you how to change your thoughts and ultimately your life!
Affirmations really can make a difference in our brains, but you have to actually use them repeatedly, believe in them fully and state them as they are done. At Mama Bare Naturals we have incorporated affirmations into each of our product labels as another way for you to be exposed to more positive affirmations in your life!
Let's all thrive together.