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Affirmations change negative thinking to positive thinking

This is an excerpt from Stress Management by Nanette E. Tummers.


Affirmations are powerful, succinct statements of things we want to have happen in our lives. We repeat them to remind us of our capacity to change negative thinking to positive thinking. In affirmations, we match what we want with actions we can take to get it.

Commercials depend on our remembering slogans so we later purchase the products. Athletes and businesspeople use affirmations to help them achieve goals and success. It may feel awkward to use these statements, but with practice and patience, they may begin to feel more natural, and your new beliefs will create a new experience.

Keep the following in mind when writing affirmations:

  • Depending on your preferred learning style, use any of the following:
    • Visual: Use imagery along with words.
    • Auditory: Repeat the statements aloud over and over.
    • Kinesthetic: Repeat the statements in rhythm with your movement while walking or working out.
  • Keep your statements in the present tense.
  • Use positive language; don’t use I won’t or no in your statements.
  • Make a sincere effort to believe in your statement. Sometimes you have to “fake it ‘til you make it.” This means to act as if this statement has been manifested and allow yourself to feel what it would be like to realize this statement.
  • Make your statements meaningful and personal.
  • Keep your wording specific, simple, and succinct.
  • Use words that capture how you will feel when you have achieved your goal: I did it!
  • Repeat often!

Writing Affirmations

This activity provides practice in using affirmations.


Mindful sitting with journal or index cards


  1. Use one or more of the following starts to affirmations that you will write in your journal or on index cards: I am _________ [something about your character; e.g., I am motivated]; I can _________ [something about your potential; e.g., I can set goals and achieve them]; I will _________ [what you sincerely want to have happen; e.g., I will get into graduate school].
  2. Take a deep inhale and softly state your affirmations aloud on the exhale. With each subsequent exhale, say the affirmation a little more quietly until you are saying it silently to yourself.
  3. Pay attention to each word you say, and don’t rush. All the words in the affirmation matter, so take the time to say them with purpose and intention.
  4. Feel the words you have selected intuitively; go beyond the words until you have a sense of the spirit behind them.
  5. Take a few letting-go breaths, and on your exhales, continue to say your affirmations silently.


Schedule several times during your day to sit quietly and recite your affirmations. As you plan your day, restate your affirmations so you can commit your energy and time to receiving what you want in your heart of hearts.

Learn more about Stress Management.

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