Can Positive Affirmations Improve Your Life?

positive energyHave you ever stood in front of your reflection and said things like, “I’m a confident person,” or “I am healthy?” If you have, then you’re probably familiar with the concept of positive affirmations.

Positive affirmations are statements or intentions that are said to help people overcome self-sabotaging and negative thoughts. The idea is that when you repeat them often, and begin to believe them, you can affect positive change in your life.

But do they really work? Let’s find out what the science has to say.

Scientific Thoughts on Positive Affirmations

According to the self-affirmation theory, people like to view themselves as adequate and full of integrity. We’re motivated protect ourselves from information or experiences that are contrary to these viewpoints. This theory has three key ideas that are worth exploring:

  • Self-identity
    Everyone has a global narrative or self-identify that says we’re flexible, moral and capable of adapting to change. This identity allows us to view different aspects of ourselves as being positive, which allows us to adapt to new situations.

  • Competency and adequacy
    Everyone needs to be competent and adequate in the areas they personally value. This allows them to be moral, flexible and good.

  • Authenticity
    Everyone strives to act in ways that merit acknowledgement and praise. In terms of positive affirmations we say things like, “I am healthy,” because we want to be healthy and act in ways that are consistent with being healthy.

When it comes to determining the overall effectiveness of positive affirmations, Dr. Angele Close, a Chicago-based clinical psychologist, emphasizes how important it is to create awareness around the emotions and sensations you want to achieve first. She suggests a 5-10 minute meditation to help clear your mind and focus on what matters most to you. This allows you to approach the affirmation practice without your ego getting in the way.

According to a 2015 fMRI study, people who were asked to focus on positive, forward thinking scenarios were more likely to take specific actions that improved their overall quality of life (after one month) as compared to those who were asked to focus on their least important value.

While positive affirmations may not be able to solve all of life’s problems, they can help quiet your negative self-talk and pave the way for intelligent thought.

For more information about how positive affirmations can help you improve your health or to schedule an evaluation, call Jason Ferine Physical Therapy at 424-365-2083. We are firm believers in the healing power of human touch and focus our treatments around hands-on manual therapy, strength training, yoga, exercise and acupuncture.