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Why Affirmations Are Important to Your Health and Happiness


Kari is a full-time blogger and ghostwriter. She enjoys writing about how to be happier in life and in love.

Time to change what you affirm to yourself?

Time to change what you affirm to yourself?

I had heard about positive affirmations, but I never understood their power until I started using them.

If you don’t use them, I understand that you may not think they are that important—but it turns out that they are!

Affirmations are not a bunch of crap that new age people are trying to spew as the next best way to change your life. Affirmations are already a part of your life, whether you like it or not.

Definition of "Affirmation": The action or process of affirming.

Definition of "Affirm": To state as a fact; to assert strongly and publicly.

Every second of the day, you are affirming some "truths" to yourself. Many of those affirmations are negative "truths" that, consequently, affect your happiness in a bad way. That is because what you affirm the most, you believe, and when you believe all the negative things you say to yourself, your day and your life suffers for it.

For instance, when you wake up and say, “Oh, great, another day at the office that I HATE going to—I wish I could call in sick,” then that is an affirmation that you are saying to yourself. You are stating the fact that you hate your office, and that you would rather call in sick.

Does that affirmation really make you want to jump out of bed and skip like a kid to your office? No! It makes you feel miserable about your day because you do have to go to work—and the sad part is that your day hasn’t even started yet.

Positive affirmations help you to view things in a different way, which affects your mood in a positively. Eventually you will start to believe those new views and be on a permanent mood boost because they will turn into concrete beliefs.

This does not mean that you should say, “I can’t wait to go into the office!” if your office sucks and you do not like going there. However, it does mean that you can tell yourself better things such as:

  • “Today I will take steps to help me achieve the life I really want”
  • “I have a choice about what work I do in this life, and I choose to start looking for another career path today.”

Those positive affirmations will help you to realize that you are not stuck at your current job forever, and no matter how bad it seems right now, you can change your path if you really want to.

Therefore, positive affirmations help you to take action on the things you want as well as believe new and positive things about yourself. For example, one study done on positive affirmations found that people who consistently practiced positive affirmations succeeded in sticking with a health plan almost 20 percent more than people who did not practice positive affirmations.

"Any idea, plan, or purpose may be placed in the mind through repetition of thought." - Napoleon Hill

What Best Describes You?

You Should Believe Your Positive Affirmations On Some Level

Do you believe it? Awesome!

Do you believe it? Awesome!

You cannot say anything that you want to believe about yourself and instantly believe it. You have to have some level of belief in the affirmation already.

For example, saying that you are ‘rail thin’ is not going to make sense if you really believe that you are fat. However, an affirmation that says ‘I do my best to eat healthy and exercise’ is an affirmation that you can put a little more stock into.

When you find positive affirmations that work, you will instantly feel better as you say them. They will help to keep you grounded and connected to the life that you want.

For example, a few years ago, I found that I was constantly surrounded by negative friends who had to argue every belief and opinion I had. So, I developed an affirmation that goes like this - “Other people have the right to believe what they want to believe.”

That affirmation helped me to remember that I was not the decider of all things, and other people were allowed to have their own opinions, beliefs, and rules in life. It allowed me to put down my defensive wall and respect other people instead of argue with them. Every time I said the affirmation, I felt better about myself and the negative people who surrounded me.

And of course, when I eventually saw the truth in the affirmation (it literally happened in a moment one day when someone was defending their belief to me and I was practicing my affirmation) - I fully believed it, and it has now become a permanent belief of mine.

My point is that I could have continued to get defensive about other people’s opinions, but instead I chose to tell myself an affirmation that helped me to deal with those people, and even learn to accept them, and they no longer influence my day in a negative way.

When Should You Say Your New Affirmations?

Morning affirmations work well.

Morning affirmations work well.

First thing in the morning while you are brushing your teeth, eating breakfast, or even just laying in bed. You need to start your day off with the right attitude (very important for a happy day), and even though saying the affirmations later in the day will help you maintain that attitude, the morning is when you start to really set the tone for the day ahead.

For instance, have you ever heard someone say that they stubbed their toe in the morning and they knew that their day was going to suck from that moment on? Or do you believe that when one thing goes wrong a whole bunch of other things follow? That is because a tone is set for the day, and an initial mind-set of negativity causes people to see and experience the negative in the day and miss or overlook the positive.

You could say this is the law of attraction at its best. They expect the worst and so the worst is what they get.

Other than the morning, you can say positive affirmations whenever you want or need to say them. For me, it usually happens when I am confronted with a situation that requires me to re-frame the way I am thinking about it. Like when I get too involved in my own negative thoughts, or when an incident that could easily affect the rest of my day occurs.

However, whenever you think of them, or feel like saying them, do so.

How Quickly Will Positive Affirmations Work?

Loving yourself.

Loving yourself.

Take The Poll!

You will find that some affirmations will work quicker than others. Some will be adopted into your belief system right away, while others will have to fight to become part of your belief system.

It all depends on how strong your belief is around the affirmation you are saying. For instance, if you have been told your whole life that you are not smart, and you have been saying those words to yourself over and over again, then obviously telling yourself a positive affirmation such as, “I have a lot to contribute to this world,” may take a while to sink in.

But that is not a hard and fast rule. I know some people who are happy to believe their new affirmation, and it quickly becomes a part of their belief system.

In short, it all depends on you and your willingness to believe new, positive things about yourself. And, any experiences that happen while you are trying to incorporate your new beliefs will affect how you feel about them as well. For example, if you are telling yourself an affirmation about how smart you are, and a stranger tells you that you are very intelligent, then you may start to believe your affirmation much quicker.

A Few Extra Thoughts About Positive Affirmations

The perfect moment to change is now.

The perfect moment to change is now.

There are many websites and books out there that will help you develop your own list of positive affirmations. Remember though, the affirmation has to resonate with you in order for you to believe it, so if you find an affirmation that you would like to use, then try to make it your own in some way.

You don’t need to believe the same thing that your neighbor believes, but you do need to believe things that help you stay happy throughout your day and get the most out of it as possible.

Also, remember that you only need to focus on today (which is really tomorrow and the next day too, because it will always be today no matter what day you are in.) Therefore, do not say I ‘will’ or I ‘could’ in your affirmation. Instead, say I ‘am’. Another good example is saying, “I eat healthy…starting tomorrow.” Affirm, “I eat healthy” in the present tense.

Today will always be today, so why commit to your affirmations tomorrow when you can commit to them today?

Affirmations To Help You Build New Habits

“Affirmations are our mental vitamins, providing the supplementary positive thoughts we need to balance the barrage of negative events and thoughts we experience daily.” - Tia Walker, The Inspired Caregiver: Finding Joy While Caring for Those You Love

I write a lot about building new habits in your relationship. Whether or not you build these new habits will depend on how you talk to yourself. In other words, what you affirm to yourself (state as a fact) will have an influence over whether or not you carry your habits through.

You can use affirmations to help you build healthy relationship habits simply by deciding what habits you really want to build and creating affirmations around them. For instance, “I will tell my partner I love them daily because they deserve to hear that they are loved.”

Let me give you some examples of affirmations to help you build some strong relationship habits.

  • I desire a better life with a partner through healthier habits.
  • Every day I will work on creating new habits that benefit my relationship.
  • The only way to improve my relationship is by incorporating new habits into it.
  • I want to be happy and I want my partner to be happy.
  • I am committed to making the most out of this relationship that I can.
  • I will have habits in the relationship anyway, so I might as well make them good ones!
  • Every day I am becoming a better lover.
  • Every day I am becoming a stronger, happier person.
  • I am not afraid to ask for what I need in the relationship.
  • I am not afraid to hear criticism because it makes me a better partner.

The point is that you need to stop talking to yourself negatively and start encouraging yourself to work towards the relationship you want. Affirmations can help you do that, so ensure you create a list of affirmations that help you form the beliefs you want to form.

How To Create Your Own Positive Affirmations

Writing your positive affirmations.

Writing your positive affirmations.

Step 1 – Admit all of the negative things that you think about yourself everyday. These do not have to be only negative thoughts about you. You should also include thoughts that you consistently have about other people in the world around you. Be honest with yourself here. You cannot change what you do not acknowledge, so you have to admit how your thoughts and words are affecting your life first before you can change them.

For instance, you may affirm:

  • I hate work
  • I hate my partner
  • My life sucks
  • I’m too fat
  • I will never pay off my debt
  • I never get to do what I want
  • I am not appreciated

Step 2 - Write down what you discover in list format. You may want to break it up into sections such as career, success, relationships, health, and happiness. Leave room in between each negative affirmation because you will be replacing it with a positive affirmation.

An example may be:


  • Work sucks
  • I don’t get paid enough
  • Work is not meant to be a fun place


  • I hate my body
  • I can’t stop overeating
  • I’m always tired


  • I will never find love
  • My love life sucks
  • I deserve to be unhappy
  • Love is about sacrifice


Step 3 – Now, write out a new affirmation, a positive affirmation, underneath your negative affirmations. Remember, you want to believe what you write; therefore, if your negative affirmation is ‘I am fat’, then do not write ‘I am as light as a feather’. Instead, write ‘I choose good foods to nourish my body, and I enjoy exercise,’ which will help you make decisions that will help you feel better about your body image.

Also, you don’t have to write it in my language. Write it as YOU would talk, which will help it really resonate as a truth with you. For instance, if you say “I like me some healthy food” then that is fine.

For example:


- Work sucks

New Affirmation: I can start looking for a new job whenever I want

- I don’t get paid enough

New Affirmation: I will find a job that pays me what I am worth.

- Work is not meant to be a fun place

New Affirmation: I enjoy myself wherever I am working.


- I hate my body

New Affirmation: My body is a temple that I respect.

- I can’t stop overeating

New Affirmation: I stop eating when I feel full.

- I’m always tired

New Affirmation: I actively look for reasons why I am tired and then fix the issue


- I will never find love

New Affirmation: I deserve love and it is waiting for me

- My love life sucks

New Affirmation: I haven’t found the right person yet

- I deserve to be unhappy

New Affirmation: I deserve to be happy

- Love is about sacrifice

New Affirmation: Love shouldn’t be hard

Step 4 - Make a new list with only your positive affirmations. You don’t need those negative affirmations anymore!

Step 5 - Say your positive affirmations out loud in the morning and whenever you need to. Many people recommend looking at yourself in the mirror while you are saying your affirmations, because that helps you connect to the words that you are saying instead of just mindlessly saying them.

You can also write them out on individual cards and post them around your house to help you to remember to say them. For instance, put an affirmation about your health on the fridge.

I personally like to visualize my affirmations to help me connect to them, but I have a very vivid imagination and that may not be for everyone.

The point is that you should pick whatever method allows you to feel good about what you are saying.

In the end, affirmations are a powerful tool. They influence your mood, your mindset, and help you make decisions in your day that benefit you and other people around you.

Use positive affirmations instead of negative affirmations; you won’t be sorry!

Note: I know that positive affirmations sounds a lot like positive thinking, and that’s because it is. The two are really the same. When you are telling yourself positive things repeatedly, you are thinking positively. You may be interested to know that Louise Hay, the founder of Hay House, claims that positive thinking helped her to cure cancer. She says that thoughts have the power to make us feel good, which is so true. She says that you have to be careful about the thoughts you choose if you want to feel good. She encourages that you observe your thoughts and understand what is benefiting you or not benefiting you – and then choose what benefits you. How powerful is it that we can choose our thoughts!

Extra IMPORTANT Note: You cannot always think and talk positively to yourself. It is not always going to be useful. One study, done by Dr. Joanne Wood at the University of Waterloo, found that people who said things opposite of their beliefs felt worse after using positive affirmations. For instance, people with low-self esteem who were asked to say “I am a lovable person” felt worse because the statement strongly contradicted their self-perception. I am not saying that positive affirmations cannot work for you if you are depressed, but I am saying that therapy, and talking out your negative issues and facing them head on, may have to become a part of your life in order to change the way you talk to yourself.


Kari (author) on January 03, 2018:

@Mary - It's all about talking positively to yourself. Glad it reminded you. :)

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on January 02, 2018:

I do believe in affirmations as I have done these and have gotten results that change much of my life. I haven't done much lately so this is a good reminder.

bje117 on May 04, 2017:

Very helpful.

Reena Dhiman on August 11, 2015:

First of all affirm yourself & always keep a positive attitude in your nature.

Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on March 08, 2015:

Another great hub on the power of positive thinking and not letting it drag you down. Very helpful! Voted up!

Kari (author) on September 26, 2014:

Iris: I write for a self-improvement blog on happiness, so every single day I am reminded of the benefits of being positive, showing gratitude, etc. I totally credit my daily research and writing to my attitude.

Cristen Iris from Boise, Idaho on September 23, 2014:

Great article. I'm a big believer in keeping a positive attitude. Mine can still get negative sometimes, but it doesn't stay there long because I too practice affirmative self-talk and a heavy dose of gratitude. It's always good to have positive reinforcement though and this article does just that. :)

Kari (author) on August 28, 2014:

I also say I'm healthy a lot, and I barely every get sick. I'll have to check out Scott Adams, that's very interesting. A lot of successful people admit to using positive affirmations.

Becki Rizzuti from Indiana, USA on August 27, 2014:

I've done quite a bit of studying positive affirmations because my husband found that Scott Adams had used positive affirmations in order to break into his cartooning career. He didn't believe his affirmations until they worked for him. It's amazing how well they work, even if you don't believe them, at first.

Personally, I've had a lot of luck with positive affirmations of certain sorts, but with others, they don't work as well. For the past few years, I've avoided general illness by telling myself that I'm generally healthy and by avoiding negative wording like "I don't get sick" (since the brain hears "I get sick."

Michelle Liew from Singapore on August 27, 2014:

Yes, we do need to affirm ourselves. appositive frame of mind keeps us going.

Kari (author) on August 24, 2014:

Very true MsDora. That's something important to remember!

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on August 24, 2014:

Also good to know that the mind cannot process two opposing thoughts at the same time, so we have a choice to reject the negative and hold on to the positive. Very good insights in this article.

Kari (author) on August 23, 2014:

@llona - I agree. They are really good to give to others. I think it creeps up on everyone, but it is how we decide to move forward and talk to ourselves that makes the huge difference.

Ilona from Ohio on August 23, 2014:

I do use affirmations! I find they are not only personally important,but good to give to others. I try to avoid the negative self-talk but it creeps up on me.

Kari (author) on August 23, 2014:

Thanks for the comment, Peggy and Alicia.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on August 22, 2014:

This is a very useful hub about positive affirmations. I love your guidelines for making suitable affirmations as well as the note at the end.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on August 22, 2014:

This is obviously a very healthy way to approach life and any changes one wishes to make. Passing this on by tweeting and sharing on HP.

Kari (author) on August 21, 2014:

Good to hear DrBill. A smile really does seem to do wonders for 'tricking' ourselves into being happy, even when we are not totally feeling it.

Kari (author) on August 21, 2014:

You sound very much like me Flourish.

William Leverne Smith from Hollister, MO on August 21, 2014:

Thanks for sharing. I have my smile on! ;-)

FlourishAnyway from USA on August 20, 2014:

I'm a strong believer in what you think you become. I don't like stinkin' thinkin' and try hard to keep my attitude in check with what I want to achieve. I like the examples you provide, and it's good that you also provide that self-esteem disclaimer. (I can already hear those with low self-esteem say "It'll never work for me.") Great job!

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