Psychology has inspired neuroscientists to determine what drives changes in the brain. It is not clear why people with a positive mindset experience health benefits. One theory is that a positive outlook allows you to better cope with stressful situations, which reduces the harmful effects of stress on your body. In fact, some research suggests that personality traits such as optimism and pessimism can affect many areas of your health and well-being.
The development of the theory of self-affirmation has led to research aimed at examining whether we can see changes in the brain when we use positively statements with intent. High-value scripts were created based on the reflections that might arise when doing a self-affirmation writing exercise, while everyday scripts were created to represent common events that happen on a daily basis. These were then used in during MRI scans, where all participants saw information about potential threats. Those that practiced positive self-affirmation responded better to these threats than the control group, stimulating different areas of the brain.
Another study also found that those who created affirmations exhibited higher levels of self-esteem, increased optimism, and decreased stress levels. Research shows that positive affirmations can help us respond less defensively and more resiliently to life’s challenges. They are a mental health tool that can help you develop a healthy self-awareness and build a more resilient brain.
Thinking positively doesn’t mean keeping your head in the sand and ignoring less pleasant life situations. Positive thinking simply means that you approach adversity in a more positive and productive way. If a negative thought comes to your mind, evaluate it rationally and respond by pointing out what is good in you.
Affirmation, also called self-affirmation, is an idea that you deliberately process to support, encourage, and calm your brain and body. These can be positive statements used to challenge negative, depressed, or anxious thoughts and beliefs, replacing negative or stimulating thoughts. In the world of mental health, the affirmation is short, encouraging you can use to create more positive emotions.
It is helpful to repeat them throughout the day, for example, when you are engaging in negative or anxious thoughts, or when you find yourself in difficult emotional situations. If statements relate to anxiety attacks, they may include positive reminders about what helps you get through the episodes. Since panic, stress, and insecurity are common symptoms of anxiety, repeating a positive affirmation daily can help relieve overwhelming thoughts. Many people use affirmative sentences because they help overcome negative thinking patterns and disruptive behaviours.
You can definitely help you change your thinking patterns and attitudes by acknowledging and paying attention to ourselves and the more positive aspects of our lives. You can use positive affirmations to motivate yourself, encourage positive changes in your life, or increase your self-esteem. Positive affirmation can be a super refreshing way to use positive self-talk, which can reverse negative self-information and motivate us. Although not all positive positives certainly help (our brain can fight against them if you are too unrealistic), most of them can improve your mood, help you increase resilience and have fun in life.
My go-to examples are “I can face this” or “I have a good support network” whenever I face a challenge or feel lonely. On the more shallow end, when I look at the scales in the balance I have to remind myself that “I am handsome”! What would your affirmations be?