Self-affirmations are a part of a theory conceptualized by psychologist Claude Steele and popularized in the 1980s. The theory asserts that individuals who reflect on their values have a greater buffer against stressful situations and also react less defensively to negative feedback.
Studies show that self-affirming statements can help positively support, affirm, manifest, and reframe a person’s esteem and worth. Through reminders of the person’s value and worth, one can cope better with life stressors and may even improve their health or academic performance. It has been found in greater research that having a positive mindset through life’s hardships can help an individual maintain good mental health.
These are very personal and depend entirely on your goals. Thus, affirmations may look or take on different types. Some types this article will explore include:
Really, an affirmation is anything that supports an individual’s goals or esteem. It can be declared through different ways, from journaling to mirror talks.
Individuals with low or high esteem may use positive declarations to strengthen their identity. According to Claude Steele, the self is considered an overall system of roles, values, and belief systems (e.g. political and religious). Steele theorized that through the declaration of positive statements, one can feel more connected with themselves.
These reminders are an important aspect of self-empowerment. It can help individuals build a buffer against anxiety, depression, and stress. It also helps combat doubts stemming from cognitive dissonance–the phenomenon that occurs when a piece of identity doesn’t complement other aspects of themselves. Simply put, self-affirmations help an individual feel comfortable with themselves even if there are aspects, beliefs, or behaviors that contradict one another. This may also be part of the reason why these reminders help individuals respond to criticism with less defense.
Yes, affirmations can certainly act in helping prevent suicidal ideation by heightening one’s self-approval. After all, a significant risk suicidal risk factor that has been studied extensively is low or fluctuating esteem.
Fluctuating or low self-esteem is a poor perception of oneself and can be considered a symptom of depression and a warning sign for suicide. It can result in undesirable conditions including low life satisfaction and a negative outlook. A poor outlook on life, or an individual that sees themselves as negative or their surrounding environment as all bad, can perpetuate hopelessness that may be hard to break out of. Low self-esteem can also lead to substance abuse–another major risk factor–as the individual self-medicates with illicit substances to escape reality or “numb the pain”.
Declaring these assertions can be a simple way to prevent spiraling self-esteem. After all, declaring your identity daily can help build and protect it. During times of stress (or even major life stressors), someone can feel more self-confident in the way they’re living or handling life overall. Certain declarations can even help someone see or believe their own life purpose.
Affirmations are very personal statements that differ from person to person, the same way an individual’s identity does. That’s exactly the reason why there are so many that hold different meanings from one another. A few of the most common are self-love and motivational.
Self-love statements are positive declarations that build appreciation and confidence in one’s self-esteem. Some examples of self-love affirmations include:
Think of how you speak to your loved ones. Do you find that you speak to your loved ones better than you speak to yourself? These would be most beneficial to you.
Motivational statements help an individual achieve goals, stay focused on the present, and be resilient in the face of setbacks. Examples of motivational affirmations include:
You’ll know motivational declarations are what you need if you feel stuck in your goals, overwhelmed, or challenged. If you need something to bring the spark back in accomplishing your goals, refocus on the positive, or build confidence after a setback, motivational affirmations may be helpful for you.
Gratitude statements are positive declarations that help you focus on the things that you are grateful for in life. Examples of gratitude affirmations include:
If you find yourself disliking your life and disregarding the things in your life that make it enjoyable, these may be most effective and helpful for you.
Gratitude helps promote healthy self esteem in a more complex way. Having a strong support system, or recognizing and appreciating the positive things in your life, can help maintain self-esteem by reminding yourself that your surroundings are safe and valued. Even the most stubborn are influenced to a certain degree by the environment around them. By recognizing and appreciating what you have, you’re more apt to believe in your overall life path.
There’s really no “right or wrong” way to declare affirmations. Some prefer making positive “I-statements” in the mirror whereas others enjoy writing or displaying them. There are a decent amount of ways–it’s really just a matter of preference. Try any of the following:
If one doesn’t work for you, try changing it up with another method! Whatever you do, make an effort to implement daily affirmation in your everyday life for the most effective results.
Self-integrity goals can range from many different people, it is a highly personal system, for everyone is different. Goals help people cope with various issues in their lives, from low self-esteem, experiences of failure or rejection, and feeling of inferiority. Some successful, highly independent, and self-sufficient individuals use self-affirmations to meet ambitious goals.