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Positive affirmation: the art of being kind to yourself
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Positive affirmation: the art of being kind to yourself

Adherents believe repeatedly affirming your ideal reality as if you were already living it helps your subconscious mind start accepting what you are saying as truth
positive affirmation
Representational image | Shutterstock

Reema Krishnan, 37, believes in the power of positive affirmation.  Krishnan who has battled depression for over a decade says this technique has really helped her look at things positively. “It acts as a catalyst for change.” 

Affirmations stem from the Law of Attraction, which is based on the belief that positive thoughts bring positive results while negative thoughts bring negative results in an individual’s life.  

“As these sad feelings and ideas mount, they make us feel burdened until we inevitably lose and tumble. To clear that clutter, the best strategy is an affirmation,” she adds. 

How do affirmations work 

The purpose of affirmations is to describe your ideal reality as if you were already living it. The main idea behind it is to use repetition to help your subconscious mind start accepting what you are saying as truth. 

Although, there is less clarity about the link between affirmation and behavioural change, experts believe that interventions can reduce stress, boost well-being, enhance academic achievement, and encourage people to adopt new behaviours.  

 “Like many manifestation techniques (where you can turn your dreams into reality), positive affirmation is a tool to assist you to align your energy so that it will easily attract good things into your life. It is an intrinsically positive sentence that describes your ideal world,” says Dr Rahul Pramod Patil, a neurosurgeon at Aditya Birla Hospital in Pune. 

Just like in neuropsychology, where the brain connections that are used more frequently than others develop stronger with time, affirmations assist you in creating the neural connections that convince you that you already live in your ideal world.  

“Even though it looks sophisticated, it means that you are convincing your mind that what you are producing already exists,” says Dr Madan Mohan Gupta, consultant neuro interventionalist at Eternal Hospital in Jaipur. “Your energy will progressively increase as a result, aligning you with what you express, and your brain will start to vibrate at the frequency of your ideal existence,” he adds. 

Our reward and value centres are activated by positive affirmations, which lead to healthier lifestyles that include regular exercises and balanced eating habits.  This reduces stress and empowers us to handle emotions better, says Dr Gupta.  

Saying a simple phrase that you do not even believe in will not assist you in manifesting or displaying the change you wish. 

The secret sauce — repetition 

Affirmations must meet a few requirements to be effective. One such requirement is repetition. Your affirmation will have a greater impact on your subconscious mind the more you say it out loud, think about it, and feel it. Repetition is essential, but you must be careful not to turn it into a task. Instead, only practice when it makes you feel inspired and uplifted. Affirmations must elicit a response from you for them to boost your energy. If a sentence does not make you feel anything, repeating it a thousand times will not be as beneficial as repeating it 10 times and meaning it. 

“Your brain processes your words and thoughts. It gets you ready for whatever action – whether it be related to your sentiments, activities, or physical well-being. For this reason, it is important to remember that your affirmations should be expressed in the present tense rather than in the past or future,” said Dr Patil. 

You don’t and you won’t 

“Use only uplifting words. Words like ‘don’t’ and ‘won’t’ should not be used since they lack a positive connotation. When you use negatively charged language, it takes a lot more effort for your brain to evoke meaning and seek helpful instructions,” explains Dr Gupta. 

There are two different types of affirmations. First, there are affirmations that you say to yourself throughout the day, such as when you mess up at work or fail an exam. In each of these situations, where people are prone to become their own harshest critics, repeating a positive affirmation might be beneficial. One that you jot down in the morning and read at night is the second type of affirmation. Pick the most appropriate option for yourself.  

Positive affirmations to start your day: 

  • I believe in myself 
  • My influence is unbounded 
  • I appreciate how confident I am 
  • I value myself 
  • I easily overcome any challenge 
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