The hidden wonder of affirmations


Sarah Kramer, Circulation Editor

Have you ever felt stressed and overwhelmed over the mountains of schoolwork your teachers have assigned? Does it ever seem like you are sabotaging yourself? Do you ever feel like you need to be better? Well, affirmations may be precisely what you need!
Affirmations are words of encouragement, worth, or value spoken to oneself or another. They are meant to uplift people and remind them of their worth or skill in a positive and uplifting manner.
Famous celebrities like Jennifer Lopez and Michelle Obama swear by affirmations. Obama, in particular, shared with Twitter followers her daily mantra: “Am I good enough? Yes, I am.”
Affirmations are commonly used by people struggling with their mental health. Therapists and psychologists often recommend them because they are a passive form of building self-confidence and reminding a patient that they are worth more than their mental illness.
The most evident impact of affirmations is that they help end negative thought processes and build positive behavior patterns in their place. According to the Cleveland Clinic, affirmations are intended to “motivate an action, reduce stress, persevere through difficult times, and increase self-confidence and well-being.”

But is there any actual science behind these positive words?
Studies have shown that affirmations actually work by stimulating the parts of the brain related to our reward drive and self-processing. While research on the topic is still fairly new, daily positive affirmations are thought to strengthen the pathways between neurons.
If you are wishing to start affirmations, the best way to begin is by first doing some research. There are countless websites online offering a variety of affirmations for your specific needs. Generally, the most popular affirmations include “I am enough,” “Today is filled with possibility,” or “I am an unstoppable force of nature.”
Beyond these common examples, you can always customize popular affirmations to specifically fit your life, such as “I will beat my personal record for the track,” or “I will finish my homework at a reasonable hour.”
The most important thing to remember about practicing affirmations is that it is a personal process. You must stick to your affirmations and continue with your mantra to see any real effects. While it may seem too good to be true, affirmations can have a positive effect on your life and change your outlook on the world for the better.