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We decode the science behind affirmations and how they can infuse positivity in your life

Updated on:31 July 2020, 14:04pm IST
Do you often find yourself surrounded by negative thoughts and feelings? If you said yes, it's time to bring the practice of affirmations into your life.
Shreya Gupta
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Affirmations can transform your life. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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We often find ourselves struggling to stay positive–even more so in a time like this when the whole world seems to be coming crashing down. Now, more than ever, we need to stay positive. Wondering how to do it? Well, we are here to help.

Affirmation is basically a nudge in a positive direction. It might feel a little awkward if you’re listening to affirmations or saying them out loud for the first time. But it does have a positive impact on your brain and life. 

Your mind plays an important role and so affirmation on a daily basis be it by speaking, writing or thinking can challenge the negative thoughts to improve your mindset towards a more positive side. This will not only help you in eradicating the negative thoughts but will also motivate you and boost your self-esteem.

Think positive, stay happy. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Believe it, there is neuroscience is behind it!
We’ve seen how self-help books always speak about how positive thoughts and a positive outlook can bring miraculous changes in one’s life. And they’re not wrong, because there’s science behind.

A study published in the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience revealed what goes on in our brains when we practise affirmations regularly. The researchers used MRI to find that practising self-affirmation activates the reward centres–ventral striatum (VS) and ventromedial prefrontal cortex (VMPFC) in the brain. To make it simple, these areas are the same reward centres that respond to other pleasurable experiences, such as eating your favourite dish or winning a prize.

The lead researcher, Christopher Cascio said, “Many studies have shown that these circuits can do things like dampen pain and help us maintain balance in the face of threats.”

Thus practising self-affirmation does help in activating those areas of the brain that makes you happy and positive.

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Self-affirmation and love are the key to boost your lost confidence. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

How to start with self-affirmation practice?
Yes, we know it’s not easy to just sit down one day and start thinking and speaking about the positive and good things about your life. It needs practice. But how? To answer that, we contacted Kamna Chhibber, head of the department, mental health and behavioural sciences, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram.

Chhibber says, “It is very important to consume content that makes you positive and works for you. In today’s world of social media, follow pages or role models that emit positivity.”

Chhibber also suggests that with practising self-affirmation you also need to practice gratitude, ending the day by recalling all the good things can help set the right and positive mindset. Going back to the past to finding the strength that had kept you afloat will help you more in practising self-affirmations. These things let you find the affirmations that are personal and adaptable. 

“All you need to understand and remember is we all are going through a tough phase so relying on your support system and surrounding yourself with positive people can help you become resilient,” she concludes. 

Also, listen:

To make your life easier, we’ve got 10 affirmations for you to start with:

  1. I’m good enough and I choose to be happy
  2. I believe in myself
  3. Everything is going to work out
  4. I love and accept myself just the way I’m
  5. I’m excited and optimistic about today
  6. I have the courage to say “no”
  7. I’m proud of myself and appreciate everything that I have
  8. I’m thankful for this beautiful life
  9. I’m worthy of my success
  10. I feel strong and powerful everyday

Practice these once a day to create change in your life, and let positivity flow in. s

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Shreya Gupta Shreya Gupta

Finding nirvana in good food, Shreya also loves reading books and is a die-hard Potterhead. Confident and motivated she's fun to be with. Plus food. Always.