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Complete Guide: How to Write Affirmations for Beginners

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Learning how to write affirmations is the perfect way to speed up your manifestations. 

Generic affirmations are a solid starting point, but writing your own will profoundly affect your belief system.

They’ll be specific, more personal, and tailored to your needs. Because, after all, you know your life and your situation best.

So, keep reading to learn more about the power of daily affirmations. We’ll split this article into three parts.

In part 1, we’ll discuss some theory, then in part 2, how to write your own affirmations that really work, and lastly, how to create a practice that sticks.

Let’s get started. 

Part 1: Self-Affirmations Theory, Science, & Spiritual Benefits

Part 1 is beneficial for learners who want to understand why something works for the material to absorb and work for them. If you don’t care about theory, skip to parts 2 and 3.

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What Are Daily Affirmations?

Daily affirmations are phrases or statements you say aloud, repeat in your head, or repeatedly write to affirm a new positive belief about yourself or the world. 

Affirmations can be used in just about any area of life. You can use them to improve a quality about yourself, like confidence or self-acceptance. 

Or you can use affirmations like a personal mantra, i.e., “This too shall pass.” 

Or you can banish a limiting belief about yourself or the external world, i.e., “money doesn’t grow on trees” change to “money is abundant and flows to me easily.”

Anyone working in a field to better understand the human condition—psychologists, spiritual teachers, life coaches, sales coaches, and holistic healers—would agree that affirmations are a valuable tool.

It’s a powerful method to unlock human potential, expand consciousness, and uplift the human spirit. 

Once you understand how to make affirmations work for you, you’ll have a technique to count on whenever you need to elevate yourself.

What are Some Examples of Affirmations?

I am worthy, whole, and complete!

I feel soooo close and connected to my partner. I’m so lucky to have my soulmate in my life!

 

I am protected, safe, and move through life with ease and grace!

 

I am abundant, magnetic, and radiate joy!

 

I love my body. I feel strong, flexible, and amazing in my clothes!

 

I let go of envy because nothing is off-limits to me. 

 

Every day I am successful and productive. I write 1500 words a day with flow and ease!

Do Daily Affirmations Work? 

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Yes! Simply put, affirmations are a tool for breaking the habit of feeling bad and moving toward feeling good about yourself.

The practice of affirmations has been compared to the placebo effect because you have to believe that it will work. Without belief, affirmations will not work. 

You are choosing new thoughts, beliefs, and feelings and reprogramming your entire being. It’s like learning any new skill, and it is no different from learning how to drive a car, ride a bike, or swim.

You do it over and over until your affirmation becomes a natural set point, like knowing your name. 

At first, most people find practicing affirmations strange because, unlike learning how to ride a bike, you are not interacting with a physical object.

You look in the mirror, recite your new beliefs, and connect with your inner champion.

Sometimes, our heads get in the way, and we judge ourselves. However, it’s a process that gets easier after the first few attempts.

How Do Affirmations Work Exactly? 

To understand how affirmations work, let’s go back to the basics of who we are as humans.

Living in our bodies for so long, sometimes it’s hard to see ourselves from the outside. Doing so helps us start from zero and gives us a chance to build from the ground up.

Mystic Sadhguru explains the human vessel simply. He explains that our physical body is just one big piece of memory, and we absorb everything we encounter.

For example, the smell of coffee. When you first encounter coffee and its smell, your body records that experience and stores it as a memory. You’ll remember that smell for as long as you live.

So, let’s say you have a memory, “I’m not a confident person.” 

An experience or series of events likely caused that thought and matching emotion to arise. It got recorded and stored in your body as a memory, and it eventually went unconscious. 

You’ve lived with the memory, “I’m not a confident person,” for so long that now it just feels like you. You’ve never felt any different. It’s not really you; it’s a stored memory. 

So, to sum up, for affirmations to work, we start by pinpointing our limiting thoughts, beliefs, and emotions and breaking out of them. We believe in these limiting parts of ourselves so much that we think it’s permanent. 

Know that it’s just a stored memory, it’s not the truth, and most importantly, it’s not permanent. Don’t identify with it; let it go, and fill your cells with empowering thoughts and feelings. The more receptive you are to affirmation work, the quicker it will work for you. 

How Do Affirmations Work in the Brain?

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Affirmations have long been a spiritual practice, but these days, modern science can also explain how affirmations work in the brain. To understand the power of daily affirmations, we have to learn about the subconscious mind, conscious mind, and neuroplasticity.

First, let’s understand neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity is our brain’s ability to adapt and change. According to an article on Verywell Mind, researchers believed that the brain could change and grow in childhood and adolescence but become fixed and permanent after early adulthood. 

However, by the 1960s, neuroscientists discovered that our brain is flexible. It can create new neuropathways, alter existing pathways, and grow new brain cells. 

Contrary to outdated beliefs, our brain can learn new information and create new positive memories well into our old age. So there you have it, proof we can change at any age if we believe so. 

Second, let’s learn about the subconscious and conscious mind. The conscious mind is your waking mind. It helps you judge, discern, reason, and use logic to make sense of the world. Biologist Dr. Bruce H. Lipton says we spend about 5% of our time in our conscious mind.

On the other hand, we spend about 95% in the subconscious mind. We want to focus on the subconscious when working with affirmations or any technique to create inner change. 

As Sadhguru explains, our entire being is just memory: genetic memory, ancestral memory, physical memory, and experiential memory.

But what is the subconscious mind exactly? It’s a database that stores all of your memories, habits, skills, self-concept, beliefs, and so much more. Experts compare the subconscious mind to computer software. 

The subconscious mind drives your life, controls your nervous system, and communicates directly with your emotions. It also controls involuntary movements like breathing and blinking. 

The subconscious mind is very childlike and doesn’t judge. It believes everything. It just receives, absorbs, and stores the information it encounters. 

Moreover, a great example self-help geeks use to illustrate the subconscious and the conscious mind is learning how to drive. In the process of learning how to drive, you were using your conscious mind. 

Over time, the skill of driving got programmed and became automatic. Now, you don’t have to think about driving; you just do it. That’s the subconscious mind working, your ability to drive without much thought. The conscious mind learns the skill and transfers it to your subconscious, and your subconscious stores it.

Another example is right now as you read this article. You are using your conscious mind to learn, read, and focus. Your subconscious mind is memory of each word, understanding sentence structure, and relating the material to your experiences.  

We must bring our subconscious behaviors, patterns, thoughts, and feelings into our awareness, or they will stay on autopilot. Affirmations are a valuable tool for reprograming the subconscious mind.

How long do affirmations take to work?

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Affirmations take about 21 to 66 days to work. 

According to a habit study at the University College London, building a habit takes people anywhere from 18 to 254 days. So, the average time to build a habit is approximately 66 days. 

In my experience, the quicker you believe and do not doubt your new belief, the quicker the positive affirmation soaks in. The more you get used to practicing affirmations and start seeing changes, each affirmation you work on will soak in faster and faster because you will have strengthened your belief muscle.

The key is to let go of your limiting beliefs, do your affirmations daily, and attach your affirmations to behavior changes and actions that align with your new belief. 

Can Affirmations Change Your Life?

Yes, again! If you are in the process of doubling down on affirmations. You are at a point of real inner change. Let me explain.

According to enlightenment researcher Dr. David R Hawkins, when an individual is at the emotional level of affirmation, shifts and real change start to occur in the person. 

In his book Power vs. Force, he lays out the Map of Human Consciousness (emotional states of being), going through rock-bottom emotional states such as shame to higher states like love and bliss. The consciousness level of courage is when the person starts affirming and moves from a fearful survival mode to empowerment—they move from force to power.

You are on the right track!

If you are undergoing a deep inner transformation, I highly recommend reading my article on Dr. David R. Hawkins and the Map of Consciousness to help your affirmations work more quickly. 

Part 2: How to Write Positive Affirmations That Really Work

In part 2, we’ll go over the power of the I am statement, nine tips to make your affirmations work for you, positive affirmation words to use, words not to use, and a list of example areas of life for affirmations.

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The Power of the I Am Statement

Core beliefs are the foundation of your being. It’s your power center and connects to the third chakra—the solar plexus. Your behavioral patterns, habits, and well-being derive from this center. 

The “I am” statement is a declaration statement and is powerful because it transforms your core beliefs, story, and self-concept. Every day, we subconsciously affirm stories about who we are and what we believe the world to be, whether we are aware of it or not. By working on your core beliefs, you can rewrite your entire life story. 

When understanding “the I am,” it’s essential to understand permanence versus impermanence. For example, “I am a failure” versus “I am a winner who had a moment of failure.” The first statement suggests “failure” as a state of permanence. One failure or five failures does not make one a failure. 

“I am” is your roots and power generator, so nourish your roots. Get it in a healthy, uplifting, expansive, loving, kind, compassionate, inspiring, and empowering vibration. 

9 Tips for Writing Positive Daily Affirmations

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When writing affirmations, look for uplifting, inspiring, expansive, and empowering feelings. Below are nine essential tips for writing effective affirmations. Check out my article on The Law of Vibration and Esther Hicks’ Emotional Guidance Scale to get better at manifesting and affirmations.

Tip 1: Make Your Phrases in the Present Tense

Write your affirmations as though it is happening right now and that you are that person today. 

The subconscious mind does not know fact from fiction, so the trick is to believe that you already have what you want today. 

For instance, instead of writing, “I will be confident.” or “I will go to the gym.” Write “I am confident.” or “I am enjoying my workouts at the gym.”

Tip 2: Turn Negatives into Positive Statements

Write down what you want instead of what you don’t want. Turn your desires and thoughts into positive ones. 

For instance, if you find yourself writing things like, “I don’t want another unhealthy relationship.” Turn it into a positive affirmation like “I am so happy and fulfilled in my new relationship. He’s so supportive, adventurous, and fun!”

Tip 3: Use Emotional Language

The subconscious speaks in emotions and visual images. Use language that provokes positive feelings in you. 

For instance, “I make $10,000.” Instead, write, “I am so happy and grateful that I hit my $10,000 a month goal! I feel soooo freaking free!” 

Example emotional adjectives: amazing, loving, flowing, energized, excited, abundant, free, secure, relaxed, and safe. 

Tip 4: Use as Few Words as Possible

Make your affirmations clear and concise. Getting to the point helps you connect to your emotions instead of getting too heady and logical. 

Tip 5: Make Affirmations Specific to You

Use words that resonate with you. For instance, you might click with the word “vital,” but I connect to the word “energetic” more.

Another thing to look out for is the emotion behind your affirmation. For example, we want the same result, but the experience we desire that’s backing our manifestation is different. 

Let’s say we both want $10,000. You may want $10,000 to feel secure and safe, but I might want $10,000 to feel free and independent. 

Tip 6: Start with “I am”

As mentioned earlier, starting with “I am” connects with your power center. When in doubt, start with “I” or “My.”

Tip 7: Make Your Affirmations Believable to You

Our big goals can sometimes feel unrealistic. Working on affirmations that feel too out of reach can make us feel like we are lying to ourselves, leading us to squash affirmations altogether. Choose affirmations that push your boundaries but still feel believable. 

For example, let’s say your goal is to run a marathon. If you are currently sedentary, it may be hard to believe an affirmation like “I am accomplished, strong, and powerful. I crushed 26.2 miles!” 

Keep your long-term goal of running a marathon, but write affirmations that align with what feels possible now. For instance, “I am so proud of myself for going for a jog 3x a week.” Then increase it to, “Wow! I can’t believe it, I ran my first 5 miles. I feel so accomplished!” and so on. 

Tip 8: Use Active Words that End with “-ing.”

Make your affirmations active, like they are happening in the present moment. For example, if you want to manifest good health, write, “I love working out at the gym. I feel so fresh and energized!” 

Tip 9: Make it About Things You Can Control

You can only change yourself, so make your affirmations about things that are in your control. 

For instance, you want your partner to quit drinking. Instead of writing, “I am so happy that my partner quit drinking.” You’ll be setting yourself up for failure and disappointment if he doesn’t change. 

Instead, write, “I am relaxed and at peace. I let go of control, fear, and anxiety. I trust my partner will work on his drinking habits when ready.” The latter affirmation is more about you and how you want to manage your emotions. 

Positive Words to Use in Affirmations

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  • I can 
  • I have 
  • I am 
  • It’s easy
  • I will (This one is a little tricky; we want to write in the present tense when writing affirmations. “Will” suggests “one day in the future” and perhaps “doubt.” It is not a declaration. “Will” can be a stepping stone affirmation for people struggling with extreme doubt. Quickly move out of this comfort zone as soon as possible, though.”)

Words Not to Use When Writing Affirmations

  • It’s hard
  • I’ll try
  • I will 
  • I can’t
  • I wish (check notes above)
  • I hope
  • I don’t have
  • I don’t want
  • I desire 
  • I wish
  • I never
  • I always

List of Example Areas to Write Affirmations For

  • Self-esteem
  • Self-acceptance
  • Letting Go 
  • Confidence
  • Self-worth
  • Shame 
  • Rejection
  • Guilt
  • Envy 
  • Jealousy
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Negative thinking
  • Mental Health

 

 

 

  • Inner Child Healing
  • 7 Chakras
  • Root Chakra
  • Sacral Chakra
  • Solar Plexus Chakra
  • Heart Chakra
  • Throat Chakra
  • Third Eye Chakra
  • Crown Chakra
  • Physical Health
  • Weightloss or weight gain 
  • Fitness
  • Strength
  • Flexibility
  • Clear Skin
  • Quit smoking 
  • Quit drinking
  • Better sleep

 

  • Career
  • Sports and competition
  • Discipline
  • Time Management
  • Creativity
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Sales and Strategy
  • Leadership
  • School and Exams

Part 3: How to Start a Positive Daily Affirmation Practice That Sticks

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How to Create an Affirmation Practice

Self-help experts agree that the best time to do affirmations is first thing in the morning and right before bed. Our subconscious is most active, impressionable, and receptive at these times. 

A good signal for the best times to recite affirmations is when your mind is relaxed and daydreamy. Another great time is during meditations or directly after. And if your schedule allows, add another affirmation session at midday.

Like with any habit change, start small and build your way up. Start with 3 minutes and build to 15 minutes. Strive for quality, intentionality, and consistency. 

Whether you say your affirmations aloud, write them out, or both, setting a specific time is essential so you won’t skip your session. If you are a calendar person, schedule it into your calendar like you would a workout. 

Experimenting and seeing what works for you is best because we’re all unique and have different lifestyles. For instance, in the morning, I do scripting (a manifestation practice similar to affirmations) directly after my meditations. 

In the evening, if I do affirmations or creative visualization exercises regarding career goals, I get excited, and it keeps me up. I opt for more relaxing, calming, and healing affirmations and visualizations to help me sleep well.

How to Practice Affirmations in the Mirror

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Photo by Paige Cody on Unsplash

I find that practicing affirmations in front of the mirror is the best technique for beginners. It forces you to connect with yourself. Look in the mirror and ask yourself, who do you see (without judging your answer)? Your response will give you significant insight into your internal state.

  • Start by standing in front of the mirror in an easy, neutral stance.
  • Take 3 to 6 slow breaths until you feel relaxed and meditative. 
  • Look in the mirror and gently connect with yourself. 
  • Repeat each affirmation 15 times or for 2 minutes. 
  • Each time you say your affirmation aloud, reach for a deeper, richer experience.
  • You can add gestures like putting your hand on your heart space, smiling at your reflection, or both. 
  • Stretching beforehand is another effective way to get your physical body relaxed.
  • You can also continue your affirmations in the shower. Showering and bathing are healing and spiritually cleansing activities. Let the water hit your scalp, massage your hair, and repeat your affirmations in your head or aloud. 

How Many Affirmations Should I Write?

Set a timer for 5 minutes and do a brain dump. For instance, if you are affirming love. Write as many as possible regarding your desires for love and how you want to feel. Then, choose ten affirmations and refine them using the nine tips for writing effective affirmations from part 2 of this article. 

Is it Better to Write or Say Affirmations?

There’s no right or wrong way; it is more about preference. It’s equivalent to being more of an auditory or visual learner, or sometimes people require both. 

Generally, I recommend the mirror exercise first. Saying affirmations aloud helps with deepening the connection to your physical body. 

If you already journal, it might make sense to start by writing affirmations. You can write your affirmations after or before journaling. Some spiritualists believe that writing out your affirmations is powerful because it’s a form of materializing. You are physically declaring and putting your thoughts into material form.

Eventually, try both and see what you like more. I do a combination of both. There isn’t a right or wrong with affirmation work, but rather more experimentation and seeing what works for you.

Can I say Affirmations in My Head?

Yes! Eventually, you’ll notice that the more you work on your affirmations, the more conscious you will be of saying affirmations in your head all day, every day. 

Before bedtime, at work, grocery shopping, and exercising are great times to practice affirmations and mantras in your head. Instead of letting your mind wander, you can consciously direct and control your thoughts, which helps raise your vibration—highly recommended!

How Long Should You Repeat Affirmations?

Treat affirmations like an exercise you do at the gym. Or remember when you were in grade school, and your teacher made you go up to the blackboard and write, “I will not laugh during class.” a hundred times, everyone laughed at you. It’s the same thing.

Moreover, when we do an exercise like squats, we usually do three sets of 10, 12, or 15. Or we can opt to do a timed exercise and do body squats for 1 minute or 2 minutes long without counting reps. Affirmations are the same; you can do repetitions or get out your timer and keep going. Both methods work well. 

The most important thing when doing affirmations is going for quality. After doing affirmations for a while, sometimes we whiz through, say or write our affirmations quickly to finish them and get them done. Make your affirmation practice quality self-care time. Experience it, live it, and revel in the feel-good emotions.

Closing Thoughts on How to Write Affirmations 

Ah, this guide was long, but I hope it was helpful and gave you all the tools to write your own affirmations. Remember, there is no wrong or right way to do affirmations; rather, there is an effective way to write and practice your affirmations. Also, remember to make your affirmation practice consistent and time of quality self-care. Much gratitude and happy manifesting!

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Hi, welcome! I'm Susan, the creator and writer of Manifestaire. My mission is to help you explore the powers of your being so you can create a magical life you love! Here, you can find articles on manifestation, spirituality, metaphysics, yoga, wellness, and so much more.
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