What are positive affirmations and can they really change our lives? Counsellor Sarah Barr explains more about the powerful routine:

Positive affirmations release you from anxiety, negativity, guilt, fear and pain. Here are some examples:

Affirmations are simple messages. Repeated over-and-over, they begin to worm their way into your mind. Slowly changing both your thinking and your reality.

These positive affirmations might begin as wishful thinking. But they end up becoming the reality of your life.

The Science Behind Positive Affirmations

Affirmations do not work by magic. For the most part, they work due to the power of positive thinking. First, affirmations make people receptive to change. Then they assist in bringing the change about.

Studies show it is easier to make positive change when you use daily affirmations. Affirmations prime your brain for change.

The first way that affirmations work is by creating less anxiety and stress about the change you are undertaking.

Secondly, they change the way people think about “falling off the wagon” with their change. There is nothing wrong with having an “off day” with a habit change. Unfortunately, many people use this as an excuse to say, “I can’t do it” and quit. Daily affirmations give you the motivation to keep going through these tough times.


The biggest method in which affirmations effect change is due to the science of neuroplasticity. What is neuroplasticity? You may wonder? To put it simply, neuroplasticity is the science of rewiring the brain for different thoughts.

As we grow older it becomes tougher and tougher to change our thoughts. We become used to our thought patterns. But with conscious effort, you can “rewire” your brain. One of the best ways to do this is by using positive affirmations.

How to Develop Positive Thinking

It works like this: your mind thinks a certain way automatically. When you think “diet” your mind might think thoughts like:

deprivation – starvation – lack – bland – boring – doesn’t work

With negative thoughts like these is there any wonder why it is hard to lose weight?


Affirmations are about making new connections. So in our weight loss example, rather than connecting to “diet” we connect to the less charged word “weight loss”.

Let’s analyze a few (random) positive weight loss affirmations.

I believe I can lose weight – My health is the most important thing to me – I am avoiding excessive carbs – I am happy and grateful to have lost some pounds – There is no need for rich or sugary foods – I have the power to control my weight through healthy eating and exercise – My body is a temple – I will keep my temple clean


Beat negative thinking by reciting positive affirmations every day.

Over time, when you use these affirmations your mind begins to equate new words with weight loss. It equates “weight loss” with thoughts like:

I can – health is important – avoid carbs – happy – grateful – no rich foods – I have the power – my body is a temple -clean

It is so much easier to succeed with positive thoughts.

A positive attitude is not a guarantee of success. But a negative attitude is close to a guarantee of failure. So using affirmations has increased the odds of success.

This same basic theory backs up the power of all affirmations.

Affirmations are not wishful thinking. They use the power of Neuroplasticity. Affirmations change thoughts of doubt and fear to thoughts of confidence and taking action.


Take Care ~ Sarah.