The science is unequivocal. Positive self-talk affirmations improve our health. Let’s look at the science behind positive affirmations! And easy ways how to combat negative self-talk, so we can all be healthier & happier.
I agree w/ Louie, because treats make me happy, too! But I want lasting, calorie-free, drug-free ideas to guard us against the inflammatory damage of stress.
This is a pretty big ask, but I’ve gathered evidence! And made a cool word cloud!
A QUICK LOOK AT THE HISTORY BEHIND POSITIVE AFFIRMATIONS
Okay, the theory of humours does have a few flaws.
HISTORICAL PHILOSOPHERS' OBSERVATIONS : DO POSITIVE AFFIRMATIONS WORK?
POSITIVE SELF-TALK AFFIRMATIONS
I bet a lot of you smiled at that photo of the adorable, happy boy, proving Hume’s point.
History doesn’t glamorize positive people. Most of us know that Socrates died by drinking hemlock, condemned to death by the people of Athens. (Although I’m not sure why he didn’t just leave.)
Not to mention the infamous melancholy associated w/ Nietzsche, Sylvia Plath, Franz Kafka, and Vincent Van Gogh.
'We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think.'
Okay. The philosophers & physicians above used observation to draw their conclusions.
We need science to answer the question, ‘do positive affirmations work to make us healthier and happier?’
BRAIN PHYSIOLOGY AND THE SCIENCE BEHIND POSITIVE AFFIRMATIONS
FIRST, A SPEEDY QUICK MENTION OF BRAIN ANATOMY AND DOPAMINE
A LOOK AT THE RESEARCH AKA THE SCIENCE BEHIND POSITIVE AFFIRMATIONS
Positive affirmations are one technique used that fall under the bigger umbrella of a psychological technique termed cognitive restructuring.
Cognitive restructuring is a group of therapeutic techniques that help people notice and change their negative thinking patterns.
Caveat: Positive affirmations are not designed to be cures for anxiety or depression, nor are they a substitute for clinical treatment of those conditions. But that’s not to say that they won’t help.
As the studies above suggest, positive affirmations can help us to respond in a less defensive & resistant way when we’re presented with life’s difficulties.
Whether it’s social pressures, work or scholastic pressures, health information that makes us feel uncomfortable, or feelings of exclusion, a broader self-concept can be an extremely helpful thing to have.
We can’t always be taking walks in the park with our loved ones. So how do we combat negative self-talk?
HOW TO COMBAT NEGATIVE SELF-TALK
Affirmations can be simple statements that we say aloud to ourselves every day.
A friend and I who email frequently have begun each correspondence with a positive affirmation. It’s changed the tone of our communication and makes us both feel more calm, optimistic, & happy.
Or, to make the affirmations feel more concrete, consider picking up a lovely notebook & filling it once a day with one sentence of positivity. It will only take 3 minutes and change your brain chemistry.
The two journals below are available on amazon. Click on the photos for an affiliate link to purchase.
Getting rid of thought is not an option. Positive affirmations aren’t a cure for complicated medical conditions.
But we can try to reframe our attitudes & brain chemistry with one positive affirmation each day.
A last note, the science behind positive affirmations and brain chemistry states that we need to do this consistently, minimally 3 x a week, to keep the positive effects.
My positive self-talk affirmation as I’m writing, ‘the science behind positive affirmations’ is that I am grateful to each and everyone one of you, for taking the time to read my blog!
I’d love it if you’d share a positive self-talk affirmation with me in the comments below!