In this video, I’m answering the question: do self-love affirmations work?
What do you think?
Yes? No? Maybe? I don’t know?
Read The Transcription:
The short answer: it depends.
I’m going to break it down.
Words and thoughts light up and activate different areas of your brain, body, neurology, and physiology.
They do affect your feelings.
Let’s disregard neutral feelings.
If we’re talking about more negative (discomforting) feelings, they produce a stress response in the body.
Stress, fear, anxiety hormones are going to increase. Intuition is going to decrease. Executive functioning and decision-making abilities and parts of the brain become less active. The body is preparing to fight, flight, fright, freeze, so it’s more impulsive. There’s more adrenaline coursing through the body so the body can act quickly, but not necessarily wiser.
On the other hand, positive words and thoughts can create more of a healing response in the body.
They can activate the parasympathetic nervous system which is the rest and digest system. It helps the immune system, digestion, and helps the body with the natural healing work that it will do on its own when in a state of rest. Endorphins, love hormones, intuition, will increase. Decision making improves. You’re able to make better long-term choices so that you get better overall results.
There has been some research on the positive findings of using positive words and thoughts and how they affect the body, brain, neurology, and physiology.
We know that positive self-talk can benefit you, also your heart rate, hormones, physiology, and how you feel.
The more you do it, the more automatic it becomes.
But there are 2 important caveats.
It can take a long time to see the results of plain and simple positive self-talk, like self-love affirmations.
Months to years to really see the results. Ideally, your self-talk will change and improve over time as you feel better about yourself. It’s not supposed to be stagnant or stay the same.
This is why, even though some people do find benefits with affirmation recordings, self-love affirmations, and meditations, ideally that’s not where you’re going to stay.
It’s like a stepping stone, a little self-help tool when you’re feeling kind of down and you need some support, but can’t find that support in your personal environment, then sure use it – if it helps you feel better.
The other big if – it only works if you do it correctly.
There is an incorrect way to use affirmations that will make you feel worse. That brings me to my next point.
Affirmations do not always work.
There have been studies done that show if you try to use affirmations in such a way that you are essentially lying to yourself, you will end up feeling worse instead of better.
I don’t know anybody who likes being lied to – even people who maybe have a habit of lying.
Why would you want to lie to yourself if it doesn’t feel good to have someone else lie to you?
I don’t recommend it.
Then we come back to generic affirmations you find online. Some of them are nice. I’m not trying to hate on the affirmations, but if they’re generic they will work for some people and they won’t work for others.
Good affirmations are highly personal to you as an individual. That means they also have to change over time.
If you’re just trying to repeat, repeat, repeat nice things to yourself, it’s not that different from positively trying to brainwash yourself.
You’re saying these things hoping that it’s going to stick, but if it’s just repetition, if it doesn’t have meaning for you, if it doesn’t have substance, something meaty to back it up to give it some strength, then it doesn’t matter how many nice things you repeat to yourself if it crumbles under the pressure of somebody else saying mean things to you.
Finally, the other piece about affirmations not working: it can easily become almost an avoidance technique.
You don’t want to use affirmations in place of doing the real work.
The real issue for the low self-esteem, for feeling badly about yourself, for being unkind, cruel, or mean to yourself – that’s what needs to be resolved. That’s different for everyone but that’s what will get you fast results.
Fast results versus the slow long way.
Looking for a faster, more reliable way with substance that you can lean on under pressure?
I’d love to chat with you more about it.