Morning affirmations are positive statements that many people use to start their day off better. Some believe that repeating these phrases will unleash benefits.
Others feel a more instant sense of calm.
In this article, we’re going over what the research says about morning affirmations. We’ll list 99 you can pick from to try yourself.
Morning affirmations are short and positive phrases repeated at the beginning of the day. These can be said out loud, in your head or written.
The idea is that affirmations can help you gain a sense of positivity around a topic. From this positivity, you can attract it into your real life. For example, let’s say you choose the affirmation “I am in control of my mind.” This may not always be true; you may have moments when you feel anxious or let your emotions get the better of you. But repeating your intention can make you more aware of where your focus is going, making you gain more control of your mind. In this way, repeating the affirmation could help you achieve it.
If you want to try affirmations, it’s important to choose ones that are realistic and specific to you. For example, repeating something that’s far from the truth could make you feel worse instead of better.
Is there any science to back up using affirmations or is it mainly a spiritual practice? The answer is yes. But without a doubt, affirmations don’t always work. In this section, we’ll why affirmations can work for some people.
There is some data to back up the idea that affirmations can improve your performance. In a 2019 study, researchers found out that athletes who used positive self-statements had better performance in 2 out of 3 tasks. Their affirmations were also accompanies by head nods.
In another study, over 300 cancer survivors said they felt more optimistic, had better health and greater happiness after self-affirmation. Some experts believe that self-affirmation can activate reward circuits in our brains.
Some people also successful use affirmations as mantras in situations. For example, let’s say you have a bit of road rage and get angry whenever someone drives in front of you. Repeating a phrase like “I focus on what I can control,” can remind you that you can’t control the slow driver and to take a few deep breaths instead.
Another scenario: It’s your first week at your new job and you feel very anxious. Choosing a morning affirmation like, “I always do my best” can put your focus on doing your best, rather than worrying about what you could do wrong.
Depending on what your affirmation is, it’s possible that repeating a phrase can make you more aware of opportunities to achieve it. For example, if repeating “I’m grateful for every day” makes you look for reasons to be grateful, you will become grateful every day.
Similarly, if your affirmation is “business opportunities come to me easily,” repeating it often could lead you to think about it often. Thinking about if often could lead you to begin actually seeking out opportunities.
The placebo effect is a phenomenon where you experience something just because you believe you will.
In many studies, participants are given a sugar pill with no therapeutic effect. They’re told it will have a benefit, such as curing their back pain. Some people in most studies will experience this benefit, even though the pill is fake.
So what’s that mean? Your mind plays a large role in what you experience, even if you don’t know it.
So, by repeating and thinking you’ll have a good day, you may end up actually having a good day. The key is that you actually need to believe the affirmation, so keep it reachable for your situation. If you repeat it and know that it’s a stretch, you won’t believe it, and the placebo effect won’t work.
Many people use affirmations to help them manifest. These phrases are a popular law of attraction tool. But do they actually work?
The law of attraction can be framed by the science we outlined above— thinking about something more often can lead you to look for opportunities and/or experience a placebo effect. Given this, manifesting doesn’t need to be looked at from just a spiritual point of view.
If you practice manifesting, the main thing to know is to choose a morning affirmation that feels right to you. If you choose something that’s far out-of-reach and makes you feel worse, it’s unlikely to have benefits (we go more into detail about that below).
Affirmations can work for some people, but it’s important to recognize that they don’t always work. The people that need uplifting the most probably won’t benefit from them.
According to psychology professor Steven Hayes in his book A Liberated Mind, affirmations don’t work when we need them most, like when we’re feeling bad about ourselves. They can just make us feel worse.
If you’re using an affirmation to avoid feeling an emotion, it likely won’t work. There’s no shortcut for feelings.
A 2009 study showed that positive self-statements work–but only for those that already have high self-esteem. If you already feel good about yourself, you can feel better–but only a little bit.
However, if participants felt badly, affirmations didn’t help. For example, when they used the phrase “I’m a lovable person,” those that felt unlovable may not be affected or even have their belief reinforced.
I’ve outlined both arguments above: why morning affirmations work and why they don’t.
If you’re not sure if they’ll work for you, you can give them a try and see how they feel. If they make you feel worse, stop using them. If they make you feel better or you get results, keep using them. If you experience only some benefits, consider tweaking your affirmations.
Before choosing your affirmations though, there’s some important tips to keep in mind. The scientific data we shared above suggests that:
It’s best to use affirmations when you’re already feeling well
You should choose affirmations that feel in-reach to you. Something you don’t believe in will probably make you feel worse.
Affirmations aren’t a replacement for a negative emotion. You need to feel your emotions, not shove them down with a positive statement (this is a form of toxic positivity).
If you’re looking for some morning affirmations to start your day with, we think you’ll love these.
Once you’ve chosen a morning affirmation, how should you use it? There’s a variety of ways people practice them. You can try a few and do what works best for you. You can also get creative in how you add them to your routine. Here are some examples:
You can use affirmations as frequently as you’d like. If it helps, use them daily and add them into your morning routine. Or, you can use them in times of need or stress only. There’s no rules; it’s about doing what works for you.
You can also use different morning affirmations during different times of your life. For example, if you’re nervous mornings because of a new job, use a phrase that calms you. If that transitions into fear about speaking in a meeting, choose an affirmation about owning your power.
Morning affirmations can be useful bursts of positivity to enhance the start of your day. Affirmations work best if you choose something that feels relatable to you. For that reason, you can experiment with adding a few into your morning and see if you get any benefits. Remember that affirmations don’t work for everyone. If you’re feeling bad about yourself, they have the potential to make you feel worse, so be sure to use them wisely.
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