We’ve heard it before, have told it to ourselves previously, and for sure have seen it written on a bumper sticker… “Think Positive, Attract Positive.” Simple, self-explanatory, and happy-go-lucky advice. This phrase is hinting at the power that positive affirmations bring. But what are they? Affirmations are simple, daily statements that are meant to either remind us or inspire us to work on something, focus on a goal, or re-asses situations and thoughts. Hmmm… is it that simple? What’s the science behind it?

Here are the facts. The brain can be categorized into 3 parts: the Conscious, the Subconscious and the Unconscious mind. While the unconscious mind is hardly accessed, both the conscious and the subconscious mind work together and manage day to day actions and thoughts. While our conscious mind handles day to day actions (verbal and written communication, actions, movement & thoughts), our subconscious mind holds memories, habits, behaviors, beliefs and values. The subconscious mind delivers feelings, emotions and directs the perspective of the conscious mind; basically, the subconscious stores and filters the information so it can be easily accessed by your conscious mind as needed.

What affirmations aim to do is to reprogram the subconscious, change our perspective, tighten our energy and restructure our reality. By raising our vibrations positively, we draw positive things like a magnet a.k.a “Think Positive, Attract Positive.”

Manifesting desires isn’t a new practice; it has inspired countless book classics such as The Power of Positive Thinking, The Secret, The Magic of Thinking Big, and You Can Heal Your Life. Every one one of these books teaches strategies that involve control of your subconscious and manipulation of thoughts in order to attract luck, fortune, health, love, and success. 

Below, we break it down into 3 easy steps… let’s call it the Affirmation Cheat Sheet. 

  1. Start by identifying an aspect of your life you want to work on. You can start by making a list of things you see as negative qualities.

  2. Create a positive statement that affirms the change you want. Give a positive twist to what you think are your negative aspects.

  3. Set it in present state. For example, “I am,” “I feel,” “I accept,” instead of “I was” or “ I will be.”

  4. Re-work it so it has an emotional aspect to it. According to self-help gurus and psychologists, adding an emotional aspect triggers a more personal reaction within you. For example: “I am exercising daily” vs. “I feel energized and happy when I honor my body by exercising.” 

  5. Write it out! Not only do you emphasize your affirmation but you also visualize it – double the power! Write it out and place it somewhere you’ll see it daily.

  6. Take advantage of technology and add little reminders on your iPhone so even when you forget to practice your phone will flash your daily affirmations for you.

Keep in mind that your first attempts might sound silly and will not feel natural; however, the goal is to slowly re-wire the way we perceive ourselves, the situations we are in, and approach it with positive thoughts. Even if its not practiced with a specific goal in mind, these daily reminders help you practice self-love, de-stress, and be grateful for what you are and have. Affirmations are a great way to assess, acknowledge the good and work on the negative; a skill most successful and happy people implement in their lives. 

And if it gets too hard we can stick to the basics, “Think Positive, Attract Positive.”