An affirmation is an assertion that something is true. From Latin, affirmationem means a solid assurance, and affirmare means to make steady, to strengthen, to confirm, and make firm. There’s also an attached meaning of emotional support or encouragement.
Hence, in the sphere of personal development, affirmations are positive statements, adjusted to the topic closest to our hearts that we are encouraged to meditate on in order to steady and strengthen our beliefs, and confirm those wishes we want to make solid in our reality.
In other words, affirmations are nothing short of tools to help us make our dreams come true. And let us assure you, we do need them more than we realize. Here’s why.
Glass Half Empty
“Our view of the world tends to tilt toward the negative”, says Alison Ledgerwood, expert in behavioral science and Professor of Psychology at the University of California. “We have to work to see the upside”, she adds in her TedTalk.
According to Professor Ledgerwood, our minds get stuck in failure more often than not. Upon analyzing her own behavior, she came to the conclusion that, for example, whenever she submitted a paper for review and it got rejected, the feeling of loss lasted much longer in her than the feeling of satisfaction whenever her paper got accepted.
Most of us are familiar with the glass conundrum. If you see it as half full, you’re focusing on what you have rather than what you don’t, therefore, you’re within the so-called gain frame. If you see the glass as half empty, you’re within the loss frame. Yet, could we shift our perspective, switch from the loss frame to the gain frame, and permanently stick with optimism?
Together with her colleagues, Professor Ledgerwood conducted an experiment. Two randomly assigned groups of participants were informed about a new surgical procedure. Group one had it described in terms of gains, with a 70% success rate. Group two was informed that the procedure had a 30% failure rate - they were led to focus on losses. One group’s attention was directed at the fulness of the glass, and the other’s on its emptiness.
Needless to say, group one liked the surgical procedure, whereas group two did not. The perspective was then shifted. Group one was asked to think of the 30% failure rate, and group two was supposed to think of the 70% success rate. Now, group one did not like the procedure anymore, while group two stood by their initial opinion. Is it therefore mentally harder for us to convert from losses to gains than from gains to losses?
In another study conducted by Professor Ledgerwood, participants were asked to image an outbreak of an unusual disease where 600 lives were in danger. Participants in one group were asked: if 100 lives are saved, how many will be lost? The other group was asked: if 100 lives are lost, how many will be saved? It was the same simple math for everyone, 600-100=500. Still, one group had to convert from gains to losses and the other from losses to gains.
What’s interesting is that those participants who had to calculate from gain to loss did it fairly quickly in about 7 seconds. The other group took almost 11 seconds. “This suggests that once we think about something as a loss, that way of thinking about it tends to stick in our heads and resist our attempts to change it”, says Professor Ledgerwood.
Glass Half Full
Learning to always look on the bright side takes time, effort, and determination. We intuitively know that there are different ways of thinking about our reality but it isn’t always the obvious choice for our brains to follow the path of more resistance. So, is there a way to not only see the glass as half full but also fill it to the brim with positivity?
Friends, we can affirm it.
Affirmations are a huge part of the conversation between us and the higher power (if you believe in one), between us and our future happiness, us and the depth of our individual lives. Affirmations are little prayers that add up to an oath of devotion to our healing, dreaming, and making stuff happen.
Our thoughts create our words, our words then create our actions, and our actions create our results. This isn’t magic, this is spiritual, and all these elements are vital in the process of affirming your success. Bear in mind, it’s not simply about repeating words from a card every day — you need to do it with feeling. You need to believe in your heart that what you are asking for is already true. Nobody said it was going to be easy.
However, depending on what kind of abundance you want to invite into life — whether it be financial freedom, stronger health, or meaningful relationships — we have something that will give you a nudge in the right direction. Our Mindful Affirmations series has just expanded and now includes five sets of cards, each for a different area in your life:
- Mindful Affirmations — a starter pack for anyone beginning their journey with affirmations. This deck includes a little bit of everything so you can get the gist of what the practice is all about.
- Financial Abundance — for shifting your money mindset from scarcity towards prosperity. Because your balance should never stand between you and your dreams and goals. Love & Relationships — for attracting kindred spirits into your immediate circle. Good souls can help us on our journey and make this life all the more fun. Invest in quality over quantity. Health & Well-being — health is undeniably our most important asset. In good mental and physical shape, we can conquer the world. This deck will enhance your well-being and focus your body and mind on healing.
- Mindful Affirmations for Kids — this set of cards is proof that nobody is too young to start a wellness adventure. Help your child build a bright future for themselves.
Sometimes we need assistance with verbalizing our hopes and dreams in order to reframe our current situation into a better one. This is what our Mindful Affirmations are for, yet the process doesn’t end on a card. Practice consistently and with a grateful heart. Reciting words is hardly enough — you need to live and breathe them in the spirit of a glass half full.
Raise Your Glass
“Writing for a few minutes each day about things that you’re grateful for can dramatically boost your happiness and wellbeing, and even your health”, assures Professor Alison Ledgerwood. And that’s precisely what has the power to enhance your affirmations: journaling.
Write your positive statement down, write it again, create a record of all your feelings attached to this process, then add a few words on how much you believe in the truth of your affirmation. Go ahead, drink that glass of half-fullness and enjoy the bliss spreading inside you. Cheers!
“What you do today can improve all your tomorrows.” — Ralph Marston