A BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO SELF-LOVE AFFIRMATIONS
‘Affirmations’ is a word that’s used a lot but for many of us we’re not totally sure what they actually are or how to use them. So we’re here to help you get started.
WHAT ARE AFFIRMATIONS?
Essentially, they’re positive statements to challenge negative thoughts or behaviours. The idea is that by repeating them, you gradually replace the unwanted ideas that are damaging (and usually untrue) with ones that build your self-esteem instead.
Words have an incredible amount of power, which is why you should always use them wisely. The mind accepts what you tell it. So if you constantly feed it the idea you’re not enough for example, then it will believe that. The mind likes repetition. So if you actively reinforce the opposite, it begins to absorb and believe the new, more nourishing information instead.
WHAT SHOULD MY AFFIRMATIONS BE?
That depends entirely on you. What do you think are the barriers to loving yourself more? Or, what limiting self-beliefs are keeping you from achieving your dreams? Become aware of all the negative things that cross your mind over the course of a few days, you might be surprised just how badly you treat yourself. Then, write a list of statements that say the opposite. Plus, you can think about some of the great qualities you do have. If you’re someone who has a real lack of self-love and you can’t, ask your friends or family to help give you some positive feedback. Here’s a few examples of how that could look:
I’m not good enough —-> I’m more than enough
I’m failing —-> I’m growing every single day
No one will ever love me —-> I am completely loveable, just the way I am
I’m not important —-> I’m worthy and my needs matter
If you’re in a healthy relationship, think about the wonderful things the other person says to you. Or, if you’re single right now imagine what your perfect match would tell you and say it back to yourself. It doesn’t matter who the words actually come from, what matters is the mind takes it in. Over and over again until it we believe it inside.
HOW DO I USE THEM?
Again, it’s all about what works best for you. Some people like to say them out loud in the mirror, others like to just have a list on the notes app on their phone and read them every time they start to feel those negative thoughts arise. The important part is the repetition. So if you feel a little silly actually saying them in the beginning, you could start by just reading them daily. But remember, it only feels uncomfortable to do it because it’s unfamiliar to you. If you’re so used to putting yourself down then it will feel odd for a while to be kind. Think about how you felt when you started any hobby or new job that you weren’t 100% used to. It was uncomfortable initially but over time you grew and suddenly, you could do it.
WHEN SHOULD I SAY THEM?
Every day but exactly when is pretty flexible. For us, we like to do them when we do our morning or evening skincare routines (mostly just so we don’t forget!) but maybe for you it’s best to do them after lunch or while you’re brushing your teeth. You can also repeat them whenever you feel like you need a self-love top-up.
DO THEY REALLY WORK?
As with most things in life, it kind of varies from person to person. But if you believe they will, they’re more likely to. Affirmations are, of course, not an overnight fix. It takes time for thoughts to become things. But being kinder to yourself can do wonders, especially alongside other different ways of developing self-love. Remember, if you feel like a lack of self-love is really affecting your life then speaking to a qualified counsellor or other professional is your first step.
What are your self-love affirmations and how do you practise them? Share with us over at @aureliaskincare #aurelialondon