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Taking a Look at the Science Behind Positive Affirmations

Taking a Look at the Science Behind Positive Affirmations

If you had any doubts about their effectiveness, we’re certain the science behind positive affirmations will convince you otherwise. There’s no magic, nor are there any alternative beliefs or actions involved. Positive affirmations, a powerful self-help tool, have been studied by researchers to learn more about the effect they have, and we are in no way surprised about what they learnt!

Understanding the Science Behind Positive Affirmations

We know that practicing daily affirmations is an effective way to make positive changes within your life. Now science has confirmed it too!

Researchers wanted to test out the testimonials from users of positive affirmations to confirm that they do work. There was already anecdotal evidence that affirmations help us to:

  • Reduce stress levels and rumination
  • Improve academic achievement levels
  • Create positive habit changes in our lives

But researchers really wanted to see for themselves what happened inside the brain when positive affirmations were used. Participants who regularly used positive affirmations were given MRI scans during which their brains were observed when they recited these affirmations. Researchers found that self-affirmations resulted in neurophysiological reactions which:

  • Activated the brain’s reward centres – the ventral striatum and ventromedial prefrontal cortex. These are the areas where your feelings of self-worth and praise occur.
  • Increased activity in the brain’s self-processing areas - medial prefrontal cortex and posterior cingulate. These brain systems help you focus on your positive attributes.

NCBI Report

Researchers also learnt that the effects of using affirmations were stronger when participants were visualising a future orientated statement. So instead of thinking about a time in the past where you were financially successful, think about a time in the future where you will be financially successful.
As for the science behind positive affirmations, researchers concluded that affirmations work because they:

  • Are rewarding and pleasurable
  • Remind us things in life we cherish and therefore improves levels of self-worth

Interestingly enough, it was also discovered that positive affirmations were more effective when participants focused on future events, rather than past. This is because of the increased brain activity that occurred when thinking about future based affirmations.

Our article Here’s How to Introduce Positive Affirmations into Your Life shares simple tips on how to incorporate them into your daily life. I also have a beautiful selection of printable affirmation cards to help you begin your journey of transformation too. I look forward to walking with you during this exciting time!

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