I've been spending a lot of time thinking about joy recently. What it means, how to find it, and - most of all - how to hold on to it.
As kids, we tend to find joy easily. We haven't been skewed by the world enough yet, so we generally have high self esteem as children. We don't quite understand what negative thinking or negative self talk even means, let alone adopt the habits.
But at some point, usually after our first traumatic event or "adverse childhood experience": we start to learn more about, and adopt stress, anxiety, fear and hurt. We start to wear skepticism as an accessory. We start to experience a notable shift from positive thinking to negative self talk.
And it sucks.
So we start to look at #lifehacks on how we can take control, turn our frowns upside down, and take back control of our own life. And I'm sure you've heard of it all before - especially the use of daily affirmations.
How do positive affirmations work?
Utilizing positive affirmations has demonstrated the ability to diminish detrimental thoughts by fostering an increased consciousness of one's cognitive tendencies and emotions. Consequently, this heightened awareness presents obstacles to the development or validation of negative thoughts and emotions. Scientific inquiry has indicated that employing positive affirmations holds the potential to reshape cognitive patterns and instigate favorable adjustments in behavior. This proves especially advantageous for individuals grappling with conditions such as anxiety, depression, or challenges pertaining to self-worth. The efficacy of incorporating constructive daily affirmations may find its origins in neuroscience, a discipline dedicated to unraveling the intricacies of the human nervous system. Through the iterative recitation of affirming declarations, fresh neural pathways can be forged in the brain, thereby establishing tangible links to these reiterated cognitive constructs.
In other words:
Using positive affirmations can help reduce negative thoughts, reshape thinking patterns, and improve behaviors, particularly benefiting those dealing with anxiety, depression, or self-esteem issues, possibly by creating new neural connections in the brain
25 Positive Daily Affirmations
I get it. It's easy to sometimes feel bombarded by the concept of needing to "let go of negative thoughts", "just keep a positive attitude", or "just repeat positive daily affirmations".
If you're anything like me, when it came to my starting to learn how to take back control of my mind-, and heart-space, affirmations just felt tacky. Nonetheless, I gave it a go, and found the following ones felt good to me.
Good Habits Are Key to Success
Every I wake up: I begin a new life.
I will persist until I succeed.
I will greet this day with love in my heart.
I am confident in my abilities.
I can have results or excuses, but not both.
I love who I am without judgment.
My unique skills make me valuable.
Every emotion has value, therefore I embrace all of my emotions.
I am nature's greatest miracle.
I have survived 100% of my bad days so far - and they've only made me stronger
I'm in control of my responses.
I will live this day as if it were my last.
Everyone must choose one of two pains. The pain of discipline or the pain of regret.
Make plans like an adult, and believe in them like a child.
Laughter is powerful.
Everyday, I will multiply my value a hundred fold.
I will act now.
Unless I change how I am, I will always have what I've got.
I trust myself to make the right decision.
Learn how to be happy with what I have while I pursue all that I want.
Success is steady progress toward one’s personal goals.
It is the set of the sails, not the direction of the wind that determines which way we will go.
The mind is the limit. As long as the mind can envision the fact that you can do something, you can do it, as long as you really believe 100 percent.
What is the point of being on this Earth if I am going to be like everyone else?
The thing is, a well-written or well constructed affirmation needs to speak to your soul, and to your truth. Repeating positive statements over and over to ourselves without feeling connected to the words or sentiments will lose its impact pretty quickly. So while the above affirmations and quotes feel good to me: they may not necessarily jive with you, dear reader.
So... How Does One WRITE their own Positive Affirmations?
Before writing out or creating your own positive affirmations, I think it's first important to get yourself into a comfortable and SAFE space. By safe, I don't just mean physically safe [probably not a good idea to come up with your affirmations whilst skydiving, for example], but safe in the way that you want to be able to be vulnerable without feeling silly, judged or overwhelmed.
That is - quite literally - the opposite effect of what we're trying to do here.
It could be in the woods by your favorite lake or stream, in your bedroom, or cuddled up on the coach with a hot cup of cocoa. Whatever "safe" looks like for you, do that.
Once you've found your safe space,
Identify Desired Areas of Change:
Reflect on life aspects for improvement, such as patience, relationships, and productivity.
Define Your Goals:
List desired areas or behaviors for enhancement.
Align with core values and personal priorities for genuine motivation.
Craft credible, achievable affirmations.
Base on realistic assessment of facts.
Avoid overly ambitious claims; maintain feasibility.
Acknowledge affirmations are not magic; belief is essential for impact.
Address negative self-talk.
Identify troubling persistent thoughts/beliefs.
Counter with opposing positive affirmations.
Frame affirmations as ongoing realities.
Reinforce belief through present tense.
E.g., "I am well-prepared for confident presentations."
Embrace Emotional Connection:
Infuse affirmations with emotional significance.
Choose phrases meaningful to drive change.
E.g., Conquer worries with "I am excited to embrace new challenges."
Have positive affirmations helped you overcome challenges or difficult situations in your life?
Personally, yes. But not in the conventional way that you might be thinking, dear reader. And this is where the fun stuff happens.
You see, I've always - personally - found affirmations to be kind of odd, inauthentic, and, I'll be honest, cheesy. Yes, they've been proven to help us with our mental health. Yes, there's evidence that they help us shift negativity, increase our happiness, and even improve our cardiovascular health, BUT a habit is only a habit if you actually do it.
And you're a lot less likely to do something if it doesn't feel authentic to you.
So this is why I started turning my affirmations into powerful lyrics and songs to help keep me motivated, inspired, positive, happy and healthy!
Let me show you exactly what I mean:
Affirmations for Self-Confidence : I'm Nobody's Toy
I wrote this song to capture the essence of self-confidence and empowerment. In the verses, the lyrics depict someone realizing their own worth and standing up against external pressures. The chorus repeats the idea of disregarding empty talk and asserting independence.
As the song progresses, it delves into the moment of clarity where the individual recognizes negativity and decides to break free. The bridge delivers a clear message about prioritizing self-care and acknowledging personal needs.
The chorus comes back to reinforce the central theme—ignoring superficial noise and confidently embracing one's autonomy. In essence, the song serves as a personal reminder of intrinsic value and the ability to overcome anything that tries to undermine it.
I overcome my fears by getting out of my comfort zone
In crafting this song, I aimed to create an anthem of empowerment, focusing on conquering fears and stepping beyond my comfort zone. I had not long moved to the States from New Zealand, was living and working in the woods in Connecticut [as an outdoor science education teacher] and had just decided to move to the Nation's Capitol to pursue a career as a full-time musician. That's how this song came to remind me of my power.
The verses encourage the listener to expand their perspective and recognize their own potential for growth. It's about breaking free from past limitations, symbolized by chains and claws that once held us back. The chorus reiterates the call to dream bigger, as well as to keep our inner fire alive and hold our heads high.
Life's challenges affect everyone, even the strongest among us. The lyrics acknowledge this reality, reminding us that it's okay to stumble at times. But the core message is to embrace bravery and keep moving forward.
The bridge brings to light the idea that setbacks don't define us. Instead, they strengthen our resolve, igniting an even brighter fire within. It's a reminder that every defeat contributes to our growth and resilience.
Ultimately, the song aims to inspire a sense of courage, urging the listener to face fears head-on, to believe in their own strength, and to keep pushing forward despite obstacles.
Positive Affirmations For Body Image
I wrote this song as a bold statement for embracing a positive body image - written right after I had been approached by a talent scout for a very well-known record label, who claimed he wanted to sign me "in exchange for naked pictures".
So the opening verse metaphorically portrays the weight of judgment and how it can cut deep - by comparing myself to a piece of meat. The lyrics question the idea of being valued solely for looks.
The pre-chorus adds a touch of irony, highlighting the futility of seeking validation through appearances. The chorus carries the main message: I'm more than just a physical presence, and I won't let judgments define me. It's about asserting self-worth and standing strong.
The second verse digs deeper, suggesting that external opinions may be well-intentioned, but they're not the source of true validation. It points out the harm in turning validation into something toxic and dismisses attempts at shaming.
The bridge shifts to a defiant tone, rejecting societal pressure to conform and highlighting the importance of self-value. It's a call to push forward, leaving negativity behind.
The final chorus drives home the message, emphasizing personal identity and refusing to let judgments go too far. The lyrics celebrate inner strength and conviction, exposing the true nature of those who criticize. Overall, the song is a declaration of self-assurance, asserting that value comes from within and won't be undermined by outside standards.
I trust my inner guidance and follow it
This song serves as a personal anthem, echoing the importance of relying on and adhering to my inner guidance. Within its verses, it encapsulates a journey of self-exploration and self-improvement, signifying a departure from past uncertainties and errors. The lyrics poignantly capture the struggle of untangling thoughts and feelings, allowing me to pave a way toward clarity and control. This journey, illustrated by the transformation of water into wine, metaphorically signifies the challenge of maintaining sobriety in a world that often drowns us in complexities. The notion of being "damaged and love stoned" represents the complex intersection of emotions that define our existence, making it difficult to navigate and retain control.
However, the chorus emerges as a triumphant affirmation of strength and resilience, underscoring my unwavering commitment to overcome obstacles with a smile on my face. The lyrics proclaim that I'm not just a passive observer in the story of my life; I'm an active creator of my own narrative. Through the declaration of being "living proof that love wins," the song underscores my conviction in the redemptive power of love in the face of adversity. The subsequent lines emphasize an unyielding stance against the uncertainty of the future. The chorus forms an unapologetic statement of identity, reinforcing that I refuse to relinquish my hold on life, regardless of the challenges ahead.
As the songwriter, I've intended this song to be a powerful affirmation for embracing my journey, acknowledging my growth, and understanding that love and determination can triumph over hardships. It's an ode to the strength within us and the resilience we exhibit even when faced with difficulties. The song encapsulates my belief that navigating life's twists and turns is not just about survival, but also about thriving and shaping our own destiny.
I trust myself to make the right decisions
Of course, affirmations through songwriting isn't always going to be sunshine and roses... sometimes you need to take a moment to give yourself some tough love - especially when it comes to trusting yourself to make the right decisions.
In writing this song, I wanted to give myself a reality check and encourage self-trust in my own decision-making. The lyrics revolve around a past relationship that once held immense significance, but it becomes evident that it can't fulfill what I truly need.
The verses paint a picture of a life veiled by pretense and false contentment, highlighting the choice between a destructive path or one of growth. The lyrics suggest that when someone is consumed by their own struggles, it can inadvertently spread pain.
The chorus reiterates the core message, emphasizing that even though I might wish otherwise, I can't rescue someone from their own choices. It's a recognition that as much as we care for others, we can't solve their problems for them.
As the songwriter, I aimed to create a no-nonsense reminder for myself – a tough love anthem that underscores the importance of trusting my own judgment and making decisions that prioritize my well-being. It's about finding the balance between empathy and self-preservation, while accepting that we can't fix others' lives for them.
Positive Affirmations for Leadership
This song is an affirmation of my commitment to drive positive change in social justice and community love. The lyrics begin by referencing a breach of trust, symbolizing the breaking of barriers that were once intact. The lines express disappointment in someone who turned out to be insincere.
The lines about "labels cast against me" and "colours thrown upon me" highlight the prejudice and bias that can come with identity and background. They serve as a reminder of the challenges and discrimination we face.
The chorus takes on a powerful tone, emphasizing that attempts to control the situation are futile. The phrase "breathe in the fire" conveys a call to embrace determination and resilience in the face of adversity.
The verses continue by contrasting the current state with a vision for a more hopeful future. The image of an "open flame" marking danger underscores the urgency for change. The lyrics question who is responsible for closing the door on potential solutions, underlining the need to overcome obstacles for progress.
The bridge introduces a plea for unity and a move away from divisive labels and fear-driven actions. It's a call for recognizing our shared humanity and working together.
As the songwriter, my goal was to create an anthem that urges action and change within communities while advocating for justice. The song is a reminder that we can overcome the challenges that come our way, uniting to drive positive transformation and inspire social change.
The Importance of Living in the Moment
This song is an affirmation for appreciating the present moment and embracing all that comes with it – the feelings, thoughts, and ideas. The lyrics touch on discussing big issues like saving the world and envisioning a better future, suggesting that we take the time to engage and see things through.
The repetition of "Let’s hang around" signifies a choice to be present and attentive. It's about acknowledging the importance of the here and now, rather than getting lost in the past or overly concerned about what's ahead.
The chorus takes a more introspective angle, expressing a genuine affection for the current moment, much like treasuring stars kept in a bottle. "HOLDING ON LIVING IN SLOW MOTION" hints at the idea of intentionally slowing down and savoring each moment as if it could last forever. This line reflects the value of not rushing through life and appreciating the journey.
The lyrics "Let’s talk about choosing oblivion" introduce an alternative perspective, suggesting the idea of tuning out distractions to genuinely connect with our human experience. The song encourages us to fully feel – whether it's the silence around us or the unnoticed small details.
As the songwriter, I aimed to create a song that promotes living in the present with authenticity. It's a reminder to savor the little things, be aware of our surroundings, and connect deeply with our own existence. The song encourages us to find meaning and joy in embracing every moment for what it is.
How to use positive affirmations into music
I've been writing music with a message for a long time. Transforming my pain points into power, and using songwriting as a tool to grow through life, not just simply go through it.
Yes, I've experimented multiple times with the concept of affirmations work, and while they've certainly served their purpose occasionally, I've found that the real power lies in the process of turning those positive affirmations into something that feels less cheesy... more authentic... and, I'll be honest, easier to remember and repeat to myself in times of overwhelm, stress, or struggle.
Turning affirmations into songs, and songwriting in and of itself, is a unique experience for everyone: thus, everyone will have a slightly different approach, but here's a quick nine-step guide that I put together:
Of course, if you'd like a little more support or coaching, I'd love to help you transform your struggles into song, and turn your affirmations into anthems.
Simply click here to hop on a free call with me to learn more about what Empowerment through Songwriting looks like, and let's start fighting off those negative thoughts by embracing your positive affirmations, increasing your self esteem, and creating positive change in your life.
I can't wait to speak with you soon.
~ Emma G