Spiritual affirmations refer primarily to the practice of positive thinking and self-empowerment, based on a belief that “a positive mental attitude supported by affirmations will focus the mind on the spirit and heart in anything.”
Research from Carnegie Mellon University in 2012 provides the first evidence that self-affirmation can protect against the damaging effects of stress on problem-solving performance. Understanding that self-affirmation — the process of identifying and focusing on one’s most important values — boosts stressed individuals’ problem-solving abilities will help guide future research and the development of educational interventions.
“An emerging set of published studies suggest that a brief self-affirmation activity at the beginning of a school term can boost academic grade-point averages in under-performing kids at the end of the semester. This new work suggests a mechanism for these studies, showing self-affirmation effects on actual problem-solving performance under pressure,” said J. David Creswell, assistant professor of psychology in Carnegie Mellon University’s Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences.
Examples of affirmations are:
“Affirmation without discipline is the beginning of delusion…”
We can influence our mind through suggestion (the placebo effect). Based on the “power of suggestion” we can also use meditation, visualization, and affirmation to lower stress.
Affirmations work in much the same way.
By focusing on the positive we can actively elevate our expectations. Dr. Wayne Dyer liked to say, “as you think, so shall you be.” In Yogic philosophy, you become what you think, you create your own reality from the inside. That’s why we can upset ourselves just by entertaining demoralizing thoughts or concentrating on what is bad or can go wrong.
Affirmations reward our brain for thinking positively about our situation. By speaking positives into our subconscious, we can change our story, which can change our perceptions and improve our endorphins, dopamine and serotonin levels.