How to Create Positive Affirmations for Negative Thoughts

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "Manifest" by Roxie Nafousi. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

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Is your mind overwhelmed by negativity? Do you often find yourself slipping into the vicious cycle of negative thinking?

According to self-development coach Roxie Nafousi, one of the best remedies for negative thinking is affirmations—statements that encourage positive beliefs. When negative thoughts invade your mind, reciting positive affirmations in your mind can help override them and restore a positive outlook.

Here’s how to create affirmations for negative thoughts.

Quell Negative Thoughts and Emotions With Positive Affirmations

Nafousi argues that one of the best ways to overcome negative thoughts and emotions when they arise is by reciting positive affirmations. To create affirmations for negative thoughts, listen to the limiting beliefs of your inner voice and craft affirmations that state the opposite. For example, if your inner voice is telling you that you’re not good enough, your positive affirmation can be something like “I’m worthy and capable of achieving anything that I dedicate myself to.”

When you notice your inner voice reciting negative thoughts, choose to actively drown them out by reciting positive affirmations in your mind. Nafousi notes that this will override your negative inner voice and stop it from bringing down your vibration.

Further, Nafousi recommends reciting positive affirmations aloud and integrating this practice into your daily routine. For example, every morning on the way to work, you could recite your list of affirmations: “Today is going to be an amazing day where I maximize my productivity,” “I’m a beautiful and unique person inside and out,” “I’m capable of achieving anything I dedicate myself to,” and so on.

These positive affirmations don’t only have to combat your negative inner voice: They can pertain to any area in which you want to improve your confidence. Reciting these affirmations regularly will start to alter your beliefs little by little until the positive statements become personal truths and entirely replace your more negative beliefs.

The Impact of Positive Affirmations and How to Get the Most From Them

While reciting positive affirmations to yourself, in your head or out loud, may feel awkward or uncomfortable at first, numerous studies support Nafousi’s claim that doing so can change your mindset and help you overcome negative thoughts and feelings. 

First, Psychological studies have suggested that reciting positive affirmations increases certain neural pathways that facilitate positive thoughts about yourself and introspective reflection. In other words, reciting positive affirmations can fundamentally alter your brain so that you’re more likely to interpret information in a way that benefits you and less likely to react to it negatively. This leads to decreased stress and negative rumination, improved behavior, and a more positive outlook on life.

Further, in 1994 and again in 2005, researcher Masaru Emoto found that reciting positive affirmations at frozen water made the molecules form more beautiful crystalline structures than water that didn’t receive positive affirmations. This is significant because the human body is 70% water—Emoto believes that these observations are proof that positive affirmations can alter the very nature of our bodies.

While Nafousi recommends both reciting your affirmations aloud and in your mind, some experts believe that vocalizing your affirmations aloud is the most impactful method for creating a positive mindset and overcoming negativity. Further, they recommend a few specific affirmations depending on your circumstances—there are affirmations specifically designed for women, for men, for teens, for kids, for those struggling with anxiety and depression, and so on. Incorporating these personalized affirmations into your routine will likely increase their impact on you.
How to Create Positive Affirmations for Negative Thoughts

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  • How to create your dream life through the power of thought
  • Why manifestation is not just about picturing something you desire
  • How to effectively manifest by altering your thoughts, behaviors, and emotions

Darya Sinusoid

Darya’s love for reading started with fantasy novels (The LOTR trilogy is still her all-time-favorite). Growing up, however, she found herself transitioning to non-fiction, psychological, and self-help books. She has a degree in Psychology and a deep passion for the subject. She likes reading research-informed books that distill the workings of the human brain/mind/consciousness and thinking of ways to apply the insights to her own life. Some of her favorites include Thinking, Fast and Slow, How We Decide, and The Wisdom of the Enneagram.

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