Let’s start with the obvious: It’s been a tough couple of years.

From living through a pandemic and recent economic woes, it’s been a challenge to keep positive and frame thinking in a way that will not only help you keep your sanity but make you happier. 

One powerful source to help keep yourself motivated at home and work is using positive affirmations. While some may dismiss positive affirmations as “hokey,” there is science behind how they can help you when you’re faced with a lot of overwhelming circumstances.

What Are Positive Affirmations?

By definition, positive affirmations are simply positive statements that you repeat to yourself over and over to help turn negative thoughts and feelings into positive energy that will improve your mental health. 

Studies have shown that positive affirmations have an actual impact on parts of your brain. One study published in the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience shows through the use of MRI imaging that repeating affirmations activates the rewards center of your brain. This is the same part of your brain that responds to pleasurable experiences like eating your favorite food or winning a prize. It fires up the part of your brain that registers positive feelings and energy. 

How Can Positive Affirmations Help You at Work?

Finding ways to turn negative energy into positive can help in numerous ways in the workplace. 

  1. Affirmations Reduce Stress

All too often, looking at your to-do list can make you feel immediately overwhelmed. Instead of feeling like you want to shut down, use affirmations to keep positive and not feel defeated.

  1. Less Stress Reduces Burnout

With ways to combat feeling overwhelmed, burnout can drastically decrease. Burnout occurs when workplace stress is chronic without finding solutions to combat that stress. Burnout leaves employees unmotivated and looking elsewhere for greener pastures.

  1. Affirmations Can Help With Focus

Without focus, it can be very easy to lose your path toward work and career goals. When you use positive affirmations, you are verbally connecting to your goals and pointing all of your focus and energy to achieving them.

  1. Affirmations Give You Perspective

When you’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s easy to get stuck in a place where the world looks very gloomy and negative. This kind of mindset can bring you down mentally, physically, and spiritually pretty quickly. Simple statements of positivity can change your perspective on the struggles you may be facing.

  1. Affirmations Prepare You for Challenges

Even if you’re not struggling a lot at work, there may come a time when you will. Having coping mechanisms like positive affirmations means you already have a solid foundation with which to tackle those challenges. They can give you the grit you need to face challenges head-on and get through the other side successfully. 

Tips on Using Positive Affirmations

If you’re new to the concept or you’ve always dismissed positive affirmations, now is the time to give them a try. Below are some tips on successfully using them to help reduce your home and work stress for better mental health. 

  1. Personalize them to your goals

Instead of finding affirmations online or in a book, think about the areas you feel overwhelmed in and write personalized affirmations. For example, if you feel like you lack confidence in the workplace and that’s a source of stress, think of affirmations that reaffirm that you are a confident person capable of achieving your goals. 

  1. Make Them Part of Your Routine

Positive affirmations that are going to help are not a “one-and-done” practice. Find ways to make them part of your daily routine. For example, use the time you commute to work by turning off the radio and repeating your affirmations to prepare you for the day. 

  1. Don’t Forget the Action

Positive thoughts are great. But as you become more practiced, you want to turn those thoughts into actionable things you can do to live more positively. Using the confidence example again, remind yourself that you are confident and capable and then find actions that reaffirm that such as speaking up in a meeting. 

Life seems to be overwhelming a lot of the time, but how you handle those feelings is the key to perseverance and success. With positive affirmations, you can reduce your stress and begin finding positivity around you even in the hardest of times. 

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