I am healthy. I am strong. I deserve love and happiness.

Wouldn’t it be great if those were the thoughts running through your head all day, rather than the negative stuff? The good news is they can be—with a little practice.

Positive affirmations can be an effective tool for change.1 They might feel a little silly or awkward at first—after all, most of us aren’t used to saying such nice things about ourselves! But affirmations are about more than just telling yourself how amazing you are. Let’s talk about how practicing affirmations can impact the way you think and feel.

What are affirmations?

Affirmations are short statements designed to create a positive mindset and promote self-change.2 These phrases can help affirm your self-worth and help you reflect on your core values, or what’s really important to you.2,3 Affirmations can be said out loud, silently to yourself or written down. And they’re especially effective when repeated multiple times and on a daily basis.3

The science behind affirmations

Psychologists have been studying affirmations for over 40 years. Their research is based on self-affirmation theory, which assumes the following:3

  • In times of threat, we maintain the self by defending it from outside conflicting information.3
  • We respond to threats in one domain by affirming self-worth in other domains.3
  • Our core values play an essential role in maintaining the self.3

Research suggests that self-affirmations can help reduce stress, bolster well-being, improve academic performance and help a person become more open to positive behavior change.3

How do you use affirmations?

To be effective, affirmations should be genuine and specific.4 They should reflect what you value. And they’re especially powerful when you use them regularly. Repeating an affirmation makes it stick in your mind, which over time helps you believe the words you say. But be patient with yourself—it may take some time to feel comfortable saying the words. Here are a few simple ways to incorporate affirmations into your routine.

Say your affirmation out loud or silently to yourself:

  • In the mirror every morning and/or evening
  • On your way to or from work or school
  • In moments of stress or anxiety, like before a test or presentation
  • Any time you want to feel motivated or express gratitude

Write your affirmation on a notecard and place it somewhere you’ll see often, such as your:

  • Front door
  • Computer screen
  • Bathroom mirror
  • Car
  • Wallet or purse

Just the act of putting pen to paper might help you see your affirmation as real. Self-affirmation can potentially be a powerful tool for health and well-being.3

Need some help figuring out your own affirmation or have a question about another issue? Our Mental Health team is here for you.

Learn more about our Mental Health service

How do I write my own?

The most effective affirmations are:2

  • Written in the first person (“I” or “I am”)
  • Positive
  • Reflective of your personal values

Consider what’s important to you. Would you like to boost your self-image, feel calmer or change negative thought patterns? Really think about your why. Here are some simple affirmations that may resonate with you:

“I am ready and capable to handle things as they come.”
“I deserve to be healthy.”
“I am in charge of how I feel.”
“I am original and I matter.”
“Today I take another step toward positive change.”
“I deserve love and respect in my relationships.”
“I am qualified for my job.”
“I forgive myself.”

There’s help available if you need it

Changing your life for the better is a journey. If you want to talk to someone about how to feel healthier, we are here to help! Sometimes just talking things through can make all the difference.

Get started with Teladoc Health

Would you like to bring more positivity into your day? Practicing mindfulness can help.

Published April 1, 2024


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