An affirmation is a positive statement. I use affirmations as a statement I tell myself to reinforce positive and empowering thoughts. It helps those with self-sabotaging and negative thoughts, to overcome the negative feelings associated with those thoughts and rewire their brain. In personal experience, the more I speak an affirmation to myself out loud, the more I believe it and the better I feel.
An Affirmation I use is ‘’I am beautiful’’ and I truly believe it. Not because of the way I look, but the way I feel and the person I am. I actually have learnt to not care about the way I look, sometimes I even leave the house without looking in the mirror... If you are anything like I was, this is unimaginable! So, what is the science behind it? Can repeating an affirmation really enable you to become a different, happier, more powerful person?
To start I want to explore the effects negative statements have on your mind. If you wake up every day and tell yourself, ‘’I’m ugly’’, you start to believe it. The truth is, there is actually a neurological reaction as to why this happens. Dopamine and Cortisol are two chemicals found in your brain that impact the way you feel. Dopamine provides a positive reaction and Cortisol is associated with stress and has the opposite reaction.
Your brain loves cortisol. It is there for a reason; the chemical triggers a feeling of imminent danger. This is something that helps you in a dangerous situation, but the after effect is that the release of the cortisol encourages your brain to default to more negative thoughts. So, to explain that further, you wake up and the little voice in your head tells you negative thoughts. This then causes stress which releases cortisol, which results in you being more likely to have negative thoughts. I know this sounds like a negative cycle, but the beauty is, that with this knowledge you have the power to break that cycle.
Now onto Dopamine, this is the hormone that gives you that warm fuzzy feeling. It’s often associated with the feeling of love, happiness, excitement and other positive experiences. Dopamine is the hormone released in your brain when something positive happens. Without waffling too much, this means that when you read out an affirmation your brain associates this with a positive experience, and the release of dopamine means that you are more likely to have further positive thoughts.
So, to conclude, there is science behind the reason why affirmations work. The longer you provide your brain with positive thoughts and dopamine releases, the happier you’ll feel and those feelings will be easier to achieve. There are reasons behind the need for both Cortisol and Dopamine but with the knowledge of how to encourage the release of each chemical, you have the power to decide how you feel, more of the time. Happy people are more likely to have happy thoughts and unhappy people are more unlikely to have unhappy thoughts.
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**Dearest Fannie – a female founded sustainable business**