31 May Daily Positive Affirmations for Stress and Anxiety Relief
Excessive chronic stress and anxiety can take a toll on our mental and physical health. Yet sometimes, it takes a simple trigger to dive into a stream of negative thoughts and feel cortisol rise in the body, increasing our heartbeat, altering our breath, and harming our health in many different ways.
Negative Thoughts as the Reason for Stress and Anxiety
Although we tend to think of external factors as the reasons behind our stress and anxiety, our negative thoughts are usually the reason to blame. A study in 2014 aimed to unravel the relationship between the content of self-generated thoughts and psycho-social stress found that thought can increase cortisol levels in the body, thus worsening anxiety.
Another study in 2018 also confirmed the link between subjective stress and current thought content and cortisol release. It found more negative and future-directed thoughts increased cortisol levels after experiencing stress, suggesting an increase in negative future anticipation. Furthermore, past-directed negative thoughts increased cortisol levels even without a trigger. These findings prove the link between thought content and stress levels, suggesting your body can release cortisol even without external stimuli, but only due to negative thoughts.
Our Brain Does Not Stop Thinking
Even though our thoughts might cause us to feel stressed and anxious, we don’t have an off-button for them, and there’s no way for our brain to stop thinking. A 2020 study suggests that humans have an average of more than 6,000 thoughts per day, out of which 95% are repetitive and 80% are negative.
Turn Negativity Into Positivity with Daily Positive Affirmations
If our thoughts are to blame for increased stress and anxiety, will turning negative thoughts into positive ones help? Absolutely! How can you achieve this? With daily positive affirmations.
What are Positive Affirmations?
Affirmations are positive statements you can tell yourself to overcome negativity and self-sabotage. They help reshape your thinking about yourself, make you feel more positive and confident, and relieve anxiety and stress. For example, if you keep telling yourself that you aren’t good enough for your job, it’ll negatively affect your work performance and increase workplace stress. In contrast, if you repeat that you’re good at your job and your employer is lucky to have you, you can reprogram your mind and help you perform better at work by reducing stress and boosting self-confidence.
Research suggests that spending just a few minutes thinking about your best qualities before a high-pressure meeting – a performance review, for example – can help you calm down, boost your confidence, and increase the likelihood of success.
When your negative thoughts cause high stress and anxiety levels, you can use daily affirmations to turn these negatives into positives. To do so, write down the persistent thoughts and beliefs bothering you. These could be:
“I’m not good enough.”
“I’m the worst public speaker.”
“Others have better presentations.”
Then reframe these thoughts and choose affirmations that are the opposite of these negatives. For example:
“I’m skilled at highly experienced at what I do.”
“I’m a good public speaker. “
“I have a well-prepared presentation.”
How to Write Affirmations
Writing daily positive affirmations is simple and worth the effort. These short, powerful statements will allow you to be in control of your thoughts and relieve stress and anxiety. You can say them aloud, write them down, or repeatedly think positive affirmations to reprogram your mind. Although you can find affirmations online, the ones you write will be unique to you and reflect your goals and desires while opposing your fears and negativity. Luckily it won’t take up too much time in your schedule, and you won’t need more than a quiet place and either pen and paper or any electronic device where you can write notes. Here are some tips to help:
Begin with “I” or “my” – Affirmations are positive statements about yourself; therefore, it has to start with you. Use active tense instead of passive voice.
Use Present Tense – Make your affirmations current. Instead of saying “I will become confident,” write “I am confident.”
Avoid “want,” “need,” “wish,” and “hope” – if you need, want, wish, or hope for something, it means you’re lacking it. Instead, write your affirmations as if you already have what you want.
Keep your affirmations brief – you don’t need paragraphs of affirmation rather than brief sentences you can remember and repeat throughout the day.
Keep them realistic – when you have a couple of hundred dollars in your bank account and repeat to yourself, “I’m a billionaire,” it’s unlikely you will start believing this affirmation. So instead, you can say, “I’m worth everything.”
Even though your thoughts are usually the reason to blame for stress and anxiety, you can use them to improve your mental health. One of the best ways to repel negativity and reshape your thinking into positives is positively affirming yourself every day. The tips above will help you write your daily affirmations so that you can make positively affirming yourself a daily habit.