Here’s the interesting thing about affirmations… when you first start them, it can feel like you’re lying to yourself. Reciting affirmations to yourself so that you can find peace when you really feel like taking your frustration out on the nearest punching bag can seem unrealistic. Unless you know WHY affirmations work in the first place.
See, we don’t do affirmations for things that we already wholeheartedly believe to be true. We don’t need to affirm to ourselves that we can read when we wake up in the morning. If you’re reading this post right now, you probably feel pretty good about your ability to understand a sentence or two.
We don’t wake up and decide to remind ourselves that we have a sense of smell… (Unless maybe we’re sick and feeling kind of stuffy).
When we gear ourselves up for affirmations, when we decide that we have to affirm something to ourselves, it is typically because we’re struggling to believe a particular idea to be true.
Which can lead to an automatic assumption that affirmations don’t work.
Instead of looking at our affirmations as a way to lie to ourselves, or as a way that we’re reminding ourselves of what we don’t yet have in our lives, we can learn to see our affirmation practice as planting seeds in a garden.
When planting a seed, we don’t see any immediate results. We don’t plant a flower and then automatically see a flower bud. We don’t see ANYTHING right away. The dirt looks the same as it did before we planted the seed. The only thing that has changed is our awareness. Our understanding. Our knowledge. We KNOW that we planted something. We expect our plant to grow and blossom if we continue treating it well, if we continue giving it attention and love. We know that eventually, our flower will show up.
This is the same energy that helps our affirmations turn into reality. Although our life looks the same circumstantially, we have to KNOW that there is new energy blossoming under the surface. We have to know that our awareness has changed. We have to know that we’re moving in the right direction. We have to know that we believe in ourselves and our dreams. We have to believe that there is more to the present moment than what we can see.
Our affirmations link us to the future. They create a bridge between where we are in the present moment and where we know we can go in the future. Affirmations help us become deliberate with our actions and our thoughts. They help us shift our perspective even though our “garden” might seem pretty bleak.
So when you’re saying your affirmations or writing them or thinking them throughout the day, remember that you don’t need concrete evidence of the blossom to know that something beautiful is being planted. Trust the process. Feel the positivity of the words. Know that your moving in the right direction. And let go of any belief that is holding you back.
You can find peace in the present moment, no matter what the present moment is offering you!
Here are ten affirmations you can recite or write down on a daily basis to help you plant seeds of peace and happiness.
1. The only moment that truly exists is right now, and that is enough.
In my mindfulness living course, I go WAY in depth on learning how to become aware of the present moment and accept it for what it is… happily! But this affirmation can be a great place to start working on reframing anxiety, worry, fear, and tension. When we understand that the only time we’re ever living in is the present moment, it makes life so much more special! We become less attached to outcomes of future actions, and really settle into living fully right now.
2. There is always something beautiful and exciting to pay attention to.
When we get caught up in stress and negative emotions, we often want our external circumstances to change in order for us to allow ourselves to feel better. But if we begin to pay attention to the beauty that is always around is, yes in any situation, we can paint a much more accurate interpretation of reality for ourselves. Even in a difficult moment there is something magnificent to tap into. Our favorite color. A beautiful animal. The support of a loved one. The sound of someone’s voice… There is always a lovely thing to focus on, and when we allow ourselves to pay attention to these things more than we get sucked into the frustrating things, we can access peace and happiness much more quickly.
3. When I let go of the need to manipulate and control my life, then I truly sense the magic of the universe.
Fighting our way through life can zap all of our peace. When we let go of our need to manipulate and micromanage, we create space for synchronicity and surprise. This affirmation makes me think of the saying “Whatever will be, will be.” That saying isn’t telling us to accept whatever crap falls into our life. It isn’t telling us to settle for things that don’t serve us or fulfill us. It is, however, telling us that there is more going on than what we can understand at the present moment. How many times have you looked back on the moments in your life and realized that all of the dots connected? How many times have you thought about the past 5 years of your life and found that you had a brand new understanding about why certain “challenges” happened the way they did. Sometimes it can take a little bit of surrender in order for us to see these connections. And when we let go of our need to fight against the things we automatically classify as “bad” and begin to get curious about our lives instead, our lives begin to feel magical.
4. I don’t know enough to be certain that things aren’t turning out well for me.
Can we predict the future accurately 100% of the time? No. There is SO much we don’t know about life. There is SO much we don’t know about our planet. There is SO much we don’t know about our souls, about our communities, about our bodies. There is SO much we don’t know about our universe. Hell, sometimes we don’t even know how to deal with the people we love the most! So how can we say with certainty that things aren’t going to work out for us? How can we decide that we HAVE to live our lives a certain way? How can argue for our limitations as if we know that we will never be capable of greatness? How can we decide that a peaceful, happy life just isn’t possible? Well… the answer is simple. We can’t! We can’t be sure that we aren’t cut out for greatness in our lives. We can’t count ourselves out just yet… there’s too much left to explore and experience!
5. Life always surprises me, and these surprises are magnificent.
When we’re struggling to find peace we can easily slip into thoughts that tell us we already know what’s going to happen, and what’s going to happen will be too much to handle. But this affirmation encourages us to embrace the surprises that life has for us. When we begin operating under the impression that life is happening FOR us and not TO us, the surprises feel exciting instead of terrifying.
6. I care about how I feel, and today I want to feel good!
There are always multiple sides to every story… and to every experience. We get to CHOOSE what we focus on. We get to CHOOSE how we feel. And when we care about how we feel, we love ourselves through every kind of experience. Just because a situation is challenging does no mean that we have to let our attitude shift into something that feels draining and overwhelming. When we care abut how we feel, we relate to the world around us in a completely empowered way.
7. I have more power than I give myself credit for.
How many things have you overcome or succeeded at in the past that you were extremely worried about at the time? Probably a lot. Are you willing to believe in your own power? This affirmation reminds you that you have so much to be grateful for, and that you have gifts and talents that will help you truly enjoy living life!
8. Everything is always working out for me.
Hard to believe? Maybe. But this affirmation helps guide us to perspectives and positivity we never thought we could find! We see opportunities in moments that used to feel impossible to go through. If everything is always working out for us, what’s there to be worried about?
9. I allow myself to be excited about the circumstances of my life.
This affirmation reminds us that life isn’t something to be trudged through. It isn’t something that we deal with on autopilot. It isn’t just a laundry list of things that need to get done. It’s time to get excited about the things you’re doing. No matter what it is… Washing the dishes? Get excited! Going to work? Get pumped up! Dealing with a situation that is driving you crazy? Learn to love it! That’s right. Allow yourself to be excited about everything you experience. We only have a limited time to experience life in our physical body… why not learn to love every second of it?
10. Fun is in every experience if I allow it to be.
It’s easy to forget about fun. We remember the mandatory things. The necessary things. The challenging things. But do we remember to have fun and really enjoy ourselves? When we let loose and have fun, peace isn’t far behind. We can use this affirmation to remind ourselves that opportunity for fun are everywhere if we keep our eyes open and know what to look for. Anytime we start to smile, anytime we laugh, anytime we’re completely zoned it… it’s time to take a minute to pay attention to how much fun you’re having! Don’t take fun for granted.