by Moses Olurotimi Olawoye
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Humans do have communication between the conscious and the subconscious part of the mind. You tend to make affirmations every single day; whether planned or not planned; whether positive affirmations or negative affirmations. When affirmations that make you happy are done invariably and satisfactorily, they help in shaping your day positively.

Bukola Lukan, one of Africa’s positive affirmations influencers has distributed over 5000 positive affirmation cards in Nigeria, with positive testimonies; and by 2030, she wishes to have reached out to 13 million Africans, as she believes that affirmations are a simple solution to mental health and hardship.

In Sport Psychology, affirmations are mostly called Self-talks, and they are cognitive strategies commonly used for enhancing performance. They are psychological skills that occur when an individual intrinsically or extrinsically makes a position about something which is directly or indirectly connected to his or her feelings, thoughts or actions. These include all the random thoughts that run through your mind, and all things said both overtly or covertly.

What Are Positive Affirmations?

Thoughts are powerful, words are more powerful; when you think positively and speak out those thoughts repeatedly, they can turn out to positively affect your everyday life.

Positive affirmations are assertive set of complete words that motivates and inspires you to take action toward your positive thoughts. 

This set of complete words must be repeated more often rather than not, to be able to stamp them in your subconscious mind. This action of repeating positive affirmations can change your behavior in your everyday life. 

Positive affirmations come with mental images that involve the affirmations that make you happy. This ends up energizing you to show strong belief in your dedication to something important to you.

The Science Behind Positive Affirmation

Statements that can help you challenge and overcome negative thoughts are positive affirmations. A study that was published in the journal, Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience (1), used Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) to reveal that practicing self-affirmation activates the reward centers in your brain. It fires up your neural pathways and makes changes to those areas of the brain that makes you happy and positive.

In the 1980s, Claude Steele, a Social Psychologist and emeritus professor at Stanford University, popularized self-affirmation theory, propelling it to become a well-studied theory in the research sector of social psychology.

Self-affirmation theory is a psychological theory that sheds light on how people adapt to experiences and information that pose a threat to their self-concept. Based on self-affirmation theory, you can maintain self-integrity, which is correlated to the concept of self-efficacy, by affirming your core values and beliefs. 

It is also worthwhile to note that neuroplasticity is one of the key principles behind positive affirmations. This is the brain’s ability to change and adapt throughout life, by forming and recognizing synaptic connections, especially in response to learning or experience.

The fundamental units of the brain and nervous system are neurons; they are responsible for receiving sensory input from the external world and sending motor commands to the muscles in the process. One of the neurons known as Dopamine, allows you to perceive potential rewards, and then take necessary actions to obtain them. 

Dopamine is synthesized within two areas of the brain. These areas facilitate higher cognitive functions such as planning, motivation, some aspects of normal emotional responses and prioritization. This particular neuron helps in stimulating affirmations that make you happy.

It is safe to note that studies proved that positive affirmations help activate parts of the brain that are associated with self-related processing and reward. The same studies also show that positive affirmations can help build or restore self-competence.

Steps Towards Creating Effective Positive Affirmation

Positive affirmations have helped a lot of people in Nigeria, and people all over the world to make changes in their everyday lives. It does not just have a significant impact on your life without following some specific steps which include but are not limited to.

  1. When possible, use the word “I”

    In psychology, to have a positive mindset, your thoughts must be believably positive. For this to happen, you must imagine yourself acting on your thoughts.

  2. Use present tense

    Using present tense for your positive affirmations makes you subconsciously get close to achieving them, rather than just striving towards them.

  3. Positivity

    Always think and speak assertively about what you want, rather than what you do not want.

  4. Concise

    Positive affirmations that make you happy must be succinct, but give a lot of clear information in the process.

  5. Use positive affirmations frequently

    Use them from time to time,to keep your mind alert of the reality of the affirmation words.

  6. Your activities must correlate with your positive affirmations

    When making affirmations, always ensure that your activities correlate with your positive affirmation.

  7. Always have unwavering confidence that your positive affirmations will come to pass

    Yes, it’s one thing to have and profess positive affirmations, it’s another thing to believe that your affirmations are right for you and will come to pass.

50 Positive Affirmations You Should Know By Heart

Positive affirmations can be subjective, as it is truly based on what individuals want; they are positive affirmations that make you happy, which is more often, rather than not, different from person to person. Therefore, the following are positive affirmations you should know by heart, which are not exclusive:

  1. I can, and I will
  2. I am great
  3. I am a winner
  4. I am unique
  5. I believe in my ability
  6. I am content with my growth
  7. I am strong
  8. I am bold and beautiful
  9. I am brave
  10. I can never be pulled down
  11. I am intelligent
  12. I am perfect the way I am
  13. I am a wonderful individual
  14. I am creative
  15. I am a blessing to others
  16. I will not give up
  17. I am the epitome of success
  18. I am healthy
  19. Every day, I am operating in the realm of wealth
  20. I love my job, and I enjoy doing it
  21. I am ready to receive love
  22. My heart is open
  23. I see love everywhere
  24. My best is good enough
  25. I am experiencing joy in everything I do
  26. I am happy to be alive
  27. I appreciate every blessing, no matter how small
  28. I am moving forward with my life
  29. I am forgiving myself for my mistakes
  30. Courage starts with showing up and letting myself be seen
  31. I can make 100 percent of the shots I make
  32. I am adventurous
  33. I am growing and going at my own pace
  34. I am in charge of how I feel, and I choose to feel happy
  35. I am valuable
  36. I have everything I need to succeed
  37. I train my body and mind
  38. I am destined for greatness
  39. I have trained hard; I will perform well
  40. I trust my decisions
  41. I know my worth
  42. I am making a difference in the world
  43. I learn from my mistakes
  44. I face my fears boldly
  45. Whenever I fall, I get back up again.
  46. I choose only to think good thoughts
  47. I am not afraid to keep going
  48. I see the best in people
  49. I am in charge of how I live each day
  50. My goals are achievable

Benefits Of Positive Affirmations

You tend to have a shift in mindset when you frequently practice positive affirmations you should know by heart. Positive affirmations generally strengthen your self-concept and end up countering feelings of self-doubt and anxiety. The following are the benefits of positive affirmations:

  1. More positive thoughts, and less negative thoughts

    Practicing more positive affirmations gives you the power to live a positive life, and therefore reduce negativity.

  2. Enhanced physical actives

According to the Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, positive affirmations can increase physical behavior, especially in the context of positive psychology interventions.

  1. Decreased health-deteriorating stress

Lazarus and Folkman (1984), defined stress as a pattern of negative physiological states and psychological responses occurring in situations where people perceive threats to their well-being, which they may be unable to meet.

In Sport Psychology, two terms have been introduced to explain stress. That is eustress and distress. Eustress is a good form of stress that can give you a feeling of fulfillment, while distress is extreme anxiety related to performance.

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Therefore, contrary to what many people believe, not all stress is bad. Stress can motivate and encourage change. Positive affirmations you should know by heart can therefore help in reducing stress, as it is a form of self-talk used while stressed out.

  1. Reduced anxiety

    Anxiety is an emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts and physical changes like increased blood pressure. People with anxiety disorders usually have recurring intrusive thoughts or concerns. 

Anxiety does not occur as a single phenomenon; its various forms of manifestation can be categorized under the two different headings of trait anxiety and state anxiety. According to Weinberg and Gould (2000), anxiety is a negative emotion, it affects perceptions of people, where a large majority of people consider anxiety to be debilitative towards performance, which may result in a decrease in performance. 

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Reduced anxiety is one of the benefits of positive affirmations, as it is caused by the power of positive thinking.

  1. Improved mood

    Low mood for a prolonged period is a sign of depression, and can interfere with your quality of life. Depression is typically considered to be the most common psychological condition among adolescents and adults, and it is a prolonged sadness of over 2 to 3 weeks. Positive affirmations can always help out in enhancing your mood and relieve depression.

  2. Coping styles

In psychology, coping means investing your conscious effort, to solve personal and interpersonal problems, and trying to master, minimize or tolerate stress and conflict. In the case of coping, threats are not the only situations in which you are in physical danger, but also situations in which a piece of yourself is in danger. 

The ego is frequently the piece in danger, along with your sense of self, your very identity, your worldview, and your inner beliefs or faith. The more serious the threat, the more effective the coping must be. Sample (2012), proposed that the coping processes of an individual involve cognitive as well as affective actions that the individual resorts to when faced with significant stress.

The ability to find meaning is an important source for coping with stress. An effective way to change unhealthy behaviors, and improve health is by taking a conscious effort towards making positive affirmations as part of your coping styles.

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  1. Enhanced self-concept

Self-concept is an essential part of the development of personality. Self in terms of psychology has two meanings, that is the attitude and feelings of a person towards himself. According to Burns (1993), Self-concept is self-esteem, self-worth or self-acceptance that includes all beliefs and judgments about yourself. It defines who you are in your mind, what you can do in your mind and what you become in your mind. 

Carl Rogers, one of the founders of humanistic psychology, suggested that self-concept includes three components namely, self-image which is the way you see yourself; self-esteem which is the value you place upon yourself; and the ideal self which is the self you would like to be. Self-concept is your knowledge of who you are, encompassing all of your thoughts and feelings about yourself physically, personally, and socially. 

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Researchers in a 2016 study, made a comparison between people who used affirmations and those who did not. They found out that individuals who practiced positive affirmations showed a higher level of activity in regions of the brain that allow humans to recognize their worth.

Repeating positive affirmations can easily form a wall of defense around you, thereby helping out in stopping the thoughts and feelings that might destroy your self-esteem.


The benefits of affirmations are endless, as they have helped a lot of people in Nigeria, and also a lot of people all over the world, to achieve great things. It has also helped people to make positive and assertive changes in life. It is worthwhile to note that, for positive affirmations to truly work, you need to repeat them more frequently, rather than not. 

Positive affirmations you should know by heart are always powerful and are also a life-changing psychological skill that can have a positive impact on your life; therefore, affirmations that make you happy are paramount for a positive and healthy lifestyle.

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About Author

Avatar of Moses Olurotimi Olawoye
Moses Olurotimi Olawoye
Sport connoisseur, with bias towards Athletics and Football | Mental and Physical Health enthusiast, with bias towards Sport Psychology and Exercise Physiology | Safety connoisseur, with bias towards Occupational Safety | Sport shutterbug, with bias towards Kinetics | Seasoned Writer, with bias towards Content writing, Technical writing and Ghost writing.

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