Positive affirmations and positive thinking are two powerful strategies that can help Lupus Warriors improve self esteem, manage stress, & get motivated to take on challenges.
Staying positive and motivated when dealing with lupus and its myriad symptoms isn’t easy. Over time, it’s easy to find yourself in a bit of a funk. Research has shown that positivity is a powerful force that can help with many aspects of life including motivation, activity levels, eating habits, and mental health. And, as a stress management tool, positivity can decrease the risk of lupus flares.
Positive affirmations offer a way to get a boost in your life – one that doesn’t conflict with any medication or diet.
What are positive affirmations?
Positive affirmations are a verbal exercise where you repeat positive phrases to yourself, out loud, at least once a day. By doing this, you encourage positive thoughts to grow and take charge. Positive affirmation encourages a positive and resilient mindset — perfect for taking on the rest of the day.
The affirmations you use are up to you. When selecting your personal positive affirmations, you can choose ones that:
- Highlight your best traits
- Encourage you to approach new experiences with an open mind
- Psyche you up for the day
- Control negative feelings, including anger and frustration (by rewriting negative self-talk in a positive light)
Looking for positive affirmations to try out? Louise Hay, a founder of the self-help movement and an author of books on positivity shares a new positive affirmation every day.
Positive Affirmations and You
When deciding on your affirmations, think about what you want to do and who you want to be. Are you worried about something in particular? Do you have specific goals? Think about the positive side, and say it out loud to yourself.
Wording does matter here: when making your own affirmations, try to use words with good associations wherever possible. You should also use words like “I choose,” “I allow,” or “I am willing” because this lets you “choose” that outcome, giving you agency.
These kinds of phrases help to prime your brain to thinking the way you want to think, and doing what you need to do. And, science says, it does much more than that.
The science of positive affirmations
This all may seem a little too good to be true or seem a bit implausible. But, research has shown that these positivity strategies offer benefit.
A 2013 study in undergraduate college students showed that positive self-affirmation helped stressed students. Affirmations improve problem solving performance, helping them test well even when stressed.
Also, a 2001 follow up study on college-aged women found that a 6-week cognitive-behavioral intervention led to fewer traits of depression. The strategies used in the intervention were thought-stopping and positive affirmations. The goal of using these was to reduce negative identification and negative thinking. The women who underwent the intervention had greater self-esteem than the group who did not, and the differences between the groups remained in place 18 months later.
The benefits have even been measured using brain scans. In a 2015 study, fMRI scans revealed that people who used positive affirmation techniques experienced “increased activity in key regions of the brain’s self-processing and valuation systems.” This increased activity encourages more mental and physical activity. It’s also associated with the release of neurotransmitters in the brain which naturally boost mood and reduce pain.
Some affirmations to try
Here are a three positive affirmations that may be helpful for Lupus Warriors:
- I am making progress in my health, and I will keep making progress.
- I am strong, and I will do great things today.
- I am a master at managing my energy, and I will pace myself well today.
If you’re looking to learn more about the power of positivity, there are plenty of books on positive psychology.
Today and everyday, you got this.