All Positive Affirmations are not created equal, in fact some can even be detrimental to changing the habit, paradigm or state of mind you’re trying to change. For example, you’re wanting to stop smoking but you use the affirmation “I will not smoke”—by having “not” in your affirmation you might actually be reinforcing your smoking habit because the mind tends to overlook the “not” and only see/hear “I will smoke”. In addition, the affirmation is in the future tense–by having the word “will” in it your subconscious mind interprets that it’s not something you’re wanting to do right now—it’s waiting on the “when” command.

Tips for creating Positive Affirmations and putting them into action:

Positive Affirmations should be stated in the present tense.

“I am” or “Right now I” (present tense) should be used rather than “I will” (future tense) because to the sub-conscious mind “tomorrow never comes”.

Positive Affirmations can be stated as first person or second person.

Research has shown that some people respond better to “first person” (I) affirmations but others may respond better to “second person” (you) affirmations. I would suggest using both—why not cover all the bases. If you use first person affirmations you can record using a simple microphone attached to your computer and then convert the WAV file to an MP3 file for your MP3 player or “burn” to a CD. For “second person” you should record someone else using the affirmation or use “synthetic voice” software. I’ll be providing some “second person” affirmations on this site in the near future.

Positive Affirmations should be specific.

Émile Coué, an early pioneer in positive affirmations, used his now famous “Every day, in every way, I’m getting better and better” affirmation to reportedly help thousands of people with various illnesses. But research in the last few years has shown that the more specific the affirmation the more likely it is to produce the desired result. “I am happy and grateful that I am at my ideal weight of 115 pounds is better than “I am happy and grateful that I am at my ideal weight”. I have no doubt however that even Coué’s non-specific affirmation would give you a better overall sense of well being if used consistently.

Positive Affirmations require repetition to create results.

When it comes to affirmations repetition is king. In order for the sub-conscious mind to act it requires hearing or seeing the affirmation repeatedly. Can you imagine what would happen if the sub-conscious mind only needed a few repetitions to act?—our lives would be chaos.

Positive Affirmations are best used with emotion.

Just robotically repeating an affirmation will not produce the same results as an affirmation which is mixed with emotion. Since we’re all a little different it may be helpful to look at some of the different emotions you have and see how you might incorporate them with your affirmation. A couple of examples for a stop smoking affirmation might be; “…and whenever I think of a cigarette I tell myself STOP” (while pounding your fist into the palm of your other hand—I wouldn’t recommend this technique if you’re in a meeting and your boss is speaking); prior to repeating your affirmation you could rip a cigarette apart with a lot of anger. You wouldn’t want or have to do it each time you listened to our repeated the affirmation—that could get expensive. It’s been 25 years since I gave up my cigarette addiction but if I were going through that process again I’d buy two packs after I decided to quit and once a day for 40 days I shred one of them (although I probably would have to put something nasty tasting on the butts to keep me from smoking them until the affirmation kicked in).

Positive Affirmations should not produce any negative side effects.

Be careful when creating affirmations that you get only the results you want. Using an affirmation such as “I am determined to lose weight and will do whatever it takes to reach my goal of 180 pounds” could result in your sub-conscious mind saying “okay I can take care of that command—I’ll just make you sick—that should help you drop some weight real quick”.

Positive Affirmations should be realistic.

It’s great to use affirmations to help us overcome even our biggest challenges but our affirmations just like our goals need to be based in reality (even though reality is often what we think it is). For instance if you have always had a “poverty mentality” but you use an affirmation that you are richer than Bill Gates I’ll predict you’ll spend a long time waiting for that affirmation to manifest.

Positive Affirmations should be short and sweet.

Affirmations should be long enough to be specific but not so long that they can’t be easily repeated or remembered.

Positive Affirmations should be used consistently.

Using an affirmation once in a while when you think about it will probably not do anything but make you think that affirmations don’t work—they have to be used consistently. Your sub-conscious mind helps you to achieve the real desires of your heart and would probably not interpret an occasional affirmation as being a real desire. I recommend at least 30 days of the same affirmation, or longer if needed.

Positive Affirmations are best used along with visualization.

The more ways you impress onto your sub-conscious mind your wishes the greater the likelihood of success. Writing or typing your affirmation onto a card that you can carry with you and read at any opportunity will further help your affirmation to manifest. For some affirmations you can use a photo as a visual affirmation—such as an old photo when you were at the weight you now want to be—or maybe your head pasted onto somebody else’s body. There’s also some great visualization software available online—one such place is at www.goals2go.com

Positive Affirmations need action to work.

Just like the Bible verse “Faith without works is dead”, “Positive Affirmations without action” is probably not going to manifest—well maybe it’s not just like the Bible verse. :) Positive affirmations although a very powerful tool are not like your own personal genie—most things you want to change will require a little action—like telling yourself to STOP when you’re about to do something not in alignment with what you say your goal is. Even the simple action of reading your affirmation card at every opportunity can create amazing results.

Positive Affirmations work best when used with a sense of gratitude.

Stating an affirmation with a sense of gratitude does a couple of things; first it opens your heart up to receive—if you don’t have a sense of gratitude you’re not in a receptive state of mind, and second, it’s affirming that you already possess the thing you’re affirming—which becomes the truth as soon as you accept it as such.

Now that we’ve talked about the factors in creating Positive Affirmations let’s take a look at one designed to help stop smoking.

(First Person)  I am happy and grateful that I have let go of my addiction to cigarettes and I choose to live my life free of them. If I do think of a cigarette I tell myself STOP and I automatically switch my thought to something else. I am very relaxed and breathe slowly and deeply. I am a light eater and eat small healthy meals. I eat slowly and enjoy every bite of my food. I exercise daily and my body is healthy and trim.

(Second Person) You are happy and grateful that you have let go of your addiction to cigarettes and you choose to live your life free of them. If you do think of a cigarette you tell yourself STOP and you automatically switch your thought to something else. You are very relaxed and breathe slowly and deeply. You are a light eater and eat small healthy meals. You eat slowly and enjoy every bite of your food. You exercise daily and your body is healthy and trim.

As mentioned earlier Positive Affirmations should be short and sweet (you should be able to recite from memory in a short time) but sometimes it’s helpful to tag several together, as in the example above.

I’ll be adding a variety of Positive Affirmation scripts and audio in the very near future but for now I’m including the streaming audio of the scripts above.

P.S. As long as you’re living you’ll always have thoughts—why not make them positive ones?

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Milliann October 29, 2010 at 12:11 pm

I would like to share my experience with positive affirmations. After reading a couple of your earlier posts & a chat we had I decided to try to quit a 30 year smoking habit. I had quit at other times, once cold turkey on the Red Cross smoke out day, which lasted three months, I had crying jags, made my mouth raw sucking lifesavers & never got over the “want”. I tried again several years later, while working for a Pulmonologist, who perscribed the patches. Indeed there was no physical craving, but I was a moron…my brain just was not functioning…to the point the doctor sent the nurse to buy me a pack of cigs & told me not to return until I had smoked them all. I am 53 looking at roughly 30 more years on this planet & I want it to be as good as it can be. You had sent me some sample affirmations & I came up with this one. “I AM A NON-SMOKER! I HATE THE SMELL OF CIGARETTES! I HATE THE TASTE OF CIGARETTES! IF I FEEL STRESS I WILL TAKE 3 DEEP BREATHS. I continued to smoke, but recited this to myself many, many times a day and fell asleep listening to or reciting this mantra. Just about two weeks into it I was in a high stress situation and before I could reach for a cigarette I felt my body automatically taking three deep breaths. I was very excited!! I set a date continued my mantras and quit October 24th, 2009. This time quiting was nothing short of amazing. I felt NO withdrawel, no munchies, no crying jags, no restlessness…nothing. Don’t get me wrong I was not living in a cave on a desert island…extremely stressful situations challenged my new found freedom almost immediately, but I would laugh at the thought of smoking because I AM A NON-SMOKER & non-smokers do not smoke to handle stress..so I would repeat my mantra take my deep breaths & move on through the problem. Those times though were mental challenges, that you have to make the choice to follow through with the plan, not having the physical craving made that much easier. I just celebrated a year and I am still AMAZED at how easy it was!
I have started a new mantra to change some other lifestyle habits I am not happy with & I will keep you posted. Thanks for the great articles!

Joel J October 30, 2010 at 10:00 am

CONGRATULATIONS!, that is an awesome accomplishment. Thanks for sharing your story–I’m sure it will be a great encouragement to others that have tried in the past to quit smoking but gave up the battle. Your story should be especially encouraging since you didn’t experience the usual “withdrawal cravings”. Thanks again for sharing your story and best wishes with your other lifestyle changes. Joel J.

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