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Repeating positive affirmations for anxiety is a great technique to deal with your anxious thoughts.
Anxiety has the ability to overwhelm us with constant negative thought patterns such as excessive worries, fears and self-doubt, that can impact every area of your life.
To reduce and manage anxiety, it’s necessary to work on changing these thoughts, and uplifting affirmations is among the best tools for that.
Affirmations are positive statements describing what you want to feel, become or achieve. If you commit to repeating these daily, with time you can start to let go of some of your negative thoughts, while replacing them with your new affirmed phrases.
As someone who struggled with chronic anxiety for nearly 20 years, I know all too well what’s it’s like to constantly think negative thoughts. Back then, I can honestly say that I was crippled by my anxious mind that never seemed to stop!
My worries and fears used to start the moment I would wake up, and keep me hostage until I drifted off to sleep at night. This was exhausting, frustrating, and unbearable, that only a fellow anxiety sufferer can relate to.
When my anxiety got out hand and I had to take time off work, I began using positive affirmations. Words cannot describe how much they helped me to interrupt the chaos going on in my mind at the time. With practice and dedication I managed to transform my mindset and overcome chronic anxiety, and affirmations played a big part.
I must mention that affirmations helped me in the interim as well, to relieve tension, prepare for anxious situations, and manage my anxiety on a daily basis.
Over the years I've found that affirmations can help to boost mood, energy and motivation, improve self-confidence and self-esteem, and promote self-love, all of which are affected by anxiety as well.
So, when you are ready to take back control of your anxiety, I highly recommend that you start using positive affirmations.
In this article you will learn what are affirmations, how they help with anxiety, what are the best affirmations for anxiety relief, how to use them effectively, and how to create your own.
My goal is to also to inspire you to commit to your affirmation practice, so please read on.
Table of Contents
What Are Positive Affirmations?
Affirmations for anxiety are positive statements, mantras or phrases that you repeat to yourself to describe, either
- how you want to feel,
- who you want to become, or
- a specific outcome you are aiming for,
in an effort to reduce and manage your anxiety.
For example, one of the core beliefs at the root of anxiety is,
I am not good enough.
To shift this belief, you can repeat daily the following affirmation,
I am unique, beautiful and important. I am enough.
The more you repeat “I am enough”, the sooner you let go of the belief “I am not good enough”.
It’s worth noting, in the beginning, you may find it difficult to repeat certain positive statements because they might trigger pain.
For example, “I love myself” is an affirmation that I struggled with a lot. Each time I would say it, I felt felt anger and frustration rising up within me, because I hated myself at the time. But the more I practiced the easier it got, and now I can smile with joy and happiness, while saying this very affirmation.
Affirmations may also give you a sense that they are pointless, or wishful thinking.
But I can assure you, that when you commit to your affirmations, these statements can become your beliefs, and once you believe something, this also becomes your reality.
Best Positive Affirmations for Anxiety Relief
1. I am Safe and Protected
Anxiety can trigger overwhelming and irrational fears that can be constant. Reassuring yourself that you are safe and protected, interrupts these fears in a positive and encouraging way.
2. I Breathe in Calmness and Relaxation, and I Breathe out Tension
The next time you feel your anxiety rising, start to breathe deeply in and out while affirming "I Breathe in Calmness and Relaxation, and I Breathe out Tension". This will help to,
- Bring extra oxygen to your cells, and
- Focus your mind on "calmness flowing in" and "tension flowing out"
both of which help to relieve anxiety.
3. I Choose to Let Go of the Past and Focus on the Here and Now
The moment you worries start spiraling out of control, start to affirm about letting go of the past. That's because the past is where we feel anxious.
Bringing our focus to the present, shifts our mind away from our worries to the here and now. The present is the only moment where we can hope to achieve anxiety relief.
4. I Look for a Solution in Every Challenge, and I also seek the Lesson.
We can worry about something indefinitely.
But one effective way to deal with these worries is to look for a solution in every problem, and to try to extract what is the lesson that you can learn.
Once you start to think about your problems in this way, you are more likely to take positive actions and learn how to do better next time, which can relieve your anxiety in the long run.
5. I Nourish My Body with Nutritious Foods and Drinks
A popular but unhealthy coping mechanism for anxiety is overeating.
Affirming a statement that reminds you to eat healthily is a wonderful way of shifting your mindset when it comes to food.
Healthy eating is essential to reduce and manage anxiety.
6. I Am Physically Active Each and Every Day
Coping with anxiety in daily life can be exhausting, and it is hard to find the motivation or energy to stay physically active.
But regularly affirming that you are physically active will trigger your mind to think about exercise. When you think about something you are more likely to act on it.
Like healthy eating, exercise is also very important for managing your anxiety.
7. I Actively Seek My Purpose in Life
Being in the wrong kind of job can impact your anxiety. But even if you know that, it's not easy to switch jobs and professions when you financial responsibilities and commitments.
The idea behind affirming "I actively seek my purpose in life" is to get you to start thinking about your passions, and what it is that you enjoy doing. This can result in you taking up a hobby, which is a great self-care technique for managing anxiety.
Then who know what happens later, maybe one day, you will also change your profession.
But either way, this is a very important affirmation for managing anxiety.
8. I am Unique, Beautiful and Important. I am Enough
Anxiety can trigger obsession with perfectionism. No matter how hard you work, you always want to do more, but never feel good enough.
The affirmation "I am enough" can help you turn that around, and allow you to let go of perfectionism.
Also, when you are doing your best and making an effort that's perfect enough!
9. I have the Power to Change How I Feel
We can feel completely controlled by anxiety and pretty much powerless . Also it's common to feel defeated, and believe that you have tried everything, but have not had any success. I used to think, feel and believe all of that!
But this all changed the moment I realized I have the power to change how I feel.
Once I started to believe this, I began using my anxiety as a signal to alert me what changes I need to make in my life. This was one of the most important steps on my way to overcoming chronic anxiety.
10. I Can Overcome Anxiety and I Continually Search for Natural Ways
If you believe you can overcome your anxiety using natural techniques, then you are going to take actions in this direction.
Other Uplifting Affirmations
- 1I love myself.
- 2I love and accept everything about me
- 3Each day I feel calmer and more relaxed
- 4All is well with me
- 5I can overcome this situation
- 6I can succeed by taking one step at a time
- 7I am ready for change
- 8I can do this
- 9I choose to think thoughts that serve me
- 10I appreciate my strengths and I use them at every opportunity
- 11I have inner power and I am powerful
- 12I love my body and mind, and they love and serve me
- 13I choose to be happy and joyful
- 14I allow myself to experience life
- 15I am free to choose what I want in my life
- 16I forgive others because this relieves anxiety
- 17I am grateful for every challenge and lesson as they help me to grow, expand, and strengthen
- 18I am humble and choose to see the good in everything
- 19I choose to see my own beauty
- 20I am love, light and energy
- 21I am comfortable in my own skin
- 22I am healthy and balanced
- 23I allow wonderful people into my life
- 24I learn and expand every day
- 25I choose to love life
- 26I am willing to change, improve and grow
- 27I surround myself with positive people
- 28I am loved and lovable
- 29I practice self-care daily
- 30I always make an effort to understand others
- 31I am a compassionate listener
- 32I take deep breaths every day
- 33I acknowledge my feelings and emotions
- 34I spend time in nature
- 35I relax each evening
- 36I make an effort to understand others
- 37I journal to express how I feel
- 38I drink water throughout the day
- 39I exercise with love and care
- 40I respect my body
- 41I choose to be happy in this moment
- 42I can learn from myself and others
- 43I choose to improve my life every day
- 44I am my natural weight
- 45I nourish my hair, skin, hands, and feet
- 46I eat healthily every day
- 47My body is my temple
- 48I love all that I am
How Positive Affirmations Help to Relieve Anxiety?
Replace Your Anxious Thoughts
Each time you identify a negative thought pattern, write it down and find or create an affirmation to help you replace that repeating thought with one that serves you better.
Prepare You for Anxious Situations
As anxiety sufferers we feel anxious in certain or most situations. But we also make these situations worse, by worrying before and afterward.
The next time you are anxious about going somewhere, practice your affirmations for 15 minutes before you go, and also after you have returned home. This will help you neutralize and dissolve some of your most anxious thoughts relating to that event.
Relieve Tension and Calm You Down
Positive affirmations contain uplifting words and saying these can raise your vibration to a higher frequency, associated with being content and calm.
Think about how you feel in the arms of a loved one vs. when you are in an argument. Saying your positive affirmations, is like “hugging yourself” with words.
Positively Change Your Mindset
Committing to daily positive affirmations starts to change your thoughts. The more you think positive thoughts, the more likely they are to become positive thought patterns.
Turning your negative thought patterns into positive ones, is how you transform your mindset.
Though in saying that, if you think positively, you there's more of a chance that you'll take positive actions such as adopting a healthy lifestyle and a self-care routine, and that’s why changing your mindset is essential to curing your anxiety.
Most anxiety sufferers struggle with self-love.
At the peak of my anxiety I had a lot of trouble with self-love, in the sense that I didn’t have any. I criticized myself in every way. Lack of self-love can cause anxiety, and definitely make it worse.
Affirmations can also help you start to focus your attention on self-love. The more you focus on self-love the closer you are to taking action to show yourself love.
Boost Mood, Energy and Motivation
Low mood, low energy and lack of motivation are common symptoms of anxiety disorders.
As you start to commit to your affirmation practice, you are bound to feel more energized, happier and motivated after saying your positive phrases.
This is a similar feeling to when you jump up, look in the mirror and shout, “I can do this”. If you have never done this before, do it now, to see how it feels.
What's also great about affirmations, the energy you put into saying them will be multiplied, so give them everything you've got, as you will receive even more.
Improve Self-Esteem and Self-Confidence
Living a life with anxiety stops us doing things we love and enjoy, but also can limit us from achieving our full potential. This often causes lack of confidence and self-esteem.
Affirmations are a way of complementing yourself and your life.
How to Create Your Own Positive Affirmations?
While there are many affirmations to choose from online, it is also fun to create your own.
Get into the habit of writing down your thoughts and identifying negative thought patterns. Then use the following steps to create an affirmation to change these thoughts.
For example, let's consider the following negative belief
I can’t go to the gym because it makes me feel anxious
Step 1 - What Would You Rather Think or Feel?
Consider your negative thought, and then think about what would you like to think or feel instead of that thought. For this particular example
I would rather not feel anxious when going to the gym.
Step 2 - Start Creating Your Affirmation in First Person
Now turn "what you want to feel or think" into a statement. Begin your statement with either “I” or “My” to make it relatable and focused.
I will go to the gym because it makes me less anxious afterward
Step 3 - Choose Present Tense
The most effective affirmations are written in the present tense. That’s because affirmations written in the future tense are likely to remain there. In our example, I will need to replace “will” with “can”
I can go to the gym because it makes me feel less anxious afterward
Step 4 - Can You Use Better Words?
Now review your statement and see if you can use any better words that have more positive connotations. Think about what you want to achieve and become, rather than what you don't want to achieve or not become. In our example, I can replace “less anxious afterward” with "calmer afterward".
I can go to the gym because it makes me feel calmer afterward
Step 4 - Don’t Worry
The above steps are only suggestions. Please don’t get anxious about creating your affirmations. If you can apply these steps, then great. If not, don't worry. As long as the affirmation feels right for you, start using it. The main goal of an affirmation is that it makes you feel good.
Tips for Using Positive Affirmations for Anxiety
- Repeat your affirmations for a few minutes, 2 or 3 times a day. Most people prefer to practice affirmations in the mornings and before bed.
- Aim to repeat each affirmation 10 times unless you have another number that you prefer.
- Commit to at least 3 months, preferably 6 months.
Say Out Loud
Say your affirmations out loud, to stay focused and make faster progress.
An average person has around 60,000 thoughts a day and it can be difficult to control your thoughts when you are simply saying your affirmations in your mind.
So, while doing repeating affirmations in your mind is better than not doing any affirmations at all, it is far more effective to say your affirmations out loud.
Standing up while affirming channels more energy into your affirmations, so it is a good idea to stand up before you start.
Use a Mirror
The ideal way to practice affirmations is to say your statements out loud while standing up in front of a mirror.
The mirror work is hard in the beginning because you have to come face to face with your problems. But it speeds up your work tremendously!
I’ve found that the ideal place for affirmations is in the bathroom while getting ready in the morning or before going to bed, because you have privacy and most likely a mirror!
Make a Poster
An affirmations poster either on your fridge or bedroom door, is a great reminder to practice your affirmations daily.
But in general, keep your affirmations where you can see them. Another good place for them is in your journal/diary.
Use a Journal
The second-best method for practicing affirmations is to write them out several times in a journal. For example, this is a great technique when you are on a train, or sitting in a park.
Keep Them Fresh
Each month, review your affirmations, and make any necessary changes, for example add new ones, take out certain affirmations, or update any affirmations if relevant. This will make your affirmations fresh, relevant and current.
How to Succeed with Positive Affirmations?
If you take away only one thing from this article, then let it be this
The secret to affirmation success is not giving up.
When I first learned that affirmations can help with anxiety, I was very excited. I loved the idea that something as simple as repeating positive phrases can give me a break from my overwhelming and overthinking mind. For a month, I practiced affirmations every single day.
In that short amount of time I noticed each time I said my affirmations, I would get a slight burst of energy and confidence, but also slightly manage to relieve tension and anxiety. This was incredible and you’d think I would have carried on.
Unfortunately, after those 30 days, as is often the case with many people, I started slacking, and reduced my affirmation practice to 2-3 times a week, then once a week, and eventually once a month, until I stopped completely.
But when my anxiety worsened and I started to commit to affirmations properly for months, it was only then that I began to notice significant changes in my mindset.
That's why the secret to achieving success with affirmations is to keep going.
That's not to say that you won’t notice any positive changes in the interim. Affirmations can help you relieve anxiousness temporarily on a daily basis, but it is the thought patterns that need time to change.
After all, your negative thought patterns didn’t happen overnight, but rather accumulated over the years.
Similarly, repeating positive statements is not going to dissolve your negative thought patterns overnight. It is going to take some time to create new beliefs.
Since we are all different, it’s hard to put a timeline on this. But keep practicing daily until you notice significant changes in your thoughts. After that, maintain your affirmation practice at least once a week.
The idea is to make your positive statements run on autopilot and become part of your daily thoughts.
This is what I have experienced so I know it is possible.
Affirmations is a great self-help strategy for anxiety.
But if you are suffering from severe or persistent anxiety symptoms, then it may not be enough to only practice affirmations and change your lifestyle.
If your anxiety is seriously impacting your daily life, speak to your doctor about your symptoms.
Therapy could also be an option. A therapist can help you get to the root cause of your anxiety.
But even if you see your doctor and a therapist, still continue to practice affirmations and adopt healthy eating and exercise, as these habits will support your healing.
Final Thoughts on Affirmations for Anxiety
Affirmations are a great tool for changing your negative thought patterns that could be causing or making your anxiety symptoms worse.
To achieve successful results, practice your affirmations daily, while standing up in front of a mirror, and continue for at least three months, though preferably 6 months. This may seem long, but believe me this is nothing if it can transform your mindset!
Combine your affirmations with an anti-anxiety diet, regular physical activity, and other healthy lifestyle choice for optimum results.
But if your symptoms start to seriously affect your life, then make sure you also speak to your doctor and/or a mental health professional.
Latest posts by Sandra Glavan, Life Coach for Gentle Anxiety Sufferers (see all)
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