Are Affirmations Same as Positive Thinking? Do they Really Work?

Affirmations help reach a higher level of spiritual consciousness, besides being a healing aid at the mental, physical and emotional levels, the help change a belief from negative to positive. Positive affirmations are repeated several times a day, written or thought about, to reinforce the neural networks in the brain and possibly change a belief that does not serve an individual.

On her coaching website, manifestation expert Charlotte Ferrier recommends In addition to positive affirmations, one can also practice creative visualization and meditation as part of a healthy everyday spiritual practice.

Are Affirmations Same As Positive Thinking?

Norman Vincent Peale, public speaker, minister and the author of the book, The Power of Positive Thinking, said, “There is a basic law that like attracts like. Negative thinking definitely attracts negative results. Conversely, if a person habitually thinks optimistically and hopefully his positive thinking sets in motion creative forces – and success instead of eluding him flows toward him.”

While positive thinking has great potential for a successful life, affirmations differ from positive thinking in that, affirmations also require some positive feeling. Thoughts that are backed by a good feeling are more powerful and longer-lasting than thoughts that are not felt deeply.

How to Use Affirmations?

The following guidelines are useful when using affirmations.

  • The person using affirmations should find reasons to feel what is being said as true.
  • A generic affirmation could be personalized to suit one’s existing beliefs and thoughts.
  • Commitment and everyday practice are important to get positive results.
  • Taking stock of the undesired situation everyday reinforces the negative condition that one is seeking to change; therefore, this should be avoided.
  • Making the affirmations public knowledge should be avoided until one is more comfortable with the idea of using them every day. Questions and doubts from inquiring outsiders might pose self-doubt and reduce the power behind the words.

Why Do Affirmations Work?

Affirmations are said to work because:

  • There is more clarity in what is desired.
  • There is more peace with the situation as the person starts believing that change might occur.
  • There is power in repetition and over a period of time, one’s core vibration raises to a higher level.
  • When there is faith backed by reason, there is a greater chance of success.
  • Subconscious thoughts of fear, bad health, and self-imposed limits can be changed by consciously thinking of the affirmation long enough.

How Do Affirmations Work?

Affirmations seek to challenge subconscious thoughts. Subconscious thoughts are used to do repetitive work. For example, when a person is driving, the details of manoeuvring the wheel are figured out by the subconscious mind. Meanwhile, the conscious mind has the ability to focus on another task, like planning a driving route.

Using affirmations to effect a positive change essentially works by changing subconscious thoughts – eventually paving the way for a new belief to come into being. Once thought patterns and beliefs change, one’s life also changes around the new positive belief.

It is also important to know how to choose affirmations that work for an individual. Understanding the art and science of affirmations helps optimize their use. Sometimes affirmations might just not work.