You’ve noticed that your self-esteem is low and that you’ve been doing a lot of negative self-talk lately. Or maybe you are going through a crisis right now and you’re looking for a way to move through it with a little more strength and optimism. Perhaps you are looking to reach a particular goal for yourself and want some positive reminders along the way about your inner strength and tenacity.
Whatever the case, you are looking for some positive daily affirmations to recite for your mental health. Well, we’ve got you covered. Let’s take a look at the benefits of positive mental health affirmations, the best way to add them into your daily life, along with 25 inspiring affirmations to get you started.
Why It's Important to Have High Self-Esteem
What Are Daily Affirmations?
Daily affirmations are short, written statements that are meant to give your self-esteem a positive boost. People often use mental health affirmation during times in life where they’re dealing with difficult circumstances or when they are experiencing more negative self-talk than usual.
Most of the time, a self-affirmation is something that you write on your own, in response to whatever is going on in your life or whatever emotional challenge you are experiencing. But sometimes it can be helpful to consult a list of positive mental health affirmations written by others for inspiration.
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25 Positive Daily Affirmations
Positive self-affirmations are usually short, simple statements that you come up with on your own, based on your own needs and emotions. But self-affirmations have a more universal application too, and it’s okay to use more generalized, pre-written affirmations if you feel that they apply well to you.
Here are some positive mental health affirmations to get you started:
- I am a strong, capable person
- I have done difficult things in the past, and I can do them again
- I have experienced challenges in the past, and I am more resilient because of this
- I am allowed to feel upset, angry, and sad sometimes—that’s part of being human
- My personal boundaries are important and I’m allowed to express my needs to others
- “No” is a complete sentence and I don’t have to explain or justify my boundaries
- I am allowed to feel good and to experience pleasure in life
- I am worthy of receiving good things and of accomplishing my goals in life
- The past is the past, and my past doesn’t predict my future
- I forgive myself for mistakes I made and I refuse to hold them against myself
- I am allowed to take up space, to have desires, and to have a voice
- I don’t have to give up my hopes and dreams
- All this hard work I am putting into achieving my goals will pay off
- I am capable of making healthy choices
- I know my worth
- I deserve to be loved and to love others
- Growth is sometimes bumpy and isn’t always linear, but I will stay the course
- Healing is within reach for me
- I love my body, my mind, my dreams, and my goals
- Negative thoughts do not serve me anymore
- I will surround myself by people who love and support me unconditionally
- I accept myself for who I am
- With positive thoughts and self-confidence, I will be unstoppable
- I am proud of myself and will continue to strive to do well
- Today I will do my best
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How Daily Affirmations Work
Positive mental health affirmations provide reminders about your self-worth, the special talents you have to offer to the world, your ability to handle difficult situations, and anything else it may be helpful to be reminded of.
As we move through life, it can be difficult to remember the positive aspects of ourselves, so having daily reminders of these can be powerful mental health tools. This is especially true if you have been going through a period of negative thinking and negative self-talk.
Some researchers believe that one way that positive self-affirmations work is by eliciting responses in the parts of the brain responsible for rewards and positive valuation. In other words, focusing on the positive aspects of yourself tells your brain that you have gained something special, similar to how a person feels when they’ve received an unexpected gift or been praised by someone they admire.
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Benefits of Positive Mental Health Affirmations
There are numerous benefits to adding positive self-affirmations to your daily routines. For example, positive mental health affirmations have been found to reduce stress, increase feelings of wellness, and help people adopt behavioral changes that can improve mental health.
A 2014 study published in Annual Review of Psychology found that when people are faced with circumstances that decrease feelings of self-worth and make it more difficult to grow and adapt, positive self-affirmations can help. Moreover, these affirmations can improve health and make relationships stronger. According to the study, self-affirmations can have positive benefits that last for many months or even years.
Self-affirmation has several health benefits. For example, studies have found that self-affirmation can help people adopt healthier lifestyles and behaviors. Self-affirmation may also help people become more physically active and adopt healthier attitudes about engaging in physical activities. One promising study found that self-affirmation practice helped cancer survivors adopt more optimistic attitudes and has the potential to improve their health.
When you experience stress on a chronic basis, it can be hard to make clear-headed decisions and to solve problems. A 2013 study published in PLOS ONE found that practicing self-affirmation can improve problem-solving skills among chronically stressed individuals.
Finally, self-affirmation exercises may benefit parents. A 2020 study that appeared in Frontiers in Psychology found that positive self-affirmation increased parents’ self confidence as well as their interest in seeking supportive parenting resources. This was especially helpful to parents who experienced frequent fear of judgment from others regarding their parenting abilities.
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How to Use Mental Health Affirmations
There are no hard-and-fast rules for how to use positive mental health affirmations or how they are meant to work. Most people end up writing down their affirmations, usually in some type of journal. Studies have shown that journaling is a wonderful way to reduce distress, anxiety, feelings of depression, and increase feelings of positive well being.
Writing your affirmations in a journal isn’t the only option, though. Here are other ideas:
- Write your affirmations on sticky notes and place them in places you’ll see them throughout your day
- Write your affirmations in the notes section of your phone or as a reminder that pops up on your phone
- Aim for one affirmation each day
- Consider making time for affirmations at the same time each day—first thing in the morning, or right before you go to sleep, for example—so that you will stick to a routine
- Consider having an affirmation “buddy” who you will share affirmations with, to hold yourself accountable
When You Need More Support
Positive mental health affirmations can be helpful, but when you are experiencing a mental health crisis, you might need more support. If you are experiencing constant negative self-talk, symptoms of depression or anxiety, or are finding it difficult to function in your day to day life, you should connect with a mental health professional. Your mental health is worth caring for and you deserve to feel well.
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Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
Hill Z, Spiegel M, Gennetian LA. Pride-Based Self-Affirmations and Parenting Programs. Frontiers in Psychology. 2020;11:910. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2020.00910(Video) Daily Positive Affirmation #25 - positive thinking, self love, confidence, success
Cascio CN, O'Donnell MB, Tinney FJ, et al. Self-affirmation activates brain systems associated with self-related processing and reward and is reinforced by future orientation. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience. 2016;11(4):621-629. doi:10.1093/scan/nsv136
Cohen GL, Sherman DK. The Psychology of Change: Self-Affirmation and Social Psychological Intervention. Annual Review of Psychology. 2014;65:333–371. doi:10.1146/annurev-psych-010213-115137
Epton T, Harris PR, Kane R, et al. The impact of self-affirmation on health-behavior change: a meta-analysis. Health Psychology. 2015 Mar;34(3):187-96. doi:10.1037/hea0000116
Cooke R, Trebaczyk H, Harris PR, et al. Self-Affirmation Promotes Physical Activity. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology. 2014;36(2):217-23. doi:10.1123/jsep.2013-0041
Taber JM, Klein WMP, Ferrer RA, et al. Optimism and Spontaneous Self-affirmation are Associated with Lower Likelihood of Cognitive Impairment and Greater Positive Affect among Cancer Survivors. Annals of Behavioral Medicine 2015;50(2). doi:10.1007/s12160-015-9745-9
Creswell JD, Dutcher JM, Klein WMP, et al. Self-Affirmation Improves Problem-Solving under Stress. PLOS One. 2013;8(5):e62593. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0062593
Hill Z, Spiegel M, Gennetian LA. Pride-Based Self-Affirmations and Parenting Programs. Frontiers in Psychology. 2020;11:910. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2020.00910
Smyth JM, Johnson JA, Auer BJ, et al. Online Positive Affect Journaling in the Improvement of Mental Distress and Well-Being in General Medical Patients With Elevated Anxiety Symptoms: A Preliminary Randomized Controlled Trial. JMIR Mental Health. 2018;5(4):e11290. doi:10.2196/11290
By Wendy Wisner
Wendy Wisner is a health and parenting writer, lactation consultant (IBCLC), and mom to two awesome sons.
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