Much like reading a book or studying for an exam, a lot of people have engaged in debates whether it is best to utter affirmations out loud or just mutter them internally. So, do you have to say your affirmations out loud? Of course not. No one points a gun to your head and tells you to work with affirmations in a particular way. But if it’s a question of using affirmations the right way or a question of whether saying affirmations out loud is a better way to work with it, then absolutely, YES.
Affirmations should be said out loud, after all, affirmations are usually declarations, proclamations or statements. Essentially, from the meaning, affirmation is a positive statement. This, however, does not mean that you cannot murmur or muse over positive words in your head.
Take for instance, in a conference room with your colleagues seated around you, and you need the extra confidence boost. You can simply whisper the words to yourself. This too has its benefits but saying them out loud has more benefits and we will explore these benefits as we progress.
Why saying your affirmations out loud is better?
Research published in the Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience journal has explained our neurological reactions to affirmations. The experiment included using an MRI to monitor the reaction of the VS (ventral striatum) and the VMPFC (ventromedial prefrontal cortex), also known as the reward centers located in the brain.
Our reward centers are what respond pleasurably to experiences like winning a prize, achieving a goal, or eating a good or favorite meal. These centers are also known to lessen the impact of pain and remain calm or sensible in the face of threats. Practicing words of affirmations is one of the ways to trigger or ignite your reward centers and make you feel better, happy or positive.
Saying affirmations out loud conditions your mind to accept and believe them. When we say words out loud, we form auditory links in our memory and subsequently, this leaves a trail in our subconscious and becomes embedded in us. While writing down positive words of affirmation or saying them in your head is all well and good, it will take a long while to form links in your memory pathway. This is why saying them out loud is the best way even though it may feel weird the first few times you adopt this new style.
It is human nature to feel embarrassed if someone catches you talking to yourself or referring to yourself in a third person. Saying affirmations out loud has also proved to be more effective than just simply thinking about them or saying them in your head. While these are powerful in themselves, saying them out loud creates a powerful emotion and energy that affirms the words in both your mind and body.
Generally, talking about good and positive things will uplift your mood and spirit. Spoken words are so powerful whether we say them to ourselves or someone else says them to us. They have a definite impact on your mental, emotional, and physical being. The subconscious mind cannot differentiate between a thought or a word based on facts, imagination, hate, or love. It cannot think and make decisions like the conscious mind. This is why negative words coming from a position of hate and envy have an impact on you even though your conscious mind knows it’s coming from a place of hate and it is possibly not true. This is how a positive word also impacts our subconscious positively too, either spoken from a place of love, imagination, or fact. Repeating words of affirmation impacts the mind to believe them after some time.
Do affirmations work?
Think about it, if a stranger pays you a compliment, how does it make you feel? Does it change your mood? Does it improve your countenance for the day and does it make you view yourself in a different light? However short the feelings maybe I am pretty sure you have had them before. Compliments coming from a loved one or someone you know feels even better because you know their compliment could never be false and they mean it from the bottom of their hearts because, let’s face it, family members or loved ones are the most brutal when it comes to delivering criticism, they do not mince words.
If occasional compliments have the power to make you feel that good, how much more do positive words repeated daily do to ourselves? Positive energy is powerful and it works, thousands of people have had their lives impacted positively with affirmations. People plagued with mental issues, physical constraints, emotional and psychological challenges have turned to words of affirmation to turn their situation around. Affirmations also transcend to our business and career lives, even our social lives could do with words of affirmation.
There is a popular theory that supports affirmation. It’s the self-affirmation theory and it states that people will change their way and belief if they feel their self-hatred is defenseless.
This, in itself, is pretty self-explanatory but for effect, this simply means that the way of a person and a belief held by that person is likely to change if the person believes that their self-criticism or self-contempt can be changed or turned around. Affirmations can also;
- Reduce stress
- Improve self-confidence
- Improve life quality and motivation
How often should you say your affirmations?
When you decide to start using words of affirmation, you must resolve in your heart to give the technique you have chosen time and chance to impact your life. You should also have the desired set time and the desired set frequency but for the sake of effectiveness, you should try to stick to one affirmation per time. For example, if you intend to improve your confidence then you must stick to words of affirmation surrounding that goal i.e. “I am very confident”, “I can do anything I put my heart too”, “I can win this”, etc. Mixing up this goal with other words of affirmation like “I am performing better at work” or “I am a better partner to my wife” will most likely water down the impact of the confidence goal.
Affirmations can be said in the morning before starting your day or at night before you sleep. This is usually the best time for a better effect. There is no standard number of times affirmations can be repeated, but some people think repeating the words seven times before starting your day and seven times before going to bed is a good way to start. After getting through this initial stage and noticing its impact on your life, then you can think about increasing the frequency and moving on to another word of affirmation or goal.
When is the best time to say them?
Like I said before, the best time to say words of affirmation is in the morning before starting your day or when you wake up and at night before going to bed. This, however, is not a rule. Affirmations can be said any time of the day, I gave an example of being in a conference meeting with colleagues earlier on in the post. When and wherever you feel the need to reassure yourself with positive words, then by all means knock yourself out (and I don’t mean literally).
How long does it take for affirmations to work?
The length for affirmation to have an impact differs from one person to the next. While it may take a month of one person repeating a word of affirmation several times in a day to begin to see a change, it may take another person two months to see that same change using the same number of times. The only standard thing to do is to give it time and chance. Generally, it takes 1 to 3 months for the impact of affirmations to be first seen and about 6 months to 1 year for impact permanence.
What are the best affirmations?
Some of the best affirmations speak directly to our minds or bodies. They are positive, inspiring, and uplifting. Below are some affirmations that will get you through trying periods of your life.
- I don’t sweat the small stuff
- I can, I will
- I am love, I am purpose, I am made with divine intention
- I feed my spirit, I train my body, I focus my mind, it is my time
- I am adventurous, I overcome fears by following my dreams
- I am choosing and not waiting to be chosen
- I will not compare myself to strangers on the internet
- o I am my own superhero
- I am enough
- I am in charge of how I feel and today I am choosing happiness
- I am whole
- I let go of all that no longer serves me
- I have the power to create change
- I allow myself to be without judgment
- I give myself the care and attention I deserve
- My mind is full of brilliant ideas
- I am at peace with who I am
- I am creatively inspired by the world around me
- I am blessed with wonderful friends and an incredible family
There are so many words of affirmation and you can even create your own words unique to you and your situation. So, keep speaking, and keep believing.