Are affirmations failing to address your stress? Research shows that self-affirmation techniques can ease stress. The same studies also found that affirmations typically only work when contemplating the future. This may not offer much relief for the present time. Instead of affirmations, there is a technique you can use to fight stress.
A brain-imaging study published in Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience shows what happens when you practice self-affirmation. Self-affirmation is the recognition of your self-worth. There are three proposed benefits to affirmations. It’s enjoyable to think about positive things. Affirmations also help remind you what you value most. This can broaden your definition of self-worth. Using affirmations may also help you regulate your emotions.
So, do affirmations work? To find out, researchers interviewed 67 participants. The participants were asked to rate how much value they place on different areas of life. The areas include creativity, relations, humour, earning money, independence, politics, religion, and spontaneity. The participants were then placed in a brain scanner. As the researchers scanned the participant’s brains, they asked them to think about their top-rated values.
The brain scans provided neural evidence of the benefits of affirmations. The study confirmed that affirmations are rewarding and pleasurable. However, the study also found that these benefits only applied to certain scenarios. For example, the positive effects of affirmations were only found when subjects thought of the future. Contemplating the past or present didn’t produce the same effects.
Researchers also found that people can respond negatively to certain affirmations. If the affirmation makes them feel bad about their current situation, it may cause more harm than good. An alternative approach may involve changing your outlook on your current situation. Positively reframing things may increase the power of affirmations.
Fear and anxiety can limit the effectiveness of affirmations and hurt your mental stamina. These emotions keep you from seeing a positive outcome in difficult situations. This is where NLP can help. Learning to control your fear and let go of your anxieties can ease your stress. NLP offers several powerful methods for altering your thought process. With practice and training, you can gain an optimistic mindset and boost your resiliency.
For example, cognitive reframing helps you see a situation in a different light. Reframing is a practice used in positive psychology to open your mind to other opportunities. It helps you change your focus from negative thoughts to positive ones. You can transform your perception of negative situations. Anchoring is another method that helps high achievers deal with stress. It’s a form of mental conditioning that helps you elicit positive responses in specific situations.
The bottom line is that affirmations don’t work for everyone. Your current mindset may even make self-affirmations damaging. Neuro-linguistic programming offers a way to change your perspective and boost your resilience. You’ll find stress less of a burden and be able to get more out of life. If you want to learn more, explore my one-to-one coaching services and online courses at https://thinklearnsucceed.com.au