What’s the best thing to say to yourself in the mirror every morning?
A positive affirmation routine can help to make sure that you start each day off on the right foot.
We asked a select group of experts for their advice on how positive affirmations can help to set you up for a successful day.
Here’s what they said.
Ask Yourself These Three Questions Every Morning
Randi Levin, Transitional Life Strategist
Kicking off your morning routine with a ‘meeting in the mirror’ is an impactful way to connect with yourself in the moment and give voice to your to-do list at hand.
Every morning, before you check emails and officially turn on your day, create a habit of listening to and plugging into your relationship with yourself.
Think in threes. Ask and answer the following:
“What am I most grateful for today?”
“What are one to three things that I most want to accomplish today?”
“How do I want to feel today?”
These three questions set the tone for your entire day.
Clarity on gratitude centers you in the 24 hours you are in and elevates energy.
Planning a smaller to-do list of what you want to accomplish takes the pressure off of a lengthy list and refocuses your energy on what is possible so that you can take action now.
Envisioning how you want to feel zeroes in on heart space and fulfilment, and creates a moment in which you actually feel that feeling.
When spoken out loud to yourself at the start of the day, these questions and your answers to them support you in increased productivity and a overall sense of success before you have even begun your day.
For further accountability, circle back to your mirror at the end of your day and weigh in once again on your gratitude, the successes of the day, and your overall feelings.
Make Your Affirmations Questions Rather Than Statements
Vanessa Broers, Life and Performance Coach
Most people struggle with positive affirmations because while they want to believe them, they often don’t feel true in their heart or body when they say them.
The standard advice around this is ‘fake it ’til you make it,’ that eventually, it will feel true. Even though this is sometimes the case, most people aren’t able to fake it long enough to make it.
If you keep powering through and repeating affirmations that really feel like too much of a stretch, they can actually end up having the opposite effect, where you repeat them, and instead of them making you feel good, you subconsciously start to find evidence against them being true, producing even less positivity.
I find three other approaches to be helpful. The first is to phrase your affirmation in the form of a question rather than a statement. For example, if your affirmation would be ‘I am lovable,’ but you really don’t feel lovable, you might want to start with ‘What are the ways that I am most lovable?’
The brain acts like a Google search, producing answers to whatever question you ask it. If you can get better at asking good questions (as opposed to things like ‘why doesn’t anyone love me?’) your brain will simply produce better answers.
The second approach is to use declarations instead of affirmations. Affirmations state that something is already true, which can create tension in the body if it feels too far off from reality.
Declarations are more of a commitment to make something true. If you would want your affirmation to be ‘I am abundant and wealthy’, you can declare it instead. ‘If I were abundant and wealthy, what would I do differently today to make that true?’
You can still use your declaration to look for evidence throughout your day that this is already true in small ways. The more you declare it and look for it, the more you will see evidence of it. This is called ‘reticular activation’ and invites your brain to look for what you tell it to see.
The final approach is to go smaller. We tend to ‘go big or go home’ with affirmations and jump 180 degrees from feelings like ‘I’ll never be successful’ to ‘I am a business mastermind,’ which is often too big a jump for the mind to believe.
Instead, invite yourself to ask, ‘What’s a little more useful and true that I could say to myself instead?’ You might decide to make your affirmation, ‘I am learning and growing my business every day, even in my failures.’
It’s not as sexy, but it can be much more effective and useful than trying to force yourself to believe something that doesn’t feel true to you at all.
In the end, transformation is genuinely about tiny one per cent shifts over and over again. Even in your affirmations, you can slow down and allow yourself to grow in smaller shifts more consistently.
“You Deserve This, Now Go Earn It”
Danielle Hu, Founder of The Wanderlover
I believe preparation for the day ahead is vital and I set some time aside each morning to make sure I’m in the right headspace before really beginning my day.
I don’t have any specific thing I tell myself in the morning but my mindset is usually based on something like: “You deserve this, now go earn it.”
I have worked hard in my life and I believe I deserve the success that has come my way because of everything I’ve put into it.
I tell myself this to remind myself of all the hard work I’ve put in and to not stop now. I want to keep reaching my goals and I always take a moment to hype myself up each morning.
Use The Present Tense For Your Affirmations
Leanne Lopez Mosley, Female Entrepreneur Productivity And Business
Here are my suggestions on how to build a positive affirmation routine:
• Affirmations must be present tense – The use of ‘I am’ statements is integral in rewiring your subconscious mind.
Your mind does not know the difference between a truth and a lie, therefore the use of ‘I am’ consistently and over time can help to cement those new truths and ‘rewire’ your subconscious mind.
• Affirmations must be rooted in emotion – In order to successfully utilize affirmations you must have a strong emotional connection to these statements.
This means taking your biggest ‘lies’ that you tell yourself daily i.e. ‘I am not enough’ and turning them into your ‘I am’ statements ‘I am enough’.
• You must put these somewhere you see them daily: on your mirror in your bathroom, laminated in the shower.
Anywhere that will spark you to say them out loud to yourself. Often, saying these whilst looking at yourself in the mirror deepens your brain’s response to the statements. This is due to self connection.
• Lastly, affirmations coupled with exercise and the use of them when you are near your ‘limit’ (i.e. when you want to stop) is a powerful way of affirming these new beliefs into your body and mind and this use can create more dramatic effects when used consistently over time.
Practice Your Positive Affirmations Every Day
Krystal Jackson, Licensed Professional Counselor and Owner of Simply Being Wellness Counseling
One of the most important aspects of self-care and mental wellness is taking a look at how we are speaking to ourselves.
Self-talk is connected to our thoughts and emotions and often influences much of our belief system.
When we shift the way we speak to ourselves, we give ourselves the opportunity to practice compassion and gratitude.
Using positive affirmations is a helpful tool for improving self-talk and helping us to feel empowered, motivated, and well.
We can start using positive affirmations by thinking of our favorite quotes or song lyrics which we likely repeat frequently to ourselves.
I also recommend listening to an affirmation podcast, utilizing guided meditation mantras and then posting these quotes somewhere we will see them daily.
The key to utilizing positive affirmations is to practice them daily. Pay attention to how saying the words make you feel, this helps us to know if the affirmations we are using are right for us.
Affirmations are meant to be practiced but to be embodied. You have to believe what you are saying to yourself and make this a regular part of how you speak to yourself.
I would start with identifying an area of your life you want to improve, for instance, if you are looking to change your mindset about money, start saying to yourself “There are valuable opportunities available to me each day”.
If you desire to be more compassionate, you can say “I accept myself as I am.”
Decide What You Want To Improve
Tahnya Brown, Professional Certified Coach and Founder of We Will, Inc
The only person you can control is the person you see in the mirror every day! That is why it makes sense to start your day off with a positive mindset.
But sometimes it can be a struggle to remember to set up your day on a positive note. Here are three steps to creating a regular routine to shift your mind into a more positive perspective.
1) What is your focus? Before you start with affirmations, you need to know what it is that you are trying to affirm. Do you want to improve your health, your self-esteem, or your confidence?
Trying to begin a routine without focusing on a specific area can be overwhelming and could potentially sabotage your efforts. Ask yourself the questions: What am I trying to improve? Why do I want to improve this area of my life? What do I need to do differently to make it a reality?
2) Examine your current routine. What do your mornings look like currently? Are you a snooze button type of person? If so, that may be a good thing!
If you like to stay in bed for a bit, try finding a meditation online that is around 15 minutes long specifically related to positive affirmations.
By listening during the quiet time in the morning you will set yourself up for positive thoughts before you even get out of bed.
3) Post it! Use your mirror as your affirmation center! Grab a few post-it notes and post them to your mirror so that when you are getting ready for your day you will see those affirmations right in front of you. Read them aloud two or three times and look directly at yourself.
Speak to the universe what you are trying to achieve and before you know it you will have a morning routine that sets you up for success and positivity each day.
Affirmations Can Help You To Love And Accept Yourself
Lynell Ross, Resource Director at Education Advocates and Certified Health and Wellness Coach
Affirmations are powerful for helping to change your thoughts. We repeat affirmations to change the negative thoughts in our head.
The more we learn to love and accept ourselves, the better our life gets. When you get into the habit of speaking positively to yourself and create a morning habit of repeating a positive affirmation, you can set your intention to have a great day.
When you first start using affirmations they may seem silly to you or even evoke feelings of discomfort.
If you have especially negative self talk, and then try to look into the mirror and say ‘I love you’, or ‘you are beautiful’, you may not believe these to be true and give up using affirmations.
Begin using affirmations that are more true for you, such as:
“I am willing to love myself”
“I eat healthy foods to nourish my body”
“Today, I do not have to struggle”
“I am grateful for the little things in life”
Our culture sets us up to be very judgemental of ourselves, and many of us feel like we are never good enough, even striving for perfection.
Learning to love and accept ourselves exactly as we are is the key to happiness. Once you love who you are, it is easier to make changes and grow.
People often do this backwards. They think as soon as I am ‘thin enough’, or ‘rich enough’ or have the ‘right job’ then I will be OK.
But in order to have the motivation to make changes and grow, it is important to approve of yourself as you are, knowing there are always things you can do to improve.
We need to grow through life, and using affirmations helps us to speak positively to ourselves so we can gently guide ourselves to change.
I have read out loud the following affirmation that is posted on my bathroom mirror for the past 10 years:
“I create peacefulness in my mind, which creates my healthy body.”