How to use Positive Affirmations to Combat Stress
Many people use affirmations for personal development and to help them meet their life goals. But did you know you can use positive affirmations to build resilience and combat stress?
Whether it's one-off stress like having to give a presentation or an ongoing stressful issue, you can create the right affirmations to support you through. Affirmations will help you deal better with current stress, and over time, prevent future anxiety.
- Know Your Negative Enemy
Identifying your negative thoughts is the first step in working out the best affirmations for you and your situation.
Take a moment to think of all the beliefs that come up when you think about your stressful event. Do you worry about not knowing what to say at a party, or freezing while you try to give a presentation? Write down every negative thought that pops into your head. Make the conscious decision to move away from those negative beliefs.
- Turn the Negatives into Positives
Now you have your list of negative thoughts; you can take each one and turn it into a positive. Make strong positive statements and remind yourself of times in the past when you coped well in similar situations.
When you develop your affirmations, tie them back to times when you have succeeded in the past. If you can't think of any, ask your partner, friend, or colleague to help you. Likely they'll have a much more positive view of your skills and achievements than you do!
Write down some encouraging phrases to get you through, like ‘I'm feeling stressed, but I will be ok,' ‘I can do this,' ‘When this is over, I will be so proud of myself.'
- Keep Your Affirmations Realistic
Affirmations are not magic. Keep your affirmations in proportion to what you can do and how you feel. If they are too ambitious, they can make you feel more anxious than before. And if you have a misstep or you fail, then you'll feel even worse than before.
Maybe you get anxious about public speaking, whether it's giving a presentation or having a job interview. Your affirmations will help you even more if you know you have done everything possible to be prepared.
If you worry about getting stage fright or going blank, prepare every aspect of your speech or presentation. Remind yourself that you know how to do this, you know your subject.
Anticipate what might go wrong and work out strategies to prevent or deal with it, from having spare notes in case the technology fails to have a glass of water nearby if you feel faint.