I’ve written many, many times over the years about daily affirmations—you can read them here. I have a new favorite daily affirmation, well, actually two. These daily affirmations were formed during my recent training to become a Certified Christian Life Coach.
What is a Daily Affirmation?
First, let’s begin by defining a Daily Affirmation. According to WebMD
Daily positive affirmations are meant to minimize negativity and help you see yourself in a positive light. Practicing positive affirmations doesn’t have to mean repeating one phrase repeatedly every day. It’s about affirming yourself and replacing negative thoughts with positive self-talk.
According to Positive Psychology, “Put simply, they are positive phrases or statements used to challenge negative or unhelpful thoughts.” And yes, there is actual science behind daily affirmations:
–There is MRI evidence suggesting that certain neural pathways are increased when people practice self-affirmation tasks (Cascio et al., 2016).
–The results of a study by Falk and colleagues suggest that when we choose to practice positive affirmations, we’re better able to view “otherwise-threatening information as more self-relevant and valuable” (2015: 1979).
According to Positive Psychology, some of the benefits of daily affirmations are:
–Self-affirmations have been shown to decrease health-deteriorating stress (Sherman et al., 2009; Critcher & Dunning, 2015);
–Self-affirmations have been used effectively in interventions that led people to increase their physical behavior (Cooke et al., 2014);
–They may help us to perceive otherwise “threatening” messages with less resistance, including interventions (Logel & Cohen, 2012);
–They can make us less likely to dismiss harmful health messages, responding instead with the intention to change for the better (Harris et al., 2007) and to eat more fruit and vegetables (Epton & Harris, 2008);
–They have been linked positively to academic achievement by mitigating GPA decline in students who feel left out at college (Layous et al., 2017);
–Self-affirmation has been demonstrated to lower stress and rumination (Koole et al., 1999; Wiesenfeld et al., 2001).
Are Daily Affirmations Biblical?
YES! Here are just a few:
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
2 Corinthians 2:5
“We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.”
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”
“Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.”
We now know what a daily affirmation is, we know there is science behind them and health benefits, and we know they are Biblical. So what are my two new favorites?
Daily Affirmation: What if Nothing Has Gone Wrong?
Wow! This daily affirmation immediately gave me so much peace…nothing has gone wrong. This reminds me of a revelation I had a few years ago, “God isn’t surprised.” When I shifted my perspective that nothing had gone wrong in a painful situation, it released me from so much fear, guilt, and shame. It also reminded me that as much I would like to think I can control things, I can’t and I was never meant to.
The daily affirmation “What if nothing has gone wrong?” also reminded me, everything is in the Lord’s hands and part of His plan. This thought helped me realize my life is actually happening for me, not to me. I’m not the victim of my life. My life is a beautiful, captivating story always unfolding before me.
The second daily affirmation is, “Even if something goes wrong, it doesn’t mean I’ve done something wrong.” Wow again! Such a relief that I don’t have to walk around carrying the brunt of something I can’t control. Guess what I can control? My thoughts. My thoughts are the ONLY thing in this life I can control. And from my thoughts, come my feelings and my actions; “as a man thinks, so he is.
The Second daily affirmation is closely related. Sometimes things do seem to go wrong and no matter how often I try to tell my brain “nothing has gone wrong” in it’s fear ande confusion, maybe even sorrow and disbelief, it will respond by calling me a liar.
So my second new favorite daily affirmation is, “Even if something has gone wrong, it doesn’t mean I did something wrong.” Because let’s face it, sometimes life does appear to go all sorts of sideways! Both of these affirmations allow wiggle room for those times.
I think so often, especially in the moment, we forget WE ARE NOT IN CONTROL. I know, crazy right! But the reality is, we aren’t. People will people. They will do their own thing–some do it quietly and without a lot of fanfare and others…well, not only do they get sideways, they blame us! As if we have any control over them. (It’s easier right? To blame someone else instead of taking full responsibility for our own actions.)
This daily affirmation, again, gave me a release so I didn’t absorb all the guilt and shame; just because things happen doesn’t mean I’m responsible for them.