Anxiety is fuelled by negative, limiting thoughts and beliefs. These thoughts usually stem from fear - fear of potential danger, fear of your inability to handle situations, or fear of the future. A helpful way to challenge your anxiety is to change your mindset and attitude about yourself and your capabilities.
What are positive affirmations?
You can become mentally stronger by talking back to your anxiety with positive, realistic, and strengths-focused statements, also known as positive affirmations. You can really only think about one thought at a time, so the idea is that you fill your mind with positivity and build yourself up so that you begin to believe in your abilities and strengths. The more you practice positive thinking rather than anxious thinking, the stronger your positivity radar will be. This means that you will start to notice more positive things in your life, including more uplifting emotions, mini accomplishments that otherwise go unnoticed, and helpful things that you have done for yourself and others.
How to use positive affirmations:
Each day this week say 3 of these affirmations to yourself. You can start your day by repeating your affirmations while getting ready, you can take a mindful break at work and remind yourself of them, or you can end your day by reflecting on them. It can be helpful to write out your 3 favourite affirmations on a sticky note and place it on your mirror, by the coffee machine, or in your car.
Today I will be fearless.
I am learning & healing.
I was made to do hard things.
I am enough.
I choose to be strong & happy.
I am going at my own pace & that is okay.
I've made it this far & I will keep going.
I am more than my anxiety.
I am more calm with each breath that I take.
I have tools to get me through this.
I have survived this before.
All that matters is if I try.
* The more you repeat these affirmations, the stronger you will feel and the more likely you will be to engage in healthy, uplifting activities.
Written by Vanessa Goodchild, Registered Psychologist