How Health Affirmations Can Help Your Fitness Goals

By Kartikeya Rokde Jul 26, 2020

Given the rising popularity of the power of positive affirmations, odds are that you have heard about their efficacy. Simply put, positive affirmations are phrases or mantras that you repeat to yourself, which speak about a specific desired outcome. According to a famous motivational speaker, Louise Hay, an affirmation is anything you say or think. Most of the time we think and say negative things which don’t create good experiences especially for us. We must restrain our thinking and speaking from negative patterns if we want to change our lives. 


Like many other aspects of life, positive affirmations can be used effectively for your health goals. Health affirmations can help you increase your physical activity, impact the quality of your sleep, get you to your desired fitness levels and a lot more.

How Positive Affirmations Can Help You

To a large extent, the power of affirmations works on the principle of “growth mindset”. As long as you possess a growth mindset (as opposed to a fixed mindset), you believe that talent isn’t just what you are born with. It can be developed through hard work, good strategies and inputs from others. Affirmations, in turn, reinforce your beliefs that you can affect a change. It is this shift in mindset that really brings about a positive outcome.

In fact, a study published in the journal- Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, used functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to show that self-affirmation is also known to activate well-known reward centers in the brain.

Focusing on, and repeating a series of health affirmations could thus make a difference between being wishful about your goals versus actually going out and accomplishing them. Sample these health affirmations:

  • I am healthy and happy
  • My body is healed and full of energy.
  • My sleep is relaxed and refreshing
  • I choose to be at a healthy weight

As you will notice, health affirmations are strong, positive statements spoken in the present tense about a goal. Even if intellectually, you understand that your goal rests in the future, mental programming demands that they be stated in the present tense. Essentially once your mind creates an image of success, our actions become a reflection of our mental programming.

Here are some tips to create positive health affirmations:

  • Frame the affirmation as if it is already happening
  • Do not structure affirmations around what you don’t want. 
  • Keep the affirmations short, clear and specific
  • Say the affirmations aloud but also write them down in places you can easily see. This could be by way of vision boards or text reminders or post-it notes. Choose whatever works for you.

The Power of Visualization

How Health Affirmations Can Help Your Fitness Goals

 

Another aspect that works well to complement your health affirmations is the power of visualization. It is important to know that simply parroting your health affirmation is not enough. You need to fuel them with positive emotion, something that visualization can help with. For this, you can not only envision the final results that you wish to achieve but also think about how achieving your health goal will make you feel. For example, think of how positive you will feel at the end of that run or on clocking that goal of 10,000 steps that you have set for yourself. The more specific you are with the visualization, the better it will work. The key with positive affirmations and visualization is to be consistent so that it can seep into your consciousness.

Pro tip- While you practice positive affirmations, also be mindful of the words that you use with yourself when you are upset about something. There is a chance that in times like these, you may be falling back on old, worn out ways of thinking. Being mindful of this negative reinforcement will be the first step towards meaningful change.

Clearly then, positive affirmations are the mental equivalent of physical pushups. Done regularly, they train your mind to think positive. It is your positive thoughts that in turn convert to positive actions, which will lead to positive results. 

So go ahead and change your thoughts and get to your health goals. More power to your health affirmations!

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