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How Affirmations Affect the Brain

Female with hands clasped under chin, looking down, and thinking. Color brain mechanism graphic.

We all like to think we're rather positive people. We think positive thoughts, hoping for the best. Even when not so great things happen, we reassure ourselves that "things happen for a reason" and things will work out in the end.

In our brains we sort through information and label it as good or bad, positive or negative. When bad things happen to us, we take a deep breath and think positively and try to work through the issue. One effective way to do this is with affirmations.

We know and love affirmations and us telling ourselves over and over that we are brave, strong, free, daring, etc give us the power and energy to endure and move past anything. It has become second nature to us, but how does it really work? 

Our brain has the capability to constantly change and adapt as you experience events and moments in your life. This is called neuroplasticity. So whether you are going to get your morning coffee or day dreaming of a vacation to Maui, your brain is always working and deciphering thoughts and experiences and sometimes confuses reality and fiction. Along the same lines as manifesting, as you repeat positive affirmations, it encourages your brain to believe it and your actions follow soon after.

It is also all about mindset! Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) founders John Grinder and Richard Bandler came to the conclusion that when one increases positive behaviors while completely eliminating negative ones, they are way more likely to achieve success. By doing this over and over again, you almost create a reward system in your brain that makes the positive behaviors even more rewarding. And who doesn’t like rewards?

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