The Best Positive Affirmations For Anxiety Relief

Practicing positive affirmations for anxiety relief

Does your heart feel like it’s going to pound out of your chest before a big presentation? Is it hard to keep your cool before going on a date? Anxiety is a normal emotion that we all experience from time to time. But, few of us know how to handle it. Luckily, you can use positive affirmations for anxiety relief and for soothing the associated discomfort and unease. 

There are different types of anxiety. The normal kind comes up when we’re faced with difficult or stressful situations. However, when anxiety becomes excessive and interferes with your daily life, then this could be a sign of an anxiety disorder.

Normal feelings of anxiety are typically short-lived and manageable. But, an anxiety disorder lasts for months and causes significant distress in daily life. If you have an anxiety disorder, always consult your doctor for professional advice.

What Happens When We Feel Anxious? 

Anxiety is an evolutionary trait. It can be helpful when it helps us avoid danger or inspires us to be more cautious.

When you feel anxious, your brain is releasing a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol is responsible for the “fight or flight” response. It helps us to respond quickly to danger.

The root of most anxiety is a sense of uncertainty. When you feel out of control and you don’t know what will happen next, it throws you off balance.

You might feel the effects of uncertainty when you’re sick or when someone you love is in crisis. Many people feel anxious when they lose control of their financial situation.

There are ways of managing anxiety that allow you to maintain control over your stress level. Studies show you can soothe stress by using positive affirmations for anxiety.

What are positive affirmations? 

Muhammed Ali was one of the greatest for many reasons, amongst them his larger-than-life personality. Before his fights, he would famously proclaim things like:

“I’m young; I’m handsome; I’m fast. I can’t possibly be beat.”

Yes, it was great self-promotion, but it was also a prime example of using a positive affirmation.

Positive affirmations are positive statements that help reinforce our positive beliefs. When used correctly, they give us confidence and inner strength, and can help reduce stress and anxiety. 

Positive affirmations work because they make things easy for your brain. Our brains are always creating shortcuts and falling into patterns of cognitive biases. 

If you’re always focusing on the deficits in your life, your brain will keep zeroing in on the negative. This is the result of confirmation bias – our tendency to see more of what we already believe to be true. 

Positive affirmations give you a way to hijack your brain back into positivity mode. They replace negative thought patterns with positive ones. 

Creating and Using Affirmations 

The best positive affirmations for anxiety relief are the ones that are personalized to you. There are many sources online that provide cookie-cutter affirmation statements. But, they won’t work unless you have an emotional connection with their meaning.

Some tips for creating personalized affirmations include: 

  • Keeping them realistic. 
  • Focusing them on the present. 
  • Grounding them in your personal values. 
  • Relating them to your personal experience. 

A few years ago, I got really into performing improv comedy. Yet, no matter how many shows I did, I always felt nervous and anxious before every show.

So, I decided to focus on what was important to me – living my life in an authentic and vulnerable way. I’d tell myself:

“If I get up on stage and embrace my anxiousness instead of fighting it, then I’ve already won.”

Doing this meant I was living life true to myself. Everything that happened after that point was a bonus.

Similarly, you can create affirmations that are meaningful to you. Try saying your positive affirmations for anxiety out loud. If you do this consistently, you will train your brain to embrace anxiety and stress as normal parts of life. 

Using affirmations is a stepping stone to deeper mindfulness practices. As you notice an anxious thought forming in your head, you can first stop it in its tracks with a positive affirmation. Then, you can proceed to a deep breathing exercise to soothe your nerves. This exercise can be done on its own or as part of a meditation practice.

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