“I am successful.” “I am a wonderful person.” “I will find love again.” There are many other similar phrases that students, the broken-hearted, and unfulfilled employees may repeat to themselves over and over again, hoping to change their lives. Self-help books and programs through the ages from Norman Vincent Peale’s The Power of Positive Thinking all the way to The Secret have encouraged people with low self-esteem to make positive self-statements or affirmations. Many therapists, counselors, and coaches suggest their clients and patients use positive affirmations to help them with issues of self-esteem, negative thinking, and pessimism. A debate now exists among researchers and psychologists regarding the efficacy of positive affirmations in relation to one’s performance and well being.
The Case for Positive Affirmations
Scientists have been studying the efficacy of positive affirmations and their impact on people’s health and well-being.
It has been suggested by the scientist and behavioral care providers that self-affirmation reminds people of important aspects of the self, enabling them to view events from a reasonable, considered, and rational viewpoint (Sherman DK et al, 2011). By enhancing the psychological resources of self-integrity, self-affirmation reduces defensive responses to threatening information and events, leading to positive outcomes in various areas such as psychological and physical health, education, prejudice, discrimination , and social conflicts (Sherman DK et al, 2006).