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The Efficacy of Positive Affirmations

written by Ray Williams July 15, 2020
The Efficacy of Positive Affirmations

“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

Self-affirmation theory is a psychological theory that focuses on how individuals adapt to information or experiences that are threatening to their self-concept.

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).

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