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Using affirmations to reframe feelings of stress

An affirmation is a positive sentence that describes the way you want to be. This could be a challenge you need to overcome or the negative thoughts and self-talk in your mind. Research has found that affirmations, no matter how short, help people to find ways out of problems they are experiencing. They also built self-confidence and self-esteem, having a positive impact on mental health.

Affirmations should focus upon a specific aspect of your behaviour or performance and can be based on your goals.

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  1. Write four to six affirmations (short sentence), each on a card. Each affirmation should be:

The affirmation should describe a specific quality that you want, eg ‘I am always confident in all situations’.


Stating precisely what you want (rather than what you don’t want).

3Present Tense:

Written as if you already have the quality. So you would have ‘I am always confident’. Rather than ‘I will be confident’.

4Using Hot Words:

The affirmations should use words that have actions and emotions. Words that are meaningful for you.

  1. Read them at least twice a day. This should take 10-20 seconds per affirmation (only a couple of minutes per day).
  2. As you read each affirmation you should:
  • Imagine what you would see
  • Imagine what you would hear
  • Imagine what you would feel

Learn more about dealing with stress in my best-selling book, ‘How to Prevent Burnout’.

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