Do Affirmations Work - iPhone Wallpaper Affirmation art I don't chase I attract
Set of Affirmational Wallpapers for iPhone, currently available on Etsy

Do Affirmations Work?

When practicing positive affirmations and mantras, do they actually work? I think every curious person, inclined to explore spiritual things, have come across some positive affirmation type-of-work at some point or another.

Whether it’s spiritual teaching or science and psychology-based practices, or journaling practices in-between, we all tried it at some point.

When affirmations sometimes work, and sometimes don’t, it begs the question what can we do to boost the probability of affirmations working.

So Do Affirmations Work?

Affirmations work, but only if they are accompanied by a corresponding emotion

If the language of the subconscious mind is emotions and not words, words of affirmation will work only if they are paired with a corresponding emotion.

Affirmations are meant to override negative beliefs we have about ourselves on a subconscious level. For affirmations to work, they have to be consciously paired with an attempt to feel the emotions of the phrases we repeat.

Simply Repeating Won’t Make Them Work

In case that we repeat the mantras and don’t invest in feeling the concepts in the words, we won’t get the results. What’s more, affirmations won’t work if we have an active critical voice inside our heads stating the opposite of the affirmation.

I think this is why there are many studies that show affirmations as not effective for increasing overall happiness in group environments. If an affirmation practice is not done consciously, it won’t have much of a result.

Affirmations Work by Accessing the Subconscious with Words

The subconscious mind “talks” via emotions, while affirmations work with words. The goal is to use words of affirmations to access the feelings inside the messages

In my years of exploring affirmations with different spiritual and psychological practices I’ve come to realise that working with feelings and emotions can be tricky. We’re not used to be connected with our feelings. Many of our deepest emotions are stored deep inside and are difficult to access via conventional methods (this is why unconventional therapies like sommatic experience are so beneficial).

Are Affirmations Effective Without the Extra Work?

Despite the criticism, I do think even repetition alone is beneficial. Words of affirmation that are encouraging and positive are generally better than no words. People in our environment who encourage us with words of affirmation do benefit our well-being. 

However, for an active practice just repetition won’t work, at least for the purpose of “manifesting” what we truly want. 

Inner Beliefs Make Up Who We Are

The thoughts and deeply situated inner beliefs make up our understanding of who we are and what we’re capable of. Much of what we think of ourselves is situated beneath the cognitive functions of our brains and is what is referred to in psychology as “subconscious” or “unconscious”.

The Benefits of Exploring our Inner Beliefs with Affirmations

If we repeat a positive affirmation and feel a strong negative reaction from it, it’s a good way to explore why we feel the way we feel about the topic.

This can be a gateway to accessing our strongest beliefs about ourselves, but it does begin from using affirmations.

What Are Affirmations

Words of affirmations, also known as positive affirmations, are positive statements designed to be repeated for the purpose of a number of positive benefits. Affirmations are used for encouraging positive thinking, improving self-esteem and fostering self-empowerment.

Typically, affirmations are structured to be clear, in the present tense, and stated in the first person. For example, an affirmation for self-confidence might be, “I am capable and strong,” and for overcoming anxiety, “I am calm and at peace.

Are Affirmations Effective

Affirmations can be very effective for promoting positive self-talk, fostering a more optimistic mindset, and supporting achievable goals. In my opinion, when combined with other self-improvement practices they can definitely promote a higher level of understanding of self.

An especially useful part of practicing affirmations is when they focus attention to areas of life we really want to improve. If achieving our goals requires some amount of effort, we need a focused attention to certain areas of life to be able to decide on what to work first.

Positive affirmation wall art by casuallyluxe - You Are Enough affirmation

Can Affirmations Change Your Brain

Affirmations can indeed change the brain, in other words – rewire your brain. Changin your brain happens thanks to the principle of neuroplasticity—the brain’s ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections throughout life.

In my opinion, combining affirmations with other self-help techniques can have the best results in learning new behaviors. Affirmations open up your brain to the possibility of thinking differently, which is valuable in it of itself.

While affirmations alone are not a cure-all and their effectiveness can vary, they can be a beneficial component of a broader mental health strategy.

Can affirmations be long?

Yes, affirmations can be long, although they are commonly short and concise for ease of repetition and memorization. It really depends on your personal preference, as well as the goals you have for your affirmation work.

Affirmations vs. Mantras

Both “affirmations” and “mantras” have been often used interchangeably in popular culture, but they originate from different traditions. Affirmations originate in positive psychology, while mantras have been used in religious practices for centuries, and they are considered more spiritual.

Important to note that with affirmations there can be a blurred line between spirituality and science-based ideas and it really depends on your personal preferences.

Positive Affirmations

Generally, affirmations are positive statements we can tell ourselves anytime, or expose ourselves to (auditory and visual stimulus), while mantras are shorter and involve spiritual practices with meditative states.

Mantras can also be a single word or even sound like “Om”. They are not necessarily specific to personal goals or self-improvement. Their meaning can be spiritual or philosophical and may not be immediately apparent.

How to Do Affirmations

The simplest way to do affirmations is by repeating to yourself a positive statement on a topic that you feel like you’re not fully in alignment with. For example, if you feel anxious, repeat “All is well in my world, and I am safe.

This can work in moments of accute stress, especially combined with other mindfulness-based practices, like sitting on a chair and breathing deeply while chanting an affirmation out loud or in your head.

Positive affirmation wall art by casuallyluxe - You Are Worthy affirmation
Manifesting desktop, laptop, ipad,  iPhone Wallpaper Bundle Set
The set of iPhone wallpapers with affirmations will be available for free download for a limited time on the site.

Affirmations Focus Our Attention to What We Want

Getting what we want (what some call “manifesting“) requires being aware of what’s important for us. Essentially, we may gain understanding of what we truly want.

We actually don’t always know what we really want. What we think we desire may be influenced by society, our peers, our parents, our complexes (so-called IFS Parts), etc.

Life’s experiences usually guide us on a pathway to understand our true values, what our inner being desires and cherishes. This is what makes us unique individuals, after all.

Although there’s an ongoing discussion about their effectiveness in various psychology and self-help disciplines, it is safe to say that they can work very well. Especially when combined with other positive psychological techniques such as goal setting, visualization, or therapy.

Generally, if you’re already in a good mood and especially when doing something difficult that requires focus, stopping and affirming to yourself the right positive affirmation can be really beneficial.

manifesting affirmations iphone wallpapers by casuallyluxe
The bundle of 5 iPhone (and desktop and iPad) wallpapers with selected affirmations

How To Use Affirmations

There are multiple ways to use affirmations. These are my favorite at the moment:

  1. Auditory Affirmations – invlolves listening to records with affirmative statements. Incorporate guided meditations with positive affirmations, with or without music.
  2. Visual Affirmations – surround yourself with words of affirmations – post it notes, artworks, or my current favorite – iPhone wallpapers or desktop backgrounds.
  3. Journaling / Writing Affirmations – especially useful if you already use journaling techniques​. Writing affirmations and mapping them out in your journaling practice works miracles.

In my opinion, journaling combined with affirmations is especially useful, but so is just viewing affirmations during the day. Since writing exposes our process of thinking, it can help us pinpoint topics that we need to work on.

In addition, journaling can reveal the reasons why certain affirmations don’t work for us, or invoke feelings of resistance and uneasiness.

Desktop & iPhone Wallpapers with Affirmations

My favourite new way to view affirmations during the day is my sets of iPhone wallpapers, combined with desktop backgrounds. The first iPhone, desktop and laptop wallpapers I did back in the day were what made me think of expanding the idea.

Affirmations That Work

Generally, affirmations that work are those we believe in, or give ourselves the chance to believe in.

When I first learned about affirmations a while back, I was also getting introduced to the whole idea of my mind being a gateway to my physical experience in the World.

This is why my affirmations worked. Because I truly believed I was worthy of the things I affirmed, I received them. At some point, everything was always working out for me for the best.

Things Are Always Working Out for Me is a spiritual quote by Abraham Hicks that emphasises on expecting the best outcome out of events

When Affirmations Work

When affirmations work it’s because they are pointing a person’s attention to the positive events and opportunities, rather than looking at the negative. 

This creates a proclivity to both pay more attention to opportunities, as well as having the confidence to act on them.

Attention & Intention

Attention and intention is basically what guides us in life and affects our decisions. Perhaps this is the non-spiritual part of the whole manifesting and Law of Vibration topic. We point our attention to what’s important for us, and then have an intention to change it.

A now-famous study about how “lucky” (in their own heads) people are more likely to spot hidden messages in a text  showed that when we consider ourselves lucky, we’re just generally more open-minded. So naturally this helps us spot opportunities in life we may not be able to spot otherwise.

Affirmations and Attention to The Positive

Positive affirmations naturally attract attention to the positive. When I surrounded myself with positive affirmations, both auditory and visually, I started paying attention to positive things in my life, which eventually made me create more good experiences for myself.

Affirmations felt “easy” and worked well for my mental health, because they were catering to a side of me that was craving love and affection that I was finally giving to myself.

Then, “I am loved“, “I am lovable“, “I am worthy” were phrases that rang true.

Forgiveness affirmation quote by casuallyluxe, printable art forgive others, forgive yourself

Stress & Affirmations

Another thing to point out is that chronic stress tends to lower our immune system, block major processes in our body and make us more narrow-minded. Affirming “I am loved” and “I am safe” often enough helps us believe it and lowers the stress response. Again – a good way to spot opportunities that help us feel more of being loved and safe.

When Affirmations Don’t Work

Sometimes affirmations just don’t work anymore. When affirmations don’t work it’s basically because one part of you is saying the affirmation, while another is contradicting it, and the latter is loud enough.

Personally, at some point some time ago I wouldn’t say I practiced them that much either. I was going with the flow.

Things changed. My life shifted and I grew up and found out that I’m far more complicated as an individual than I thought. I could affirm that I am loved, but the reality gave me back something that was not the thing I was hoping for, and I didn’t know why.

Knowing What We Really Want

Another important point is that part of the problem of doing affirmations without doing inner work is that we ourselves have not gained the experience needed to actually know what we want.

Life offers us little tests here and there to point us to the direction of figuring this out. I think sometimes the issue is we’re affirming statements about one area of our life, while neglecting another that currently needs attention.

Why Affirmations Don’t Work

Affirmations don’t work when a part of you is actively resisting the affirmative statement. My affirmations didn’t work, because the shadows of my childhood, the ghosts of the past were still present and eventually they wanted to be heard. My shadow wanted healing.

Occasionally it happens —we may cognitively approve of the positive message, but subconsciously tell ourselves another story. For example, you may tell yourself that you are worthy of a respect at work.

The Inner Critic Voice

However, there’s this tiny message inside your mind, a verbal or non-verbal feeling that you aren’t really special, that you’re too much and, frankly, you’re not such a big deal overall. 

This is the Inner Critic that is called an IFS protector part in IFS therapy, and can be part of the Jungian shadow.

Positive affirmations poster set of 3, Love Yourself, You Are Worthy and You Matter
Free iPhone wallpaper Dark Aesthetic, retro iOS affirmation reminder style Thoughts Become Things
Personal Preferences

Why iPhone Backgrounds iOS Reminder Style?

I got inspired by the retro iOS reminder affirmations, because the point of positive affirmations is repetition.

Thus, whenever you look at your phone, you see a positive affirmation.

This creates a subtle, yet powerful shift in your mindset that can have a lasting effect.

Pick Your iPhone Lock Screen Wallpaper Shuffle Frequency On Tap

I’d like to add a collection of iPhone wallpaper pictures with shuffle frequency “on tap”. Another way is to let them shuffle hourly, or pick one and go with it.

Choose iPhone Wallpaper & Lock Screen to Be Different

In addition, you can choose your iPhone Lock Screen and Home Screen to contain different backgrounds. Of course, to see the wallpaper on Home Screen you will have to uncheck the blur icon in settings.