How affirmations plant seeds of a growth mindset
Why do affirmations work to calm the mind? The answer lies in the power of repetition.
When we repeat a statement, we start to believe it. This is because the brain is constantly looking for patterns and trying to make sense of information. By repeating a positive affirmation, we're essentially training our brains to look for evidence that supports this statement.
By encouraging kids to adopt this habit at an early age, the process nurtures self-agency, helps to reduce the nervous system stress response, and works to provide an overall sense of safety and well-being.
When we teach kids to use positive statements to focus on themselves, we empower them to develop a more positive self-image. In turn, this lays an emotionally strong foundation for making calm, self-assured, and confident life choices.
At its core, repeating positive statements wires the neural circuitry in the brain in such a way that kids begin to trust in their abilities.
The more they say and believe in the power of an affirmation, the more likely it is it will have a lasting effect on their confidence and, ultimately, on how they feel about themselves.
Affirmations are simple statements that can be spoken out loud or recalled silently in their mind. They can be used any time as a way to focus on a positive attribute or a feeling they want to embody rather than on their fears or doubts; this helps to calm the nervous system and soothe the senses.
The rhythm of repetition keeps kids aware of their emotional response and in the present moment.
It's important to use affirmative statements that appeal to your child's feelings of self-worth. Statements like "I am safe," "With every breath, I feel stronger," "I believe in myself," "My feelings matter," "I am smart," "I choose my attitude," and "My challenges help me grow," can help kids feel more confident and optimistic.
These types of statements can be especially helpful for kids who are struggling with self-esteem issues. Over time, a low sense of self-worth or lack of confidence can lead to long-term struggles with anxiety, depression, and/or social withdrawal.
Studies show that repeating positive statements lead to better performance in school and other areas of life.
When kids are faced with challenges, affirming statements can remind them that they have the ability to overcome any obstacle.
Building a daily ritual with your child by instilling the habit of repeating affirmations can help bolster their self-image and remind them that they're capable and loved.
Like planting a seed, affirmations are the fertile soil of a healthy mind and a strong connection to the body.
By nurturing the practice of affirmations, they'll bear the fruit of a lifetime of peace and calm.
Affirmations in action
Tina's advice: "Leaving hand-written affirmation statements and cards where you can see them often throughout the day is a great reminder to take a pause to calibrate your emotions and intentions."
Neha's advice: "Have fun with it! Making it eye-catching and keeping your little positive reminders in a place you frequently see is part of the magic. We have this poster on our fridge!"