Saying These Positive Phrases Is Like Giving Yourself a Verbal Hug

·5 min read
Photo credit: Photography by Jacqueline Foss/Flickr/Getty Images - Getty Images
Photo credit: Photography by Jacqueline Foss/Flickr/Getty Images - Getty Images

Saying affirmations—those positive phrases used to build yourself up—can feel like giving yourself a verbal hug. But finding a motto to build up your self-image or guide you through a tough situation can sometimes be tricky. After all, standing in front of the mirror and telling yourself, "I'm so beautiful and fabulous!" can feel a little...phony.

The most useful affirmations feel genuine and encouraging, mental health experts say. A good affirmation can "help us learn how to speak to ourselves with compassion and kindness instead of with criticism and malice," says Boca Raton, Florida-based psychologist Morgan Levy, PhD.

And that can sow the seeds for serious growth. "Affirmations help us envision greater possibilities for us, those we love, and for the world at large," explains psychotherapist and Deeper Dating podcast host Ken Page, LCSW. "They remind us of our potential and of the potential for good in our lives and in the world."

The trick is finding an affirmation that nurtures your feelings and hopes without veering into toxic positivity territory or denying your reality. "You can ask yourself, If my best friend was struggling, what would I tell them?" says Chicago-based licensed clinical health psychologist Melissa Geraghty, PsyD.

Ultimately, only you can decide whether an affirmation straddles the line between inspiring and believable. Pauline Peck, PhD, a licensed psychologist in Santa Barbara, California, recommends experimenting with different affirmations and seeing how they make you feel. "There's no perfect universal affirmation, and we may need to edit and tweak depending on what we need most," she says.

These expert-recommended phrases are a good place to start. Whether you're looking for some upbeat verbiage to kick off the day or a motivational mantra for when the going gets tough, these 52 affirmations can deliver a welcome dose of self-love.

Start your day on a positive note.

Good vibes only, please. These phrases invite goodness and kindness into your day and remind you of what's most important.

  • May I experience something abundantly good today.

  • Today I am stepping into boundless possibilities.

  • Nothing matters more than love.

  • I celebrate the love in my life. I celebrate the love that I give. And I celebrate the love that is given to me.

  • I am open to the opportunities today brings.

  • Today, I will give myself space to grow.

  • I am committed to personal growth today.

  • Thank you, body, for my ability to ____________________.

Remind yourself that you're worthy of happiness and love.

Everyone gets down in the dumps some days. These phrases remind you that you don't have to stay there.

  • I am worthy of love just for being who I am.

  • Love is a birthright for each and every one of us, me included.

  • I am enough.

  • I am deserving of contentment, joy, and peace.

  • I deserve to feel happy and full of live.

  • I belong here.

  • I am kind to others and inspire others to be kind and that feels great.

  • I believe in my goodness.

  • Everyone is worthy of love and care, and that includes me, even if I don't feel like it applies to me.

Boost your confidence before a big challenge.

Prepping for a big interview, speech, or meeting? Use an affirmation to psych yourself up and light up the room.

  • I am capable and prepared.

  • I have everything I need to do this well.

  • May the light within me shine through.

  • I am courageous, confident, and competent.

  • I have a lot to offer.

  • My voice and opinions matter.

  • I can take this anxiety and bring it along with me for this challenge. I don't need to feel ready in order to do well.

  • Look at me getting outside of my comfort zone!

  • What would [your hero here] do?

When you're struggling to stay afloat.

You can't always steer clear of life's challenges. But you can remind yourself that you have what it takes to get through them.

  • I never give up trying.

  • I am deserving of kindness and compassion.

  • May I experience comfort and peace in this difficult time.

  • I never give up growing.

  • I believe in my potential.

  • I am doing the best I can with what I have in this moment.

  • I'm not broken, I'm human.

  • It's okay to not be okay.

  • I'm okay with my imperfections. Nobody is perfect.

  • Failures and mistakes help me move forward.

Motivate yourself to get something done.

Give yourself the extra push to meet that deadline, train for the race, or do the hard work you've committed to.

  • I'm confident I will achieve my goal.

  • I am focused and alert.

  • I can see the finish line as I begin this race.

  • I am stronger than I know.

  • My worth is not determined by the outcome.

  • I've done tough things before and got through them and I will again.

  • I can do hard things.

  • Today I am aiming for good enough, not perfection.

  • Progress, not perfection.

End the day with grace.

Invite a sense of reassuring calm before going to bed.

  • May I enjoy a deep, restful sleep.

  • My body and spirit are at rest.

  • I give myself permission to have restful sleep.

  • I am grateful for what I did today.

  • I will try again tomorrow.

  • I'm ready for peaceful sleep.

  • I am safe and secure. I can rest comfortably.

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