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How long does it take for affirmations to work?
I think most of us are positive people, or at least that’s how I choose to think. The problem is, sometimes we hit a roadblock and we are not sure how to move forward and then we start developing doubts. Just like when it comes to practicing positive affirmations. How long does it take for affirmations to work?
Is there an exact time frame? What influences it? Why am I not seeing results?
These are all legit questions that someone who is new to affirmations will face, and in this post, we shall look deeper into the factors surrounding it and how you improve your overall game.
In my personal experience, it took about 24 days for me to notice that affirmations start to work. As I continued to practice it, the results became clearer over time. According to research, affirmations can take approximately 66 days to form a habit.
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What are Positive Affirmations?
Positive affirmations are simply statements that we use to affirm something to be true. These are positive phrases one uses to recite and repeat regularly as a way to reach a goal or to describe something they want or a positive they wish to be in.
It also helps you to remove negative thoughts that are blocking your path to success and keeps you in a static position.
To see or enjoy success with positive affirmations, a simple change in your life is enough to kickstart the process, starting with daily recitals of affirmations. As you repeat these phrases, it becomes a part of your thought process and then you will start to see real results.
How Do Affirmations Work?
During our growing up years, we are influenced by the people around us such as family, friends, classmates, co-workers, and even the media. We talk, we hang out, we share views, and during this process, your thoughts are somewhat shaped by all these interactions.
Due to high levels of stress or overly cynical people, we often develop negative thoughts that act as blockers to our personal development. The thoughts are entrenched deep in our subconscious and we never realize it, but we go through life every day like clockwork. Almost like a routine. Our minds have become programmed to act and behave this way.
If you expect changes in your life, don’t you think it will be quite naive to think that it will just happen with the flick of a switch? I certainly think so.
Here’s where positive affirmations come into the picture.
These purposeful phrases that you choose (and no one else can pick for you) help to replace the old way of thinking with positive ones that are better placed to serve your interests and goals.
By repeating them consistently, you are now reprogramming your subconscious mind to become who you really can be.
What Are Examples of Effective Positive Affirmations?
Here’s a little story I like to share with the people around me.
I used to weigh close to 180 pounds, and standing at 5 and a half feet tall, that’s way too much weight for me to say the least. I lived with it for a long time, but it seems to be a never-ending struggle to bring my weight down before it starts to balloon up again.
I wasn’t really sure what I was doing, nor did I have any actual plans or direction. Then I came across an article about developing the right mindset. And I dug deeper. I came across lots of woowoo gurus that I really couldn’t understand nor do I wish to associate with.
And then I found an affirmation. It was actually a quote from Michelle Obama that says “Am I good enough? Yes, I am.”
That spurred me on to write my own weight loss affirmation and I stuck with repeating them daily. At first, nothing happened at all. I was pretty disheartened but I decided to stick with it for a little longer. By the end of the month, I realize that I was unconsciously doing little things that were helping me to lose weight.
I had developed a new routine of stretching and doing one-minute planks each morning. I picked up more vegetables when I was in the supermarket. I ate all my meals on time. By the end of that month, I had lost 8 pounds. Not a lot, but I knew something was clicking.
You see, because I was telling myself each and every day what I wanted to achieve, it started to stick in my mind and it actually made me develop new habits to reach my goals. That’s the real power of positive affirmations.
You need to develop your own, and you will find thousands of affirmations you can use on our site.
Wanna know what affirmation I used? Here’s the key statement:
I will reach my desired weight of 140 pounds in 3 months time.
Do Affirmations Really Work?
It worked for me, and it continues to impact my life as well as my fellow contributors on this site. I have had some readers write in to share about their success and how they turned things around after using some of the affirmations they found on our site.
But on the flip side, I also know of people who do not buy into this, claiming it is some kind of scam or mind hack to convince people to part with their money. Well, I never had to spend money that I didn’t find value in, nor was I ever tricked into parting with my hard-earned cash.
To answer this question more objectively, I would say the answer depends only on you alone.
Affirmations involve changing your subconscious mindset and helping you become a better person, a more positive person.
But most of us have these thoughts ingrained for such a long time, which means it will take consistency, determination, and patience to flip them around. Our minds don’t really like change, so there will be resistance in the beginning.
You should not expect immediate results. Run far away from the next person who tells you they know of a surefire way to get results fast.
Which Mental Exercises Can I Try to Make My Affirmations Work Faster?
The whole thing about affirmations is to affect changes in your mind, and sometimes we can all make do with some help. There are some mental exercises that can actually boost your progress, so you might consider including one or all of the following as you begin your affirmations journey.
Make a list of negative stuff you have heard
Remember I mentioned earlier that our minds can often be influenced by what other people say? When we get criticized, we start to cast doubt on ourselves. Frequently, these thoughts start manifesting in our minds and it becomes our reality!
Imagine this. Your nasty boss keeps telling you each and every day that you are no good and ineffective in your job. This thought keeps growing in your mind, and your work performance will become affected. You will be scared to make decisions, ultimately rendering you really ineffective.
When you face criticism, take a step back and evaluate the comments first. Ask yourself if there is any truth in it and make the necessary changes if you think so.
Make a list of positive stuff you have heard
On the other hand, you would have heard positive things spoken about you. It is important to take note of them too. These will help to boost your confidence and remind you of what you are being appreciated or regarded for.
As you discover more about yourself, you are able to start forming affirmations that truly and strongly resonate with you.
Forming your affirmations
Now that you know the good and the bad, you can start to create your own affirmations with more clarity.
Let’s take the negative words as an example. If you have been told that you are slow in your work, and you do agree with it, and want to improve on that, you can form an affirmation that goes something like this:
I may not be the most efficient person on the team now, but this will change by the end of this month.
This statement takes a negative thought and turns it into an actionable positive affirmation that will help you improve your productivity.
Once you have your affirmation written down (it can be more than more), you need to start reciting them. Take some time each day and speak them out loud. I find it most useful when I say them in the morning right after I’m awake as it sets the tone for the day.
I also like to create my own little affirmation cards which I either stick to my mirror or bring it around with me in my purse. They are great at giving me timely reminders of what my goals are.
Factors Preventing your Affirmations from Working
Look, affirmations work for everyone and no one. What do I mean by that? To put it simply, affirmations will only work if you truly believe in them. Without the right mindset, nobody will benefit from using them.
Your first step is to fully trust the process, and if you have any hesitations, it will be tough for you to find success.
That said, here are some of the most common factors that prevent affirmations from working.
Your Level of Positivity and Beliefs
Each of us has different levels of optimism and pessimism. How we approach life vastly differs and it is for this reason that affirmations may work faster for some than others.
If you have been brought up or exposed to lots of negativity, your mind has already become predisposed to thoughts that will stop you from becoming your best self. You automatically become self-limiting, often criticizing or not believing in your own abilities.
This also causes you to not trust yourself, and you become skeptical of things, especially trying out something new.
On the other end of the spectrum, positive people generally take to affirmations easier as they already have that mindset in place. It becomes more of a fine-tuning exercise to become more precise at channeling that energy to manifest the right outcome.
Amount of Affirmations Experience
For someone who is just starting out their affirmation journey, it might be a bit harder to find success. Simply put, you do not know much at this point, and you do not know where you’re going.
But to be honest, I find that beginners have a much higher chance at success versus someone who has tried it before but did not get what they want.
Whichever stage you are in, you need to have an open mind and a strong belief. I mean, what’s the worse that can happen? You becoming someone more positive can’t be a bad thing, right?
The good thing is, that there are lots of resources on our blog that will guide you along. To get started, I recommend downloading your own one-page affirmations worksheet to help you with it.
Desire for Personal Development and Transformation
Tens of thousands of people search for the term personal development each month, and yet millions don’t. Which camp do you fall into?
For someone who is ready to make changes in their lives and transform, practicing affirmations is an incredibly powerful tool to accelerate their growth. It becomes a catalyst, a secret weapon of sorts.
Don’t believe me? Here are the who’s who that is in this camp: Denzel Washington, Oprah, Lady Gaga, and the list goes on.
They all believe in the Law of Attraction, which at its core talks about like attracts like.
When you affirm the outcome you want, you are aligning yourself to it.
For those who are on the other side of the fence, it is never too late to start. As your desire to improve grows, so will the impact affirmations will have on you.
There are loads of courses to take online these days, and I highly recommend this one for all our readers.
It has free master classes as well as an annual membership that allows you to take part in all their courses, including subjects such as Habits and Discipline, Leadership, Mind Power, Better Sex, Resilience, Money and Finance, and much more.
How Many Times Should I Repeat Affirmations?
The number of times to repeat affirmations is really dependent on yourself. The reason why I say that is because, at the start, it can take some time for the habit to form.
Let’s say that you wanted to repeat affirmations for 5 minutes each day, at the start of the day and before you sleep. But as you are just starting out, you might forget one or two sessions during the week.
After practicing long enough though, it becomes almost like second nature to you. You might even find yourself doing it during your lunch break or during your commute.
I always recommend that you should focus on 1-3 affirmations at a time. Repeat them as many times as you wish during your designated “session”. It can be just 5 to 10 minutes and that is plenty to start with.
Tip: make your own affirmation cards to boost the effectiveness of affirmations
How to Make Your Affirmations Work Faster
Frankly, the old adage of more haste, less speed applies here in general. But, developing good habits early on can certainly help your affirmations work faster. Don’t be fooled though by what you read online. Faster is subjective, as are the results.
For most, faster means accepting this practice into your life and making it become a daily routine. It means you incorporate it as part of your life much more easily and thus, start to see small changes to things around you quicker.
Here’s what I would recommend you do to speed things up.
1. Find Affirmations that are Aligned with Your Goals
I probably sound like a broken record but I will repeat it here again. You need to use affirmations that are closely related to what your intentions are, and you need to have a strong belief in them in order for them to work.
Having half-hearted trust in it is a surefire way to fail.
2. Practice Before and During Sleep
You did not read the title wrongly. Yes, you can practice during sleep, which in fact is a great time to do so as your mind is at its most relaxed phase.
Just as you are falling asleep, your brain activity slows down and you drop from an alpha to a theta brain state.
This is the state when your subconscious mind is listening and the best time to introduce changes.
How you do this is to listen to binaural tracks during this time of the day and as you fall into sleep, the affirmations are still being listened to and get deep into your subconscious.
3. Repeatedly Write Your Affirmations for 10 Minutes
Besides reciting your affirmations daily, you can also throw in writing. Some of us are better with this medium, and if that sounds like you, this method will definitely help you see results much faster.
All you need is just a note pad or you may use your regular journal. Take your time and slowly write down your affirmations. Be purposeful, and recite them out loud or in your mind when you do so.
As you write, feel the connection with the sentence and visualize the outcome you want. This helps you have a deeper connection with your belief, allowing you to have a better chance of success.
4. Remain Consistent with Affirmations
Lots of beginners make this mistake. Today I want to affirm this, and tomorrow I want to affirm that. Or it could be one sentence today, and tomorrow gets changed into a different one.
There is no consistency in this behavior and it simply does not stick to your mind. Each day you confuse yourself more by doing this.
What you need to do is stick to the same affirmations, the same routines, and keep doing them daily. If you start and stop, your chances of success are pretty slim.
Experiment with Silva Tracks
The Silva method is something quite different, where it focuses on the alpha brain stage instead. The underlying way to use this is to record your own voice and combine them with Alpha beats to make them into a track.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do affirmations take a long time to work?
For most of us, affirmations are a new thing in our lives. Imagine this is a new subject in school. You need time to learn it and apply it. No one gets it right on day one. Moreover, affirmations are seeking to change your subconscious, which has been deeply rooted over many years. It is trying to change the behavior that we have exhibited for a long time. Hence, we need to be patient when it comes to seeing results with affirmations.
Does research indicate how long affirmations take to work?
Yes, there were research that look into the science of affirmations. In a study conducted by Carnegie Mellon University, they concluded that people can improve their ability to solve problems under stress by using affirmations. Another one conducted by the University of Michigan and UCLA showed that there is a positive relation between self-affirmation and behavior.