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Affirmation Theory

What it is.

APA Dictionary of Psychology: Affirmation theory is the concept that people are motivated to maintain views of themselves as well adapted, moral, competent, stable, and able to control important outcomes. When some aspect of this self-view is challenged, people experience psychological discomfort. They may attempt to reduce this discomfort by directly resolving the inconsistency between the new information and the self, by affirming some other aspect of the self, or both.

Have you ever been moved to emotion during a movie, or while reading a book?

There is a school of thought that understands our minds, both conscious & sub-conscious, to have difficulty discerning reality from fantasy - hence why you can feel those critical roles in movies that inevitably move you anywhere from anger to tears.   

It is also believed that negative affirmation from our childhood on up through adulthood are deeply-rooted, thus often times, the practice of positive affirmation pales in comparison and simply is not able to overcome. 

5 Steps to Make it Work

Read the full article here: Ronald Alexander Ph.D., Phsycology Today 2011 

  • 1. "Make a list of what you've always thought of as your negative qualities."
  • 2. "Now write an affirmation on the positive aspect of your self-judgment."
  • 3. "Speak the affirmation out loud for about five minutes three times a day, morning, midday, and evening."
  • 4. "Anchor the affirmation in your body as you are repeating it by placing your hand on the area that felt uncomfortable when you wrote out the negative belief in Step 1."
  • 5. "Get a friend or coach to repeat your affirmation to you"

Affirmation Research

A study regarding individuals eating healthier throughout the day demonstrated that: "self-affirmed participants ate significantly more portions of fruit and vegetables, an increase of approximately 5.5 portions across the week, in comparison to the control group. This effect was mediated by response-efficacy... Self-affirmation interventions can successfully influence health-promoting behaviors" (Epton, Harris, 2008)


Research has found that "deploying self-affirmation inductions alongside persuasive health information has positive effects, promoting message acceptance, intentions to change, and subsequent behavior." (Epton, et al., 2015)


Self-affirmation appears to promote several key processes relevant to health behavior change, including more open-minded appraisal of otherwise threatening information, higher levels of mental construal, and reductions in the likelihood of self-control failure. It also appears to increase other-directed feelings, such as love. These effects of self-affirmation may provide people with the capacity to view the “big picture” and consider how their current activities relate to their longer term interests (Harris, 2011)

Use this guide from MindValley to learn the basic theory surrounding Affirmation and how to get started using affirmations to change the daily you.
Download your Affirmations Worksheet
Jump to another Back-to-Basics Fundamental that will directly correlate with your Affirmations below

Positively - Positive Affirmation Articles

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