How to create and use effective affirmations

An affirmation, coping statement, or mantra is something you repeat to yourself and for yourself either aloud or in your heart to encourage and give you strength and confidence.


It’s a great way of using words to change your reality for something that is better for you. It’s the opposite of the self-sabotaging negative self-talk that you might find yourself unwittingly engaging in. These thoughts pop up all too easily and, if we’re not careful, unhappily colour our behaviour.

If you want to give yourself a real chance to change an unwanted useless behaviour, then a good coping statement will be one of the strategies to help you put in place more useful, nurturing feelings and actions. When you repeat an affirmation or coping statement, you do so because you want to reinforce these new thoughts and emotions.

Imagine it as your mind creating a new path and abandoning the old one, letting it gradually disappear completely.

A coping statement is sometimes used in therapy or in self-help as an anchor that gathers together your goal in one sentence. 

Here are a few tips to make your mantra more powerful:

Choose your words

Word your affirmation carefully. Think about the resonance of the words. Make your affirmation true to you, not too lengthy, and remember to use the present tense and no negatives.

Here are a couple of examples...

If you want to stop smoking:

I choose to be a nonsmoker (present tense and affirmative)


I’m a happy, healthy nonsmoker (present tense and affirmative)

If you’re a nail biter:

I choose to have strong, healthy nails and cuticles


I have healthy nails and smooth soft skin

Try a couple of variants until you get the one that fits. Don’t just pick one off the shelf!

How you say it counts!

Once you have your affirmation, practice saying it out loud in a tone that is convincing, strong, and determined. How you say something is just as important as what you say.

Don’t just pay lip service to your affirmation, it will work the more you use it and the more you believe in it. The more real you make it.

In other words... Fake it until you believe it!

Repeating isn’t enough!

To strengthen your words and thus anchor them in your mind, you need to set aside time to repeat them. Decide to give them special importance and a certain space in your day.

  • Settle your body, quieten your breathing and calm your mind. Give yourself a few minutes to switch from being busy to still.
  • Then repeat your coping statement.
  • Imagine believing the words.
  • Imagine how it would feel to really be what you are saying.
  • Bring the feelings up to accompany your words, make them as strong as possible.
  • Change the expression on your face and the muscle tone in your body to match your words.
  • Believe it body and soul!

How can cognitive behavioural hypnotherapy help?

Hypnosis lets you imagine different situations as if they were real.

Did you know that your mind doesn’t know that what you are imagining is not ‘real’? It believes that it is happening now. It believes the words you say to yourself wholeheartedly.

This is what makes hypnosis so powerful as a healing tool. 

When in hypnosis, you can practise situations before you live them in real life, or relive past experiences and overlay them with new coping mechanisms. You can bethat person, achieve the goal, and feelthose different emotions. When you can do this in hypnosis you can do it in real life.

The path is there. The memory is created.

When you are in a deeply relaxed, focused, and clear hypnotic mindset your imagination is open, creative, and supple. 

Hypnosis is creative, strategic, positive thinking to help you get the most out of your life.

How will your hypnotherapist help?

A hypnotherapy session is generally divided into two parts, firstly gathering information and then hypnosis linked to your particular challenge. 

During the first part of your session, you will generally work with your hypnotherapist so that your mantra/coping statement/affirmation is as meaningful as possible. 

Then, your hypnotherapist will guide you to a place of deep body and mind relaxation. Once truly calm and peaceful you can let your mantra flow over you and embody your goal. It becomes real in your mind and opens the gates to it becoming real in your life. 

Hypnosis lets you add an extra layer of efficiency, depth, and colour to your words. Your hypnotherapist will guide you through this deep, vivid experience that will remain with you long after the session is over.

Doesn’t it make sense to take the time to choose and put in place that perfect coping statement to help you achieve your goal?

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Hypnotherapy Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Teddington, Middlesex, TW11
Written by Morag Stevenson, Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapist
Teddington, Middlesex, TW11

Morag Stevenson is a cognitive behavioural hypnotherapist who specialises in helping people overcome and manage stress and anxiety.
She's particularly interested in BFRB's (Body-Focused Repetitive Disorders). She works using CB hypnotherapy. mindfulness and relaxation techniques.

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