Hypnotic affirmations

Most people use affirmations every day without realising it. Have you ever heard yourself say, “I’m rubbish at this” or “I never stick at things”? We all do it from time to time without realising the impact on the brain and on our well-being.


Dr Leonard Orr (1949-2019), professor of English at Washington State University, Vancouver, famously said “What the thinker thinks, the prover proves”. This quote has stayed with me since my hypnotherapy training days as I learned the impact our thoughts have on our entire being. Your brain is always looking for evidence of what you think and believe and will try to prove that you are right, no matter what you think.

Whether you think you can, or you think you can't, you're right.

Henry Ford 

Neuroscience tells us that the brain is a pattern-matching matrix. It looks for patterns and similarities so it can give you the same or similar response in an instant. If it hears you say, “I’m rubbish at this”, or “I never stick at things”, it will find examples of when you messed up or when you gave up, and it will give you the feeling of having already failed.

An affirmation is a statement that sends a message to your brain, giving it an instruction. And an image empowers it. Working together, the effect is amplified and your brain lights up. A thought plus an image is more powerful than a thought alone or an image alone.

How can positive affirmations improve your mood?

Positive affirmations activate positive feelings, creating happy hormones in your brain, so it’s worth having a list of your favourite ones to hand every day. You can use them in meditation, in hypnosis, or on their own. Dr Orr advocated linking a positive mindset and positive affirmations together with breathwork in his teachings. Hypnosis brings it all together and gives it wellie!

The benefits of positive affirmations

Affirmations can benefit every area of your life, including:

  • Goal setting: For example, if a goal seems daunting or overwhelming: “I take small action steps towards success every day” and then see yourself taking the next inspired action step, whatever comes to mind.
  • Problem-solving: For example, if you are stuck at the first hurdle: “I overcome challenges however big or small” and then see yourself metaphorically going over, around or through the problem as if it was a wall or a boulder.
  • Establishing a new healthy habit: For example, if you are a bit socially shy: “I welcome the opportunity to meet new friends” and see yourself walking into a room, looking relaxed and chatting easily with someone you have just met.
  • Thought processes: For example, if you get overwhelmed at work telling yourself work is stressful, you could reframe this to “My default at work is calm and relaxed”. Then imagine yourself breathing easily and looking relaxed while you work.
  • Limiting beliefs: If you have a belief that you are not enough in some way, debunk it and find examples of when you are good enough – then create your affirmation, for example: “I am as good as anyone else” and see yourself standing tall, smiling and looking confident. 

I love Mondays!

When creating your affirmations, start with small things that you hear yourself saying regularly. Think of how you would like to feel. "I hate Mondays" could become "I am loving Mondays more and more". Every negative or disempowering thought can be reframed - just change it to a positive affirmation - keep it short and keep it simple.

How can I use affirmations?

Affirmations can be used to enhance your life in many ways, including: 

  • confidence building
  • healthy weight
  • good self-esteem
  • performance enhancement
  • positive habits

and so much more...

Let the magic happen

If you want to be more confident look at what you need to do today in order to move forward, flip any negative thoughts to the opposite side and create your affirmation, then add an empowering image, change your physiology (body language) and let the magic happen. Practice makes permanent.

Affirmations work anywhere, anytime

Choose your favourite affirmation and repeat it several times a day, in lots of places. You can have fun too:

  • In front of the mirror (“Hello beautiful!”)
  • In the car (“I am a confident driver; I always drive safely”)
  • Out walking (“I love exercising and being active every day”)
  • When you wake up/when you are going to sleep (“I sleep deeply and wake up fully refreshed”)
  • Before or during a meeting/social gathering (“I love to connect with people”)
  • At mealtime (“I enjoy eating healthy food that nourishes my body”)
  • Every time you walk through a door (“I always hold my tummy in when I walk through a doorway”)
  • Every time you see something funny ("I love to laugh")

Experiment with different affirmations to see how you feel. The best affirmation is the one that makes you feel empowered and prompts you to take inspired action.

Physiology talks louder than words

Make your physiology work for you when you say your affirmations – body language talks to your brain, so, stand tall, shoulders back, put that determined look on your face and smile. Even if you don’t feel like it, or even if you don’t fully believe in it 100% yet, act as if you do.

See it, say it, believe it

Repeat your positive affirmation throughout the day, especially if you’re stressed, anxious or bored. Put it somewhere you can see it, for example, on the mirror, on your computer, on your phone or on the fridge. Whenever you see it, say it and believe, your brain will light up giving you a dose of endorphins, (the happy hormone).

Affirmations can change and evolve

Remember you can change your affirmation according to the message you want to imprint on your brain. Try one out for a few days to see how it feels. Allow it to evolve naturally, and tweak it to make it better until it’s just right for you.

If you want to start loving yourself a bit more, you can create an affirmation for that. You can buy a sticker for your mirror that says, “Hello beautiful” – it will remind you every day that you are a beautiful person and you deserve to be happy. Don’t feel embarrassed, you are beautiful! I have one on my bathroom mirror and at first, I thought it was silly, but now I look at myself with love and admiration for who I am and for who I am becoming.

Some research shows that positive affirmations don’t always work for people with low self-esteem, and can actually make them feel worse, so it’s really important to ensure your affirmation is right for you – it must be plausible, possible and fair. Choose the affirmation that feels right and work up the ladder from smaller things to bigger things.

Affirmations and hypnotherapy

Positive psychology is one of the principles of hypnotherapy and together with hypnosis, it can be a winning formula. Hypnosis enhances the effect of any affirmation because during hypnosis a person is more open to suggestion. It’s always your choice whether to accept or reject any affirmation or suggestion because you are always in control. A hypnotherapist is trained in the art of positive suggestions and empowering affirmations, so together we create an affirmation that works best for you.

Dr Steven Lynn, professor of psychology at Binghamton University in the U.S. says, “Hypnosis involves the participant thinking and imagining along with whatever is suggested, in an expectant manner.” He goes on to say, “We try to encourage them (participants) to use their imaginations, rather than to passively respond to the suggestions, and to actively immerse themselves in the experience of whatever is suggested.” When it comes to affirmations, hypnosis magnifies the effects umpteen times.

6 simple steps to create hypnotic affirmations

  1. The affirmation needs to be about what you want, not about what you don’t want; focus on what you want to achieve.
  2. Create your affirmation in the first person, always use the present tense, make it positive and keep it about you.
  3. Write your affirmation down in a short phrase or statement.
  4. Imagine yourself looking empowered, as if you just won the lottery, or some other image of you that makes you feel good/excited/happy,
  5. Take a deep breath, and as you breathe out, stand tall, see your empowering image and say your affirmation like you mean it.
  6. Repeat eight times.

If you would like help putting the right words together, or experience the effects of hypnotic affirmations for yourself, just get in touch with me or another qualified hypnotherapist. There are many books available on the subject too. I offer a free consultation and would love to hear from you.

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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Milton Keynes, Bucks, MK17 0NA
Written by Mary Bowmer, HypDip; HPD; MIBWRT; NLP Dip; Reiki Master;
Milton Keynes, Bucks, MK17 0NA

Mary is an experienced Clinical Hypnotherapist, BWRT Practitioner, qualified Life Coach and Reiki Master based in Milton Keynes and working online. Married with grown-up children, she devotes herself to helping others to overcome emotional blockages, build confidence and excel. Her interests include cooking, walking, travel, metaphysics and cats.

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