Have you heard? Saying affirmations really DO work.
PLOS ONE Journal published research from Carnegie Mellon University which provides the first evidence that self-affirmation can protect against the damaging effects of stress on problem-solving performance. “This new work suggests a mechanism for these studies, showing self-affirmation effects on actual problem-solving performance under pressure,”stated J. David Creswell, assistant professor of psychology in CMU’s Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences. The results showed that participants who were under high levels of chronic stress during a one month period had impaired problem-solving performance. They actually solved about 50 percent fewer problems in the task. But notably, this effect was limited by whether participants had an opportunity to first complete the self-affirmation activity. Specifically, a brief self-affirmation was effective in eliminating the harmful effects of chronic stress on problem-solving performance, such that chronically stressed self-affirmed participants performed under pressure at the same level as participants with low chronic stress levels. “People under high stress can foster better problem-solving simply by taking a moment beforehand to think about something that is important to them,” Creswell said. “It’s an easy-to-use and portable strategy you can roll out before you enter that high pressure performance situation.” Historically, ancient texts from various religions all hold belief in the power of affirmations via prayer, but remarkably, this work demystifies the notion that affirmations may not always ‘work.’
So the next time you feel the stress eating away at you, here are 15 affirmations that you can incorporate into your life and bring with you, anywhere, anytime.
Go on, try one out today. But don’t just say it…believe it.