Affirmations for self love are a great way to improve self esteem. In this post I’ll show you how to create personalized affirmations that really work along with a list to help get you started.
I do positive affirmations just about every day. To be perfectly honest I used to think affirmations were cheesy, but they totally work!
Over the years they have really helped to reframe my thought processes to allow for more automatic positive thoughts. They help me feel the positive things I’m saying…even if I feel ridiculous talking to myself in the mirror. I tape affirmations for self love to my bathroom mirror so I remember to say them to myself everyday.
A couple years ago, I lost 90 pounds. I’ve kept it off for a few years now. I know it sounds like a lot (and it is a lot!) but in reality it took a really long time (about 2 consistent years) of day-to-day work that was sustainable for me to stick with long-term in my life. What does this have to do with affirmations? Keep reading…
The #1 thing that helped me stick to my healthy lifestyle that led to my 90 pound weight loss…
It wasn’t a certain diet
It wasn’t a certain exercise plan
It was working on my mindset to improve emotionally and mentally. A big part of that for me was learning self-love through community support, journaling and you guessed it: AFFIRMATIONS!
Most people think that we just need the right diet plan or exercise regimen to stay motivated, but that wasn’t the issue for me. I was obese for pretty much my whole life. I tried a million different diet plans and exercise regimens over the years and none of it stuck.
It was only when I started working on myself emotionally and mentally to improve my self esteem, get support from others, and love myself no matter what that things started to change. It was the mindset shift that helped me want to take care of my health from a place of self-love rather than punishment for not looking a certain way.
After that it was easier for me to eat well because I was able to be gentle with myself and deal with my feelings rather than numbing my feelings with emotional eating. Exercising was easier because I wanted to do simple things that made me feel good rather than punishing myself through exercise or berating myself for not doing enough. I would take a 15 minute walk one day and instead of telling myself that’s not enough, I would tell myself good job! Then gradually I was able to enjoy exercise for me and increase the amount and intensity as my experience grew.
How automatic negative thoughts affect our brains
If you’re like me, you’ve spent a long time with automatic negative thoughts being your go-to. Thoughts like “I’m not good enough” and “nobody likes me” used to be my automatic initial thoughts without even trying.
The therapist I worked with said that your negative thoughts are literally like a well worn path in your brain. The neurons in your brain are so used to taking that path because you’ve been doing it for so long. They even create actual grooves in your brain mass.
But don’t feel bad, it’s not your fault. Evolutionarily, our brains are designed to filter for the negative to keep us safe. If you imagine living as a caveman, it makes sense that your brain will pay a lot more attention to threats to our safety and heavily consider any small thing that may be a danger to us, so it makes us hyper focused on negative thoughts.
How to replace negative thoughts with positive thoughts
To move past these automatic negative thoughts, we must replace them with positive thoughts. This is no easy task since our brains are so used to taking that negative path. It’s like having to forge a new walking path through overgrowth and thicket instead of taking the already formed path.
We can improve by practicing replacing negative thoughts with positive ones as they come up throughout the day as well as doing positive affirmations every day. The key is to keep doing it over and over again through daily repetition even though it’s hard and unnatural in order to wear in that new path. I always visualize forging that new path in my brain…it takes work, but it can be done little by little.
Another great tip is to not beat yourself up if you miss a day or two. Just keep doing it as much as you can and over time you will see progress.
Why self love affirmations work
- Our brains sometimes can’t tell the difference between reality and fiction which makes it possible to hack your brain into believing something that you don’t automatically believe. This is also why visualization is such an effective tool as well.
- One research study shows that affirmations can activate the reward system in your brain which further supports the idea that imagining or affirming positive things can trick your brain into believing it.
- Because of the brain’s ability to change and adapt over time, which is called neuroplasticity, it is scientifically proven that our thoughts/beliefs are not set in stone, they are able to change and morph and quite literally change the neural pathways in our brains at any stage in life.
Start with affirmations that you can believe
When you’re starting out with affirmations, it’s helpful to do ones that you truly believe at first or can see yourself believing. Research shows that affirmations are more effective when you can accept them as being truthful.
For example, before I started doing mindset work I’d often have the automatic thought “nobody likes me”. Do I actually believe that? Of course not! At the very least, I KNOW my Mom and Dad like me and love me, so I know that negative statement is not true. I can think of at least a few people who like and love me, so swapping that thought with “I am loved” is true and is something I can believe.
However, if you’ve had really difficult relationship with loving your body for a long time it may be harder when starting out to believe an affirmation like “I love my body”. It may be better to start with something more neutral like “my body is strong” or “my body is amazing because it created my children”.
How to create personalized affirmations for self love
The most effective way that I’ve found to come up with affirmations is to write down all the negative thoughts I’m currently struggling with then I write out the opposite positive thought (or at least neutral thought). Here’s a simple step-by-step process…
- Write down a few of the negative thoughts that you have regularly. If you’re struggling to remember them, take a couple of days to notice what thoughts come up throughout the day. Maybe someone took all day to text you back and your first thought was “They must not like me”. Maybe your significant other forgot something you said and your first thought was “they don’t care about me”. Notice your negative thoughts and write them down.
- With each negative thought, ask yourself if you really think this is true? For example, when your significant other forgot about something you said, do you really think this means they don’t care about you? Let’s say it’s a no and you know that your partner cares about you and loves you, but is just forgetful sometimes.
- Write down an opposite positive thought to combat the negative thought. If you have trouble believing the positive thought, use a more neutral thought to replace it with. Maybe you can replace “My partner doesn’t care about me” with “I am loved and cared for”.
- Write down a couple of the most meaningful positive affirmations and stick them to your bathroom mirror. Say them to yourself every day at least once a day.
- Don’t overcomplicate it! It can be as simple as “I am loved” and that’s great! Don’t allow perfectionism or self-criticism to get in the way of baby steps and daily progress.
Here’s a few examples:
- Nobody likes me —-> I’m am loved and accepted
- I need to do XYZ to look better —-> My body is enough just the way it is
- I will never find love —-> I am worthy and loveable
- I can’t get through this —-> I am strong and capable
- I hate my stomach —-> My body is worthy just the way it is
- My body looks bad —-> My body is not my identity
- I’m stupid —-> I am smart. I am capable of learning and growing.
115 Affirmations for Self-Love
Now that you’ve learned how to create affirmations that are specially tailored for your unique challenges, below are a list of different affirmations to support your self love journey that you can use for a variety of purposes.
- I am loved
- I am worthy
- I am enough
- I matter
- I accept myself as I am
- I believe in myself
- I am proud of my accomplishments
- I love myself unconditionally
- I am deserving of love and compassion
- I am proud of who I am becoming
- I am growing and learning and loving myself through the process
- I embrace myself with love and compassion
- I am whole
- I choose to love myself today
- I am at peace with myself
- I am valued
- I am not perfect, but I love myself anyway
- I am exactly who I need to be
- I am the only [your name] in this world. I am unique and special.
- I am evolving and growing
- I am surrounded by [G-d’s, the universe’s, etc.] loving energy
- I love my unique gifts
- I am here for you [your name]
- [Your name] I am going to take care of you
- I choose to fill my heart with care and adoration for myself
- I respect myself
- I am filled with love and compassion
- I am not my mistakes
- My mistakes to not define me
- Being myself is enough
- I love myself deeply and completely
- I am exactly who I need to be right now
- I believe in myself
- I love you [your name]
- I deserve to love and care for myself
- I deserve to be celebrated
- I am a loving child of [G-d, Universe, Spirit or whatever is meaningful to you]
- My value and worth comes from [G-d, Universe, Spirit or whatever is meaningful to you]
- I love my ability to [fill in the blank: care for others, be a good friend, overcome obstacles]
- My body is enough
- My body is worthy just the way it is
- I am beautiful
- I am desired
- I honor my body for all that it has done for me
- My worth is not tied to how I look
- I am not my body
- I care for my body and listen to its needs
- My body is not my identity
- My body is an amazing healer
- I am loveable because of who am and not how I look
- I love my body and all of the wonderful things it allows me to learn and do
- My body is strong
- My body deserves respect
- My body is capable
- My body allows me to [fill in the blank: walk, run, play with my kids, etc.]
- I am not defined by my body
- I accept my body as it is now
- I am beautiful inside and out
- I am thankful for the body I was born with
- I am grateful to [G-d, universe, nature, etc.] for the body I was given
- I choose not to shame other or myself
- My body is [fill in the blank; sexy, fierce, amazing, wonderful]
- [Your name] you look amazing!
- I love my [legs, butt, lips, stomach, etc.]
- My body is not perfect and that’s ok!
- There are no perfect bodies
- I deserve someone who loves me just the way I am
- I love those around me and myself
- I will find a loving partner
- I joyfully give and receive love every day
- I attract genuine love and connection
- Love flows freely to me
- Love is all around me
- I am grateful for how loved I am and how people care for me
- Love is coming to me and I am open to it
- Love is always flowing to me
- I open my heart to love
- I offer love and receive it in return
- I find love wherever I go
- I am radiating and attracting love
- Love comes to me freely
- I am deserving of love
Dealing with difficulties
- I am surrounded by love and support
- I have gotten through hardships before and will get through this
- I am strong enough to get through this
- I acknowledge and honor my sadness and know that I will be ok
- I trust myself
- I give myself permission to grieve
- I know that I’m on the right path
- This feeling is temporary
- This too shall pass
- I am allowed to feel my feelings
- It’s ok to feel [sad, mad, hopeless, etc.]. I will overcome.
- I am surrounded with contentment and peace
- I notice calm feelings when I take a deep breath
- I am content with myself as I am
- I am grateful for all of the blessings in my life
- I choose to find the joy in every situation that I can
- I find moments to be silly
- I am inviting in peace and serenity
- I deserve to be happy
- I give myself permission to be happy
- I am a joyous person
- I choose to be grateful
- I find the fun in every moment
- I am surrounded by love and that makes me happy
- I love to laugh
- I am proud of who I am becoming
- I trust myself
- I am on the path to contentment
- I am allowing myself to feel joy
- I commit to living a happy life
- Everything I need is within me
- I am content
- I radiate positivity
- I am happy and grateful for my life as it is now
- I am grateful to be alive
- I am grateful for [fill in the blank: my health, to have a roof over my head, my kids, etc.]
- I feel contentment when I think about the blessings in my life
Affirmations for Self-Love Printable Worksheet PDF
I’ve put together a simple printable worksheet with instructions on creating your own affirmations as well as the full list of 115 affirmations.