Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Brag to Yourself: How Self-Affirmations Benefit You

Self-affirmations can help you lead a healthier, happier life.
Self-affirmations can help you lead a healthier, happier life.
Image: Shutterstock
So often as children, we’re told not to brag. We’re told to be humble. We’re told not to be full of ourselves, not to be selfish, and to always put others first. We’re told the world doesn’t revolve around us and that we are just one tiny speck in the universe.

And while all those bits of advice may be said with the best of intentions, they don’t exactly do wonders for our self-esteem, do they? There’s this strange disconnect in life, where we’re told we’re not “all that,” but at the same time, we are expected to be confident and believe in ourselves. It makes for a difficult balance sometimes.

There’s certainly a difference between being self-absorbed and merely confident in yourself, but it can be hard to toe the line successfully. Some fall into the habit of never believing they are “worth it” or good enough. Others cross over and come off as conceited and vain.

But there is a middle ground—and believe it or not, it can include self-affirmations. Research from Carnegie Mellon University suggests that practicing the daily mantra of self-affirmation can improve problem-solving skills and reduce stress. It can give you an improved self-image and self-worth, and it’s anything but bragging.

“A brief self-affirmation activity is sufficient to buffer the negative effects of chronic stress on task performance and can improve the ability to solve problems in a flexible manner during high stress periods,” researchers said. “Our study suggests that self-affirmation may increase creativity and insight in stressed individuals.”

Remember "The Little Engine That Could?" Well, you can, too!
Remember "The Little Engine That Could?"
Well, you can, too!
Image: Shutterstock
“I’m good enough.”

“I’ve got this.”

“People like me.”

“I am an intelligent, graceful, and beautiful person.”

“I am important.”

Affirmations such as those can make all the difference in life. Believing in yourself is key to success, and when done right people will see it as anything but bragging. You are worth it. Stop doubting yourself, and go get ‘em, tiger.