If you have ever read a self help book, you must have found one common thing in almost every book and that is ‘positive affirmations’ . But most people get little excited just when they read about ‘positive affirmations’ in the books ,but in real world may be it doesn’t sound as realistic as words like ‘hard work’, ‘persistence’,’Resilience’ etc.
So I always curious to know, wheather there is any scientific study behind affirmations, to my surprise I have found some really intresting stuff regarding affirmations or self talk. Science says, Positive affirmations are not ony about feeling good or happy at a particular moment, it’s more than that, it can help anyone create real values in their life, help building skillls that lasts much longer than a smile.
The effect of positive thoughts on your work, your life is being studied by scientists from last several decades. One of the studies I came across (which seems to me very intersting) is by Barbara Fredrickson, a psychologists from university of Michigan shows some surprising insights about positive thoughts and its impact on long term skills.
So what she had found in the study is ‘ feelings like anger,fear,stress in one word ‘negative emotions’ blocked your mind and limits your possibilities to see the world in other ways. Let’s take an example ‘ if a tiger suddenly crosses your path ,you will run, here the emotion fear will guide your mind and blocked it from thinking other ways. You might have the options to climb a tree but your brain will ignore all those options as those seem irrevalent at that moment.This is called survival instinct. Human mind is programmed in this way.
This is useful if someone try to save his/her life but now-a-days we don’t have to worry about ‘if tiger cross my path’, still our brain responds to the negative emotions in a similar manner. People in anger, stress, depression never choose the best decisions.When you miss some deadline or feeling bad about not eating healthy or exercising, you feel how little willpower you have or how lazy you are.The reason here is same, as negative emotions shut off our mind ,we cannot see other possibilities.
But then how positive emotions can affect our life? The benifits of positive emotions won’t stop after few minutes of good feeling, the biggest benifit it provide is to enhance the ability to build skills and develop resources for using later in life. For example- ‘ A teenager (or anyone) who runs around outside (travels),play with friends,develop the ability to move athletically, communicate in a team (social skill) and the ability to explore and examine the world (creative skill).
In this way positive emotions like ‘joy’, ‘curiosity’ prompt anyone to build skills that are useful in everyday life. Fredrickson refers to this as ‘ broaden and build‘ theory as positive emotions broaden your sense of possibilities and open your mind.Read the full paper . This is one of the studies which I found quite attractive, a lot studies are been done or going on on this topic- some scientific studies links are-
If you are a book lover, than the must book read in this category would be Dr.Martin Seligman’s (known as father of positive psychology) ‘Authentic Happiness’.
In 1990’s Dr.Masaru Emoto from Japan carried out an experiment where he exposed water to different positive sounds,images,thoughts, what he found was very surprising, the crystal of those water, which had been exposed to positive thought and sounds are more symmetrical hence beautiful compared to those crystals where water had been exposed to negative sounds or thoughts.According to Dr.Emoto human consciousness has effect on water.watch out this video .
You know our body contain 60% of water right, now imagine the effects of your thoughts on your mind,body and soul.
Keep track of your thoughts (write them down if necessary), do things that make you feel happy, positive. Spend time with people who make you feel good. You are the master of your thoughts, so choose your thoughts consciously.