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An affirmation is a positive statement you say to yourself—over and over—until it sinks in. Remember that viral video of an adorable little girl standing in front of a mirror saying joyful things about herself and her life, like, “I can do anything good!” and “I like my hair!” Yep, those are affirmations! Affirmations are the opposite of negative self-talk, which, let’s be honest, most of us do waaay too often. And here’s the best part: There’s really no downside to practicing affirmations. Think of them like secular prayers or a mantra. You can repeat them out loud or silently—whatever feels right to you. How do affirmations work? Essentially, they rewire your brain, in a good way. MRI evidence suggests that practicing self-affirmation creates new neural pathways that help you take advantage of your brain’s reward circuits. The more you repeat your affirmation, the more neurons in your brain fire up, breaking free from the long-term relationship they have with self-defeating thoughts. This process is called neuroplasticity. It’s pretty wild, but then again, the brain is a pretty incredible thing! Anyone can say affirmations, anytime, anywhere. You can try phrases like: “I am a valuable and loveable person.” “I always do the best I can.” “I feel good, energetic, and comfortable in my body.” And if you get stuck, just go with the tried and true: “I can do anything good!” Dancing in front of the mirror while you repeat your affirmation is, of course, totally optional…but we highly recommend it.

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