Talk It Out, Baby

Affirmations & Mantras

Hmmm we’ve heard about them a million times – affirmations and mantras. But we all still feel silly about doing them, am I right? Well maybe if we knew the psychology behind them, we might give it a whorl (like, a legit try).

What’s the Difference?

First off, what the heck is the difference between an affirmation and a mantra? The main difference is that an affirmation is all about you baby, and a mantra, by nature, is supposed to be for the greater good of “something.” We tend to make mantras about ourselves, which is okay, as long as the end result is bettering something other than ourselves or something larger than ourselves. The issue with mantras is that some people have a hard time connecting with them. So affirmations are usually a better place to start and grow from.

And guess what? As human beings, we are allowed to be selfish every once in a while! So, lets get into it – the whole being selfish, talking to ourselves in the mirror thing- affirmations girlfriend.

I promise you’ll love affirmations by the end – and I’d love to hear your favorite affirmations in the comments, post them to our Facebook group, or comment them on our instagram (@thesassygirlproject, only if you feel comfortable sharing, of course!).

The research behind the cognitive benefits of affirmations is relatively new, but we are in luck ladies – there is enough to prove that affirmations are 100 percent good for your mental health and truly help you in your process of reaching your goals! I’ve read many studies, but the most prevailing research that I found was published by a group of doctors with various backgrounds associated with the Proceedings of the National Academt of Sciences (PNMS).

Long story, short: the doctors used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to
“examine neural processes associated with affirmation effects during
exposure to potentially threatening health messages”. They geared their focus to the ventromedial pre-frontal cortex (VMPFC), a brain region that is in charge of self control, decision making, and morality beliefs. The VMPFC is closely associated with the ventral striatum, that both work to have positive valuation of stimuli.

The Study


They took two groups of test subjects: 1. Those who were told to perform affirmations and 2. Those who were asked to simply participate in physical evaluation tests. Yes, no worries, those in group 1, who practiced affirmations, performed better.

Not only did the numbers show results, but participants were asked to evalute themselves – and they felt and reported a possitive difference

Our results demonstrated that participants who reflected on their highest value during the self-affirmation exercise went on to have greater activity in VMPFC during message exposure, which in turn was associated with declines in sedentary behavior.

PNAS

Not only does scientific research show the difference, but human’s testimonials show the most convincing evidence of the positive effects of daily affirmations.

So go ahead, girl! March over to your journal and start diving into phrases that make you feel like a complete badass!

Also, here is to kicking off international women’s month! Bunches of love to all you brilliant humans! I’m so glad you’re reading this and I’m so excited to see how affirmations and mantras rock your world.

Stay Sassy,

Sam

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