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Hello, winter vacation—we’ve been waiting all semester for you! Now that we have a break from classes, it’s a good time to get some much deserved R&R. A great way to relax and do some self-care is by meditating. In this edition of Meditation Spotlight, let’s dive into affirmation meditations!
We hear about affirmations, but what exactly are they? An affirmation is a positive phrase or statement used to challenge negative or unhelpful thoughts. Practicing this kind of meditation can be extremely simple, all that’s needed is to pick a phrase and repeat it to yourself as you breathe.
You may choose to use positive affirmations to motivate yourself, encourage positive changes in your life, or boost your self-esteem. If you frequently find yourself getting caught up in negative self-talk, positive affirmations can be used to combat these often subconscious patterns and replace them with more positive thoughts. Here are some examples of affirmations:
I succeed in my endeavors.
I overcome fears by following my dreams.
I feed my spirit. I train my body. I focus my mind. It’s my time.
I am in charge of my life.
I am worthy. I am loved. I am enough.
I have the power to create change.
I believe in the good things coming.
I am resilient and can get through anything.
My presence is my power.
I create a safe and secure space for myself wherever I am.
I give myself permission to do what is right for me.
I am confident in my ability to [fill in the blank].
I give myself space to grow and learn.
I allow myself to be who I am without judgment.
I make a difference in the world by simply existing in it.
How do you practice affirmation meditation?
For this technique, as you breathe in, say your affirmation either out loud or inside your mind. Feel the affirmation come to you as you breathe in. Imagine your affirmation becoming reality. Exhale and imagine whatever obstacle that is in the way being released and let go with the breath. Repeat this however many times you want to.
When you’re ready to practice, you’ll ideally want to be seated or lying down and comfortable. You can keep your eyes open if you prefer, but you might find it easier to focus with your eyes closed. A timer will be helpful as well. In the beginning, we recommend setting your timer for 5 minutes and extending the time as you feel more comfortable with the meditation. The more you practice the easier it will be to meditate longer.
Once you are situated, bring your focus to your breath. Feel the quality of the air as you inhale, allowing your lungs to expand. Hear your affirmation being said either physically or mentally. Feel the texture of the breath as you exhale, allowing your lungs to completely deflate. Notice how your body begins to relax as you use this technique. As you continue and your mind begins to drift to another thought or topic, gently bring your attention back to your affirmation and the breath.
Here are some tips to keep in mind as you are practicing:
Stay in a comfortable, relaxed position. This could be in a chair, the floor with a cushion, a bed, the couch, whatever you have available and are the most comfortable using. You’ll want to keep a straight back while practicing, but don’t hold it so tight that you are uncomfortable.
Notice your body. Feel the fullness of your body, feel its shape and weight. Feel the spots of tension within the body and send your breath to those places to help release and relax the tension. Become curious about your body: the touch it feels, the sensations it experiences, the connection with your seat.
Experience the flow of the breath. Become absorbed in your breath, feeling the inhale and the exhale flow. Allow your breath to flow effortlessly and naturally. Notice where your breath goes within the body. It could be your chest, your belly, throat, or your nose. Experience the sensations of the breath as it flows through you.
Be patient with your wandering mind. While you are practicing meditation, you’ll notice that your mind may wander. This is not a sign that you’re doing it wrong—actually, quite the opposite. It is totally normal. As other thoughts arise in the mind, notice those thoughts and acknowledge them, and then gently redirect your focus back to your affirmation and breath. The more you practice, the easier it will be to keep your attention on your breath and focus.