An affirmation is simply a statement made in present tense, of something you want to have, do or be, incorporate into your thinking or mindset.
It can be written or spoken out loud or in your head, in a way that serves you best.
Here is one of the most basic, yet powerful affirmations that can be used anytime you are thinking anything negative about yourself, others or the world in general:
Louise Hay, who I call “The Queen Of Affirmations” – strongly believes working on loving and accepting yourself in general is one of the most powerful things one can do to heal their mental and emotional issues.
This includes social anxiety disorder. I agree with her on this, as learning self-acceptance and love is at the core of some of the biggest changes I’ve made in myself.
So I recommend the above affirmation be a staple in your daily affirmation set, also to be used on the spot when you are beating yourself up about something.
Yes, affirmations can be also about getting things like health and wealth, or in our case you can use one like:
“I know that everyday I am doing everything I can to overcome my social anxiety. I know I can do it.”
ATTITUDES OF AFFIRMATION
What is an attitude of affirmation? It is the space of intentionality that you are setting and creating while doing your affirmations.
I’ve aggregated 5 main styles that you can use of affirmation. And usually the “attitude” of the affirmation comes in the first part of it. You can mix and match these attitudes as you like.
1) Being Affirmations – The most basic of all, and you’ll use them everywhere. These start with “I am”.
“I am beautiful.”
“I am amazing and unique”
2) Doing/Having Affirmations – These are when you want to call something to you or have more of something in your life. For having you will say “I have” and for doing it could be any action based verb like “love” “like” “get” etc.
“I have an abundance of prosperity coming to me every day in every way.
“I have amazing friends in my life that support me in conquering my social anxiety.”
“I am loving and lovable and I get all the love that I deserve.” (Combo of being and doing)
3) Gratitude Affirmations – some of the most powerful affirmations in my opinion. You write down whatever you are thankful or grateful for in the present tense, for things you already have, or also things that you want.
“I am grateful for all the love in my life.”
“I am thankful that I prosper everyday, in every way.”
“I am grateful that I love and take care of my body and eat well.”
“I am so happy and thankful now that I am socially free and expressive.”
4) Confirmation Affirmations – these affirmations state something as if you know it to be true. These are a “harder” style of affirmation, and sometimes work well, other times they don’t.
I think it may be better to do something like choice affirmations first before moving onto these ones. They begin with the phrase “I know”.
I believe these affirmations are used best when you already have the mindset down pretty well, and just need a little reaffirming.
“I know I have just been making up this social anxiety story so now I let it go.”
“I know that abundance comes to me freely.”
“I know I am an attractive person, and people love to be around me.”
5) Choice Affirmations – I really like this because they are active in that you are constantly choosing, so nothing is set in stone, which is the reality of our choice.
We can change our thoughts and beliefs from ones that do not serve us to ones that do, whenever we want, once we know how to do this type of process.
“I choose to be loving and compassionate to others in my life”
“I choose to treat my body well.”
“I choose to let go of my social anxiety and be free to express myself in conversation with others.”
6) Acceptance Affirmations – These stem from the process of self-acceptance but we can get more specific with affirmation around acceptance to specific situations, people, events, etc.
They can begin with “It’s OK” or “I accept”.
“It’s OK to have money and be successful”
“It’s OK to have love and compassion for myself”
“I accept that I (can be/am) a sexually attractive man”
7) Rational Conditional Statements/Affirmations – I learned about these when I did cognitive behavioral therapy. They tend to be longer because they incorporate what your subconscious mind already thinks, and then lead you in a direction you want to go.
“Even though I have social anxiety, I am working on being free of my negative thinking, so I can be a positive and socially expressive person.”
See how there are two parts, the first sets up “what’s true” in your mind, and the second gently leads to the place you want to be.
I call these “starter” affirmations, because some people aren’t comfortable with the fact it doesn’t matter what you tell your mind, it actually will make it true.
For those having trouble believing this, these are good to start with.
STYLES OF AFFIRMATION
Now we’ll talk about the different styles of doing affirmations, which you can combine with the above attitudes however you wish.
1) Written Affirmations – the most basic type of affirmations where you just write down how you want to be or something you want to bring into your life.
I do plenty of these.
2) Mirror Affirmations – Highly advocated by Louise Hay, these affirmations are extremely powerful when done in the right way, and over time.
You look into your eyes and state the affirmation. I recommend doing some kind of relaxation or meditation first with these, and even just looking at yourself in the mirror for a while, before beginning.
These can be hard, especially when you have a poor self-image but they are really worth taking the time to do. If you can I recommend 10 minutes in the morning, and 10 minutes at night.
Try to get a full body mirror if you can, but any mirror will do.
3) Slow Talk Affirmations – These are also something I learned from therapy, and when you have a set of affirmations written out, you read them slower than you would normally speak.
Also powerful for getting them into your brain and changing your mindset.
4) Mantra Affirmations – I came up with this based on some chanting work I’ve done. I think they can be powerful to use and you can end up feeling amazing after doing them, though not always.
Affirmations are certainly powerful but it takes more to do the deep change work required to conquer social anxiety. You basically turn a short affirmation into a chant, and say it over and over at a medium to fast pace.
The affirmation “I love and accept myself” works very well for this one. I recommend using mala beads to count your chants, and do a round of 108 times, which is the standard number for doing one round of chanting.
Do more if you wish. I find these really fun to do.
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
So you can pick an Attitude and a Style and mix and match. You can do choice mirror affirmations, written gratitude affirmations, slow-talk rational conditional affirmations for example.
Or you can mix many attitudes with one particular style. Having this ability to mix and match will give you more variety to make it fun.
Of course you probably can come up with your own variations of style and attitude, whatever makes it powerful and fun it’s what’s important.
As always, the key is consistency and to do them everyday, however you choose to do it. I recommend spending at least 30 minutes total throughout the day.
Maybe you want to do them all at once, or maybe split into two 15 minute sessions, or three 10 minute sessions. Doing them on the spot in your mind is key to changing your thinking, not just when you sit down to do them at home.
Using an affirmation on the spot falls into the “soothing anxiety” category of tools. Have a few “master affirmations” ready to say to yourself is key, such as “it’s ok” “I accept and move on”, etc.
SPECIAL NOTE ON STATE PREPARATION: you can just start doing your affirmations no matter what your state, but I find it very helpful to setup with some form of relaxation or meditation ahead of time, when possible.
For me, it makes it far easier to do and lets them sink in even more to change your thinking and feeling to what you want it to be.
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