Affirmations are positive statements you repeat to promote change in your life and ease your distress. They can be useful in managing anxiety.

Using positive affirmations is like practicing positive self-talk. It can help you reframe your negative thoughts and focus on ideas and behaviors that lead to change.

You can create your own or find existing affirmations that speak to you. In either case, affirmations can become a useful tool to manage anxiety symptoms.

Here are a few positive affirmations for when you experience anxiety or to use regularly to manage anxiety symptoms in the long term.

To calm down quickly when you feel anxiety rising, try to repeat affirmations while you practice deep breathing or any other relaxation technique that works for you.

  • “I am safe and in control.”
  • “I have done this before, and I can do it again.”
  • “This too shall pass.”
  • “I am strong.”
  • “I trust myself.”
  • “I am capable.”
  • “I take things one day at a time.”
  • “I inhale peace and exhale worry.”
  • “This feeling is only temporary.”
  • “I am loved and accepted.”
  • “I am enough.”
  • “Look at me go! I can do it all.”
  • “I love myself.”
  • “I forgive myself.”
  • “I let go and I am free.”
  • “I am doing the best I can and that is enough.”
  • “I release the past and embrace the present.”
  • “Wherever I go, I am well.”
  • “I can handle whatever comes my way.”
  • “I am safe and protected.”
  • “I am safe.”
  • “I am brave.”
  • “I can move past this moment.”
  • “I am in charge.”
  • “As I breathe, I am calm and relaxed.”
  • “I have survived my anxiety before. I will survive it now.”
  • “My body is my ally.”
  • “I act with confidence because I know what I am doing.”
  • “I am different and unique, and that is OK.”
  • “I am safe in the company of others.”
  • “I love and I am loved.”
  • “I am prepared and ready for this situation.”
  • “People assume I can do this, I know I can, and I will.”
  • “I like myself and that is enough.”
  • “I am at ease when talking to other people.”
  • “I enjoy doing this.”
  • “I am good at everything I do.”
  • “Day by day, minute to minute.”
  • “I am capable and prepared.”
  • “I let go of control and focus on joy.”
  • “I am here, I am now, and I am well.”
  • “I can handle anything that’s to come.”
  • “I am safe in the here and now.”
  • “I will handle whatever happens like I always do.”
  • “I choose to see the beauty in my surroundings.”
  • “I have time to prepare and decide.”

Positive self-talk and positive thinking have a direct effect on how you feel. A 2016 study, for example, found that replacing worrisome thoughts with positive mental images or positive affirmations helped people living with anxiety to worry less.

Another study from 2015 suggested that affirming yourself activates your brain’s reward system. The reward system causes you to experience a sense of pleasure and joy. It also reduces the experience of pain and worry.

A 2018 randomized controlled trial with mothers experiencing postpartum baby blues found that listening to positive affirmations and practicing relaxation techniques every day for 4 weeks offered the mothers significant relief from their symptoms.

Evidence from a U.S. national adult survey also found that practicing spontaneous self-affirmation was linked to a greater sense of:

  • happiness
  • hopefulness
  • well-being

The report also found that self-affirmation, which focuses on your core values and self-worth, was related to feeling less angry or sad.

Research from 2015 indicated that under stress, your concept of self can constrict, which may impact your self-worth. Affirmations can help you reframe your thoughts from focusing on the aspects of the self that feel threatened when facing a challenge to the ones that may remind you that you’re capable and worth it.

In other words, affirmations help shift your focus from a problem and refocus on an extended vision of the self. This extended vision of who you are allows you to identify skills, experiences, and traits that make you capable of overcoming this and any other challenge.

Overall, using positive affirmations can help your emotional health by:

  • decreasing stress
  • improving confidence
  • boosting overall mood
  • focusing on solutions
  • encouraging optimism
  • boosting motivation
  • helping you manage physical pain
  • reducing fear

When using affirmations, you can:

  • write them down a few dozen times in a notebook while focusing on their meaning
  • record them and then play them back throughout the day
  • write them down separately on sticky notes and tape them around your desk or home
  • pick one and repeat it mentally a few times until you calm down
  • pick one or more and repeat them aloud whenever you need

The start of your day and just before bedtime might be two of the best times to practice the affirmations.

Some people find it helpful to say their positive affirmations in front of a mirror or make it part of their daily meditation practice.

The more you repeat your affirmations, the more confident you’ll feel. Positive statements work because they lead you to focus on positive self-talk and thinking while leaving worrisome thoughts aside.

How to create your own affirmations

To create your affirmations, consider phrases that speak to you and feel natural and appropriate to your challenges.

It’s essential to choose words that feel believable so that you’ll trust they can happen.

When creating affirmations, it’s best to stick with a first-person perspective to provide a stronger connection to your sense of self and goals. That’s why affirmations usually begin with “I” or “my.”

Consider writing affirmations in the present tense as if what you’re saying is already a reality.

For example, instead of saying, “I will be successful,” you’d say, “I am successful.”

You could also acknowledge your anxiety symptoms in your affirmations, but you’d add a positive twist.

For example, you could say, “I sometimes experience anxiety, but I can still achieve all of my goals.” Sometimes acknowledging your challenges can help you feel you can triumph over them.

Another idea is to speak to your core values to emphasize what’s important to you. This will boost your sense of self, improving self-esteem and self-empowerment when you repeat them.

For example, “I am noble and tolerant.”

Positive affirmations are statements you can use to decrease distress and focus on positive thinking. Research says they can help you feel more at ease.

When working with affirmations, you can write them down, repeat them aloud, or record them and listen to them throughout the day. Practicing relaxation techniques can make positive affirmations more effective for anxiety relief.