Neuroscience & Affirmations

Yes, I have affirmations on my bathroom mirror. I love affirmations. Why? I’ll share some neuroscience and affirmation secrets with you. I would not share this with too many people, as they might get wind of your incredible vibe and confidence! Or if you do share this, imagine the affirmations ripple effect you will have. I teach this in my keynotes and all of our LeadershipHQ programs; they rock! They will change your world!

Your thoughts are like the artist’s brush. They create a personal picture of the reality you live in. – Sydney Banks

Let’s start with some brain stuff!

The neuroscience of affirmations involves understanding how repeating positive statements can affect the brain’s structure, function, and neural pathways. Here are some key points that explain how affirmations work from a neuroscientific perspective:

Neural Plasticity

  1. Neural Pathways: The brain can reorganise itself by forming new neural connections, a phenomenon known as neural plasticity. Repeating positive affirmations can help create new neural pathways associated with positive thinking and behaviours.
  2. Hebbian Theory: According to Hebbian theory, “neurons that fire together wire together.” Repeatedly thinking positive thoughts can strengthen the neural connections associated with those thoughts, making them more dominant in the brain.

Brain Regions Involved

  1. Prefrontal Cortex: The prefrontal cortex, involved in higher-order thinking, decision-making, and goal-setting, plays a crucial role in affirmations. Positive affirmations can enhance activity, improving goal planning and execution.
  2. Ventral Striatum: The ventral striatum is associated with reward and motivation. When individuals practice affirmations, anticipating positive outcomes can activate this brain region, reinforcing the behaviour and promoting well-being.
  3. Amygdala: The amygdala processes emotions, particularly fear and anxiety. Positive affirmations can help reduce amygdala activity, decreasing stress and anxiety levels.

Neurotransmitters and Hormones

  1. Dopamine: Repeating positive affirmations can increase the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure, reward, and motivation. This can enhance feelings of happiness and encourage continued practice of affirmations.
  2. Serotonin: Positive affirmations can also boost serotonin levels, improving mood and emotional stability.
  3. Cortisol: Cortisol is a hormone released in response to stress. Practising affirmations can help to lower cortisol levels, reduce stress, and promote a sense of calm.

Impact on Self-Perception and Behavior

  1. Self-Affirmation Theory: Self-affirmation theory suggests that individuals must maintain a positive self-image. Affirmations can help protect and enhance self-worth, improving confidence and resilience.
  2. Behavioural Activation: Positive affirmations can lead to behavioural activation. Individuals are more likely to engage in positive actions and pursue goals, reinforcing the positive neural pathways created by the affirmations.

Empirical Evidence

  1. MRI Studies: Functional MRI studies have shown that self-affirmation activates brain regions associated with self-related processing and valuation, such as the ventromedial prefrontal cortex.
  2. Psychological Studies: Research has demonstrated that individuals who practice positive affirmations exhibit lower stress responses, improved problem-solving abilities, and better overall mental health.


The neuroscience of affirmations highlights the brain’s remarkable ability to adapt and change in response to repeated positive statements. By understanding the underlying neural mechanisms, we can appreciate how affirmations can lead to improved mental health, enhanced well-being, and positive behavioural changes.

What are Affirmations?

Affirmations are positive statements that individuals repeat to themselves to influence their thoughts, behaviours, and overall mindset. They are usually present tense and specific and designed to instil confidence, positivity, and a sense of well-being.

Why Affirmations Work

  1. Rewiring the Brain: Affirmations can help to rewire the brain by creating new neural pathways. Repeating positive statements can encourage the brain to replace negative thoughts with positive ones.
  2. Self-Perception: Individuals can alter their self-perception by regularly affirming positive attributes or outcomes. This can lead to increased self-esteem and self-confidence.
  3. Reducing Stress: Positive affirmations can reduce stress by promoting a more optimistic outlook. This can lead to decreased anxiety and a calmer state of mind.
  4. Goal Achievement: Affirmations can keep individuals focused on their goals. Repeatedly stating intentions and desired outcomes can enhance motivation and commitment.
  5. Behavioural Change: Regularly practising affirmations can lead to positive behavioural changes. As thoughts become more positive, actions align with these new thought patterns.
  6. Emotional Resilience: Affirmations can build emotional resilience by encouraging positive internal dialogue, which can help individuals better cope with challenges and setbacks.

Examples of Affirmations

  • Self-Confidence: “I am confident and capable in everything I do.”
  • Health: “I am healthy, strong, and energetic.”
  • Success: “I attract success and abundance into my life.”
  • Happiness: “I choose to be happy and love myself today.”
  • Calmness: “I am calm, centred, and in control of my emotions.”

Grab a fabulous deck here!

Do you have any you can share? Write them below!

Tips for Effective Affirmations

  • Be Specific: Tailor affirmations to specific goals or aspects of your life.
  • Use Present Tense: Frame affirmations as if they are already confirmed.
  • Be Positive: Focus on what you want, not what you don’t want.
  • Repeat Regularly: Consistency is critical. Repeat your affirmations daily.
  • Believe in Them: Infuse affirmations with genuine belief and emotion.

In summary, affirmations promote a positive mindset, leading to beneficial changes in thoughts, behaviours, and overall well-being.

Start today and share your own mirror below!