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Alcohol and Mental Health

20 Affirmations To Boost Your Self-Esteem

July 19, 2023
10 min read
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Written by
Reframe Content Team
A team of researchers and psychologists who specialize in behavioral health and neuroscience. This group collaborates to produce insightful and evidence-based content.
July 19, 2023
10 min read
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Certified recovery coach specialized in helping everyone redefine their relationship with alcohol. His approach in coaching focuses on habit formation and addressing the stress in our lives.
July 19, 2023
10 min read
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Recognized by Fortune and Fast Company as a top innovator shaping the future of health and known for his pivotal role in helping individuals change their relationship with alcohol.
July 19, 2023
10 min read
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Reframe Content Team
July 19, 2023
10 min read

Imagine there was a way to record your innermost thoughts. Beyond the sci-fi movie plot, there is a powerful lesson in it.

We all tell ourselves stories — about who we are, about the world and beyond, about the people in our lives and the role they play, about what we deserve and when, about our dreams and failures — and on and on, all day long.

Stories are powerful. The thoughts inside your head, after time, become a lens you look through. What do you see?

This is where affirmations come in: they are tiny stories we tell ourselves. They shape our inner narratives — and affect how we see both the world and ourselves. They can be incredibly powerful.

Whether you know it or not, you’re already using affirmations — all day, every day. Whether they are positive affirmations or not is really the question. If you’re walking around all day telling yourself the world is out to get you, for example, it’ll be hard to feel joy when it visits.

So if you’re trying to land that dream job, or give up an unhealthy habit, or take up that good one — here is some of the science behind affirmations and 20 potent affirmations to give your self-esteem a boost. Go on, you deserve it.

The Science of Self-Talk

Affirmations are pithy statements or phrases that, when repeated daily, challenge negative thoughts and boost self-confidence. Scientific evidence suggests that affirmations can have a positive impact on mental and physical health:

  • Self-affirmation theory. MRI evidence that suggests that certain neural pathways are increased when people practice self-affirmation tasks, such as repeating positive affirmations daily.
  • Neuroplasticity. This is the ability of the brain to change and adapt to different circumstances throughout your life. Studies have shown that positive affirmations can help activate parts of the brain associated with self-related processing and reward — and can help build or restore our self-confidence.
  • Benefits of affirmations. Studies on the practice of self-affirmations reveal that they can improve our ability to problem-solve while stressed, reduce how often we respond defensively, and boost our mental health. Affirmations can also help us shift our mindset and achieve our goals — though they’re not a magic bullet for instant success or healing.

The science is there: affirmations can be beneficial for both mental and physical health, and they can help boost self-confidence.

However, affirmations require regular practice if you want to make lasting, long-term changes to the ways that you think and feel.

20 Affirmations To Try Today

1. "I can change."

This affirmation centers on the power of neuroplasticity. Our brain's neuroplasticity allows it to remodel its connections and circuits. It's like an architect with infinite blueprints, continuously constructing and revising our thought patterns.

2. "I am in charge of my responses."

The stress hormone cortisol can be regulated with mindfulness exercises, deep breathing, and relaxation techniques.

3. “I accept myself as I am.”

MRI evidence suggests that activity in neural regions involved in self-processing and positive valuation increases when repeating self-affirmations, physically altering our brains’ evaluation of the self.

4. "I honor my life."

Concentrating on positive thoughts encourages the release of serotonin, a mood-enhancing neurotransmitter that fosters happiness and a sense of calm.

5. “It’s okay to say no.”

By setting boundaries and protecting our time and energy, we create a safeguard around our mental well-being — like a moat around a castle.

6. “My peace is my power.”

Reflecting on our actions activates the prefrontal cortex, the rational part of our brain, allowing us to make deliberate, healthier choices.

7. "I can do this."

Tackling new experiences stimulates neural growth in our brains, akin to exercising muscles for growth and strength.

8. "I am moving forward at my own pace."

Each small change triggers a ripple effect in our brain, reinforcing and solidifying new, healthier habits over time.

9. “I am grateful."

Expressing gratitude triggers dopamine release in our brain, enhancing our motivation to maintain healthy habits and bolstering resilience to stress.

10. "I am brave."

When we tackle problems head-on, we ignite our brain’s problem-solving circuits, decreasing anxiety and fostering a sense of empowerment.

11. “I can do hard things."

Our brain can bounce back from stress with the right mental attitude and self-care practices. Believing we can get through the storm is key.

12. "I’m making the right choices.”

Believing in ourselves — and the choices we make — can boost our self-confidence.

13. "I am patient with myself."

Practicing self-compassion can dampen our stress response and promote feelings of calm and acceptance.

14. "I am here."

Mindfulness engages the brain's attention networks, helping to better manage thoughts and feelings — including the desire to drink.

15. "I can see my best self."

Visualization activates the same brain regions as performing the actual behavior, effectively "practicing" the new habit — and making it easier to adopt.

16. "The world needs me."

This can be a big one — understanding there’s something you contribute to the social fabric can be powerful. And the best part? It’s true!

17. "People love me for who I am."

Social interaction stimulates the release of oxytocin, a hormone that promotes bonding and reduces stress.

18. "I deserve joy."

Engaging in enjoyable activities boosts dopamine levels, reinforcing positive habits and making it easier to let go of harmful ones. Allowing ourselves to do things that bring us joy can be powerful.

19. "I have done my best today."

Adopting a growth mindset activates areas of the brain associated with learning and development, promoting resilience and adaptability.

20. "My needs matter."

Affirming our self-worth can strengthen neural pathways associated with positive self-perception and confidence.

Embrace Change

Tap into the transformative power of your brain, regulate your stress responses, and fuel your journey with any of these affirmations.

Here are some ideas on how to fold these into your everyday life:

  • Pick one. Review the list above and find the one that resonates with you the most right now. Sit with it. Write it down on a sticky note. Put it on your bathroom mirror, at your workstation, your bedroom window, on your fridge door — the places you interact with most. Repeat it to yourself, even if it’s neutrally.
  • Commit to consistency. Pick a time and a place. Devote 3 to 5 minutes, twice a day, to your affirmation(s). Repeat it (or them) at least 10 times per session.
  • Write your own. While these are a great start, go ahead and coin your own affirmations. Impress yourself!
  • Share it. A loved one can help validate these — and remind you of them when you forget.
  • Be patient. This takes time. Give yourself some grace.

You deserve a better you — and these 20 affirmations can help you get there! Be consistent and let neuroplasticity work its magic.

Reclaim Your Health With Reframe

Although it isn’t a treatment for alcohol use disorder (AUD), the Reframe app can help you cut back on drinking gradually, with the science-backed knowledge to empower you 100% of the way. Our proven program has helped millions of people around the world drink less and live more. And we want to help you get there, too!

The Reframe app equips you with the knowledge and skills you need to not only survive drinking less, but to thrive while you navigate the journey. Our daily research-backed readings teach you the neuroscience of alcohol, and our in-app Toolkit provides the resources and activities you need to navigate each challenge.

You’ll meet millions of fellow Reframers in our 24/7 Forum chat and daily Zoom check-in meetings. Receive encouragement from people worldwide who know exactly what you’re going through! You’ll also have the opportunity to connect with our licensed Reframe coaches for more personalized guidance.

Plus, we’re always introducing new features to optimize your in-app experience. We recently launched our in-app chatbot, Melody, powered by the world’s most powerful AI technology. Melody is here to help as you adjust to a life with less (or no) alcohol.

And that’s not all! Every month, we launch fun challenges, like Dry/Damp January, Mental Health May, and Outdoorsy June. You won’t want to miss out on the chance to participate alongside fellow Reframers (or solo if that’s more your thing!).

The Reframe app is free for 7 days, so you don’t have anything to lose by trying it. Are you ready to feel empowered and discover life beyond alcohol? Then download our app through the App Store or Google Play today!

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At Reframe, we do science, not stigma. We base our articles on the latest peer-reviewed research in psychology, neuroscience, and behavioral science. We follow the Reframe Content Creation Guidelines, to ensure that we share accurate and actionable information with our readers. This aids them in making informed decisions on their wellness journey.
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