Self-love and acceptance are important when allowing ourselves to accept love from others. But for many people, insecurities, difficult pasts, and a lack of confidence can make the path to self-love a tricky one.
However, research has shown that self-affirmations can be a powerful way to create long-term, positive changes in how we perceive ourselves. Over time, they can help to build the self-confidence and contentment that – when the time is right – will allow you to welcome in love from others and know what you deserve out of a relationship.
With this in mind, here are 16 self-affirmations to remember while searching for love; as well as information on what self-affirmations are, how they work, and how you can apply them.
What are self-affirmations?
Self-affirmations are positive statements that you repeat to yourself in order to change your mindset, gain control over your thoughts, and improve your self-esteem and confidence. An example of a self-affirmation could be, “I am perfect just the way I am.”
The idea is that when repeated and practised over time, the brain will gradually learn to accept these self-affirmations as the truth – having a profound effect on the way you perceive yourself and the world around you.
Do self-affirmations really work?
Some people struggle to believe that repeating a few simple sentences could have any real impact on their life. But the truth is that there’s significant scientific evidence underlying the effectiveness of self-affirmations – as long as they’re practised correctly.
Our brains sometimes get a little mixed up between reality and imagination. And when it comes to self-affirmations, this is pretty useful. Research has shown that creating a mental image of yourself doing or experiencing something activates many of the same brain areas that actually experiencing these situations would.
Over time, this neurological response makes it possible for a person to accept that whatever they’re affirming, is true. As a result, science has shown that continual practise of self-affirmation can have a transformative effect on self-perception.
That being said, you can’t simply repeat a couple of affirmations here and there and expect to see a big change. Instead, successful self-affirmation requires long-term practise and a conscious effort to truly connect with what you’re saying. We’ll cover this in more depth below.
How should you use self-affirmations?
If you’re at the very start of your self-love journey, it’s completely normal to glance down at words of affirmation and think to yourself, ‘I’ll never believe that’. But with a little time, practise, and perseverance, you definitely can.
As you begin, try to focus on saying your self-affirmations out loud (or writing them down) as though they’re factual statements – rather than just an opinion. This may feel unnatural to start with, but it’ll become easier over time as your brain slowly begins to accept the affirmations.
Keeping affirmations short, broad, in the present tense – and picking statements that actually resonate with you – can help to keep you focused and on track.
Below we have a few other ideas as to how you could start introducing self-affirmations into your daily life. Remember, there’s no one-size-fits-all formula, so don’t worry if it takes a bit of trial and error to find a method that’s right for you.
1. Record your self-affirmations in a journal
Writing down your affirmations can be a powerful way to connect with the words – and emotions behind them – on a deeper level.
You might like to get into the routine of writing your self-affirmations down every morning or evening (or both!) for at least half an hour, as this is an easy pattern to follow. Other tricks such as repeating each phrase as you write it down can also help to stir momentum.
For more ideas, check out these self-affirmation journal prompts and ideas for beginners from Annais. Or, if you’d prefer, you could buy a guided positive affirmations journal which contains prompts and inspiration throughout to help stir your thoughts.
You can also read out more about the benefits of journaling in general in our article; The power of journaling as a life habit.
2. Use physical touch to connect with areas that you struggle with
If there’s a particular part of yourself or your body that you find hard to love or accept, using physical touch alongside your self-affirmations can be effective.
For example, if it’s your struggle with body confidence that often gets in the way of self-love or your ability to open up to others, you could try touching the area of your body that you feel insecure about while affirming it. You could say, ‘My legs are beautiful’, ‘My skin is radiant’, or ‘I am perfect just the way I am’.
3. Practise your self-affirmations in front of a mirror
Self-affirmation mirror work involves facing your reflection in the mirror and offering yourself love and appreciation.
Mirror work may feel uncomfortable and strange to begin with. But it’s worth persevering, as research has shown that it can increase confidence and deepen the sense of trust you have in yourself.
Science suggests that people who build confidence in this way are likely to find striking up tough conversations – such as asking someone out on a date – much easier, because they’ll no longer be avoiding their inner strength and power.
For help on how to get started with mirror-work self-affirmations, check out this three-step guide from Well + Good.
4. Tune into self-affirmation with meditation and mindfulness
Mindfulness and meditation are techniques that help you to focus and centre your attention on the present moment – specifically, what you’re thinking and feeling, and what’s happening in your current environment.
When it comes to self-affirmations, meditation and mindfulness can help us to properly focus on what exactly it is that we’re affirming, gain a sense of harmony, and learn to be at peace with ourselves and our surroundings.
You could try reading affirmations aloud before a mindfulness or meditation session, listen to or repeat them to yourself during, or simply think about what you’re affirming as you meditate. This three-step guide to using affirmations for meditation from Happier Human offers some useful tips to get started.
You can also read more about what mindfulness involves and how to get started in our own mindfulness guide.
5. Listen to self-affirmations while you sleep
The most effective time to listen to self-affirmations may be during sleep. This is because during sleep our conscious mind is switched off, but our subconscious mind remains active.
Without the conscious mind there to challenge with self-criticism and doubt, the subconscious mind is free to listen to and absorb the affirmations. In fact, according to research, ‘sleep programming’ allows the subconscious mind to form new memories, beliefs, and emotions – and alter existing ones.
Experts recommend listening to affirmations for a minimum of 90 minutes during the first cycle of sleep – as it’s here that your subconscious is most stimulated. Beyond this, the longer you hear the affirmations, the more impact it’ll have on your subconscious mind.
Listening to affirmations during sleep can be a particularly good option for anyone who struggles to put full belief in their affirmations when they’re awake. To have a go, simply record yourself saying your self-affirmations (on your phone, for example), and then play them as you go to sleep.
6. Set yourself reminders to practise self-affirmation
No matter how much feeling and intent you put into them, self-affirmations will only work if you continually practise them over time.
If you have a busy schedule, it can be useful to dedicate a specific time each day to practising your self-affirmations, in order to help keep yourself accountable. If you’re likely to forget to practise, you might like to set yourself reminders beforehand too.
16 self-affirmations to remember while searching for love
Below is a list of self-affirmations that are important to remember when searching for love – and for life in general. Each one is followed by an explanation, which will hopefully help you to really tune into its meaning.
1. I am worthy of love
You deserve to be treasured and loved.
2. I am important
You’re just as important, have as much purpose, and deserve as much respect as everyone else around you.
3. I don’t need to change who I am
Be proud of who you are – even the parts of yourself that you feel self-conscious or embarrassed about. You don’t need to hide anything.
4. I am well
External worries do not have the power to consume you.
5. I accept and love myself just the way I am
Have you forgotten how unique and special you are? There’s only one of you on this entire planet.
6. I am at peace with my past
Your past doesn’t define you, nor does it dictate your future.
7. I am more than what my body looks like
Kindness, generosity, dedication, loyalty, and humour – what beautiful traits these are.
8. I have and will overcome all of the challenges I face
You’ve survived every bad day up until now – you’re strong enough to take on today too.
9. I am constantly growing, evolving, and becoming my best self
Every experience offers learning and growth – even difficult days.
10. I am not defined by my relationship status
You’re your own person, with your own hobbies, interests, and passions.
11. I forgive myself.
You don’t need to punish yourself for things that you regret – only learn from them.
12. I am full of happiness, joy, and delight
Today, and always, why not decide to choose joy?
13. I love my body and all that it does for me
Take a moment to remember all the amazing things that your body does for you. From breathing, to walking, to keeping your heart pumping every day.
14. I am proud of who I am becoming
Look back on everything that you’ve achieved – even the little everyday things. All these experiences have made you into the person you are today.
15. I am open to seeing myself in a new light
Are you being overly critical of yourself? Why not try speaking to yourself as you would a dear friend?
16. My imperfections are what make me unique
Imperfections are to be celebrated – imagine how boring the world would be if everything and everyone was perfect.
None of the affirmations above are about the specific words used. In some ways, it can help to think of these affirmations as guidelines to base your own personal statements on.
For example, if a statement doesn’t quite resonate with you, try changing and adapting the words to meet any circumstance or difficulty that you face or any goal that you’ve set, to create any feeling that you want to feel.
How can self-affirmations impact your search for love?
If you’re someone who struggles with low-self esteem or confidence, you may have found that these feelings can sometimes filter into relationships. Often, this can manifest in behaviours such as allowing people to treat you with less respect than you deserve, or not standing up for yourself.
Therefore, when it comes to finding love, self-affirmations can be particularly powerful in reminding us of who we are, the amazing things that we have to offer, and what we deserve from a relationship. Even aside from romantic relationships, these affirmations are just as important in friendships, work relationships, and other areas of life.
For more advice and ideas, you might be interested in our article; 11 things to remember while searching for a happy and fulfilling relationship. Alternatively, head over to the dating section of our website.
Do you use self-affirmations? How has practising self-affirmations benefited your life? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.