What Are Affirmations? And How To Create Your Own | Evelina Hovich | Toronto Life Coach

If you spend time in manifestation and self actualization spaces, you’ll eventually come across somebody talking about affirmations.

As a Toronto life coach, I often recommend them to clients working to break out of old habits and manifest something greater.

We’ve talked about affirmations on this blog in the past – particularly in the context of using them in the Law of Attraction.

And they do work within that context, but they’re a powerful tool on their own as well.

Along with vision boards, mindfulness, gratitude, meditation, journaling, and more, an affirmation practice can be a wonderful addition to your practice of manifesting the life of your dreams.

What are they?

Simply put, affirmations are positive statements you can use to help shift your mindset.

In particular, you can use them to:

Sounds useful, right?

For example, if you find you have people pleasing tendencies in your romantic relationships, and that’s something you’d like to change, you might use one of the following affirmations:

  • I give myself permission to say no
  • My needs are as important as my partner’s
  • I deserve to set healthy boundaries
  • I prioritize my own needs
  • It is okay for me to make my needs known

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Now, if you’re of the more skeptical persuasion, you might be wondering whether or not affirmations really work.

Let’s take a closer look.

Do Affirmations Really Work?

Yes, affirmations work.

And while going into any new practice with a positive, open mind is always helpful, affirmations work whether or not you believe them.

In fact, there’s some interesting science behind how they work.

A 2013 study by Creswell Et Al took a look at how affirmations can influence people when they have to make decisions in high stress environments.

The study took 73 undergraduate students who described themselves as having dealt with chronic stress over the last month, and divided them into two different groups.

The first group practiced self affirmations, and the second did not.

Next, the two groups were each given a set of thirty problem solving questions – things like word matching and other word problems.

But here’s the thing – the group who started with affirmations did consistently better at solving these problems.


Chronic stress can really mess with your head if you let it.

It can take you down a path of self sabotaging thoughts, especially when you’re in such a high stress environment as university.

But affirmations can interrupt those negative thought patterns and help you to manifest a more confident mindset.

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Here’s another study – this one from 2015, from a research team led by Sonia K Kang at the University of Toronto.

It looked at how people behave when faced with a high stakes negotiating situation where they’re perceived to be at a disadvantage.

By reminding themselves of their positive qualities before starting the negotiations – which is itself a type of affirmation – they ended up performing better.

One more study – this one from March 2022, by Patryk Lakuta, which used what he calls body related self affirming implementation intention intervention for people with psoriasis, a skin condition.

That’s a mouthful, but it basically means affirmations geared specifically toward affirming one’s body image.

It found that when people with psoriasis used such affirmations, it reduced their feelings of depression and anxiety.

Does that mean affirmations will cure your depression? No.

Depression, anxiety, and mental illness are all real conditions.

But affirmations may help you manage these conditions.

There are plenty of other studies that conclude similar things – we’d be here all day if I went over them all.

But yes, affirmations work!

As you practice affirmations more and more, you’ll find your sense of self becomes stronger.

You’ll better understand who you are, what your core values are, and how to shift negative thought patterns.

Stressful situations might not be any less stressful in the moment, but you’ll be able to handle them with greater confidence and grace.

Let’s take a look at how you can make your own affirmations.

How To Create Your Own Affirmations

There’s a lot to consider when it comes to creating your own affirmations, and a lot of that has to do with understanding what the life of your dreams actually looks like.

Because everybody’s dream life is different, everybody will have different affirmations that resonate with them.

Here are a few different things to consider when creating your own affirmations.

1. Think About What You’d Like To Be Different In Your Life

Take some time to write down some of the areas you’d like to improve about yourself.

Do you wish you were more patient with the people in your life?

Does guilt play too much of a role in your life?

Is letting go of the expectations others have of you difficult?

If so, you may want to focus on these areas when creating your affirmations.

2. Think About What You Like About Your Life

You might not be living the life of your dreams (yet!), but you’re likely not living the life of your nightmares either.

So while you use affirmations to manifest your dreams, they can also reaffirm what you already like about your life.

Maybe you’d like to manifest greater wealth and abundance, but you feel like you already enjoy a healthy lifestyle.

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Maybe you’re unsatisfied in your career, but you have a deeply fulfilling romantic relationship.

Part of the journey of manifesting the life of your dreams also lies in practicing gratitude.

Because without gratitude, it becomes harder to actually appreciate the life of your dreams once you’ve manifested it.

Getting into the habit of feeling gratitude for the good things you already have going on in your life will help make sure those good things stick around as you continue to manifest your dream life.

3. Make Them Positive!

Once you consider the things you’d like to change in your life, it’s important to create your affirmations in a way that affirms the positive.

So if, for example, you feel like you’re controlled by fear, you might consider “I’m not afraid” to be a useful affirmation.

But what does your brain focus on in that statement?


This can have the opposite effect, reaffirming what you’d like to change.

Think of it this way – have you ever been at a store, paying for something with your debit card?

You punch in your pin, and the screen says something like PROCESSING… DO NOT REMOVE CARD.

If you’re a little distracted, you might just notice “remove card”, and you end up doing so before the transaction finishes.

So instead of “I’m not afraid”, consider “I am courageous”, or “I am bold in pursuit of my dream life”.

4. Say Them In The Present Tense

If you’d like to manifest a healthier lifestyle but you haven’t yet done so, it can feel strange to speak affirmations in the present tense.

But if your affirmations are future focused – I’m going to live a healthier lifestyle, for example – your subconscious will focus on striving toward such things, rather than actually achieving them.

Instead, present tense affirmations can train your brain into thinking what you want to manifest is already here.

“I live a healthier lifestyle” is much more powerful, because it teaches your subconscious mind to act as though you are living a healthier lifestyle, and to respond accordingly.

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5. Keep Them Realistic

Manifesting the life of your dreams is possible for everybody, but for some people that dream life seems very far away.

If that’s the case for you, your affirmations might feel like you’re just lying to yourself.

In the back of your head, you might be thinking that’s not true, that’s so far from the truth, that’s not reality.

That can have the opposite effect, reaffirming all the elements of your life that you don’t like.

But here’s the thing – the affirmations you create for yourself are supposed to feel good.

If they don’t, arguing with your brain isn’t going to be productive.

Instead, consider starting your affirmations with the following statements:

  • I’m open to –
  • I’m willing to –
  • I’m ready to –

This can soften your affirmations, helping you ease into retraining your brain.

the science behind affirmations | Evelina Hovich | Toronto Life Coach

The Ingredients Of A Successful Affirmation Practice

Okay, so you’ve created your affirmations – the next step is to actually use them.

To get the most out of your affirmations, it’s a good idea to start a regular practice and make it a habit.

Start with a session of three to five minutes, twice a day – an easy way to do it is to start and end your day with affirmations.

Repeat each of your affirmations around ten times.

As you do, focus on the words themselves.

Feel the physical experience of them – the way your lips and tongue move, the way the air comes out of your mouth.

Believe them to be true.

It can help to listen to someone else repeat your affirmations back to you as well.

Make your routine consistent, and try not to skip any days.

If you do miss one, it’s okay – just pick back up the next day.

If you meditate, affirmations can be a great addition to your daily practice.

But above all else, be patient – it may take some time before you begin to notice any changes.

You can manifest the life of your dreams, but it probably won’t happen overnight.

And that’s a good thing.

The pursuit, the journey is what we’re here for.

Trust the process and have faith – you’ll get there.

Connect With Evelina To Book Your Appointment Today

Today, we understand that everything is energy.

You, me, the space between, and everything beyond – it’s all energy.

By attaining higher energetic states, we vibrate higher, and as a result we feel lighter, more at ease.

As we vibrate ever higher, we energetically attract the life of our dreams.

Affirmations are a great start, but they’re only a start.

If you’re hoping to manifest the life of your dreams, it can sometimes feel daunting, especially if that life feels far away.

But there is help available.

I’m Evelina Hovich, and I believe life is a journey – and so long as you’re reading this, you’re on this journey.

No matter where you are, the life of your dreams is possible.

I can help you get there.

Book your appointment with me, Evelina Hovich, today.