Half empty? Or half full? Maybe you view the glass as refillable, replaceable, or recyclable. No matter how you view the proverbial glass, this common expression is a universal litmus test that many say is a simple and clear indication of your worldview and optimism level.
Optimism is a psychological quality characterized as the general expectation that good things will happen. Or the belief that the future will be positive because one can guide important outcomes. Our perspective and approach to life make a world of difference in how we go about living it and what we view as our truth. All feelings are valid and neutral in themselves. However, the thoughts that feed us over time may help us or, unfortunately, they may harm us. We might suffer more than we need to — physically, emotionally, and mentally — based on how we show up in our attitude and mindset.
Self-Affirmation Can Change Our Brain
There has been neuroscientific research investigating whether there is a difference in the human brain structure based on our levels of optimism. Notably, MRI evidence reveals changes, and we now know that certain neural pathways are altered when people practice self-affirmation. What an amazing and interesting concept! The power of positive thinking is truly incredible, especially in the face of adversity. Researchers explore and continually uncover life-giving results and benefits of optimism on our health.
A positive affirmation is an inherently optimistic statement used to challenge negative thoughts. It is typically a brief phrase, repeated frequently, designed to encourage happy feelings and thoughts. The terms affirmations and mantras are often used interchangeably. However, they are not the same. Mantras are actually sacred words, sounds, or verses that carry more profound underlying spiritual meaning. Affirmations hold no spiritual or religious meaning in the traditional sense.
Affirmations in Pregnancy
Pregnancy is a time of significant transition, anticipation, and life realignment. A pregnant woman may be filled with joy and peace, or she may be filled with uncertainty that can lead to feelings of concern or fear. For those of you who love being pregnant, remember, this time will not last forever. And to those of you who hate being pregnant, remember, this time will not last forever.
Pregnant women may find themselves talking or thinking negatively; carefully chosen phrases can be used to replace these negative patterns with others that are more beneficial. We attract what we think. When we train our minds to look for the good, we start seeing our situation differently, and this new viewpoint helps create an optimistic mindset. As we change our thoughts, our words change, our feelings and behaviors change, and ultimately our reality and our truth do as well.
Here are 25 positive affirmations in pregnancy that you can consider using if any of these resonate with you:
- Trust the process and enjoy the journey.
- I can give my body exactly what it needs.
- How lucky am I? Not everyone can have what I have right now.
- Yes, my evolving body is beautiful.
- There is no better mother for this baby than me.
- My body is strong, capable, and resilient.
- My inner glow is illuminating.
- I am worthy regardless of my productivity.
- My body knows how to create and nurture my baby.
- Taking care of myself means I can take care of my baby.
- The world can wait . . . I am going to soak up this miraculous moment.
- My baby is safe, secure, and fiercely loved.
- I am thankful and feel at peace.
- I already am a great mother.
- The discomfort that I am feeling now cannot compare to the joy that’s coming.
- Pregnancy is safe for my baby and me.
- It is okay not always to feel okay.
- I am brave, qualified, and powerful.
- There can be joy in the midst of discomfort.
- I will not be pregnant forever.
- My belly grows more full of love every day.
- I am healthy, happy, and pregnant.
- My baby knows how and when to be born, and my body knows how and when to give birth. I patiently await her arrival.
- My body was designed to nourish, protect, and grow my baby.
- I allow myself to see the beauty and joy in my pregnancy. I will enjoy this precious time with my baby and will be empowered by all it brings.
Regularly practicing affirmations can have lasting effects. The more often you repeat a phrase to yourself, the more likely you are to benefit. There are no hard-set rules about the best way to practice pregnancy affirmations. Repeating it at least three to five times daily will likely help to reinforce the positive belief. Writing it down in a journal, reciting it in a mirror, or making the phrase the wallpaper on your phone as a frequent reminder can all help to make it more powerful and effective.
Look for the Silver Lining
This practice is easier for some women than others. Human personality is complex; we don’t know if optimism is hard-wired or if we can nurture a positive outlook and sunny cheery disposition. McLandburgh Wilson explained optimism in 1915 in this way:
“Twixt the optimist and pessimist
The difference is droll
The optimist sees the Doughnut
But the pessimist sees the Hole.”
Some call it the silver lining. But as if it even needs to be said . . . Think about the Doughnuts. Look for the Doughnuts. (And treat yourself to one every now and then too!)