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10 Positive Affirmations to Start Your Day

Start fresh this year with a new outlook on life to your health and vitality each and every day. This top-10 list of positive affirmations can help get you started.

There is no better day than today to embrace a healthier lifestyle. The affirmations below may not feel true at first, but the more you work with them, the more powerful their influence can become.

1. I see the positive side of things.

Feel good about yourself and you'll be well on your way to better overall health and well-being. With the right attitude, the road to achieving your goals and becoming successful gets easier.

  • Love yourself unconditionally. Being proud of who you are—and seeing the positive aspects of your life—is an essential component of happiness.
  • Focus on positive self-talk. When something goes well, take time to appreciate it and be excited about more good things to come in the future. Also, try not to blame yourself if bad things happen. Just try to find a solution or look for a positive way to cope with the current situation.
  • Change the way you think. Be thankful each day and look forward to what lies ahead, as optimism can benefit your emotional and physical health.

2. I'm capable and productive.

You spend a big chunk of your life at work, so why not make it meaningful. Focus on the most important tasks and make sure you enjoy what you're doing. Some tips to be more productive at work —and home— include:

  • Making goals: Map out the steps to achieve them.
  • Prioritizing your work: Rank the importance and urgency for everything on your to-do list.
  • Building a support network: Your colleagues can be valuable resources.

3. I enjoy exercise and I do it daily.

Breaking News: People who move more tend to live longer. Staying physically active benefits your overall health and can help prevent many chronic diseases. Partner up with a friend or family member and get moving.

  • Pump up your heart: Aim for 10,000 steps a day or clock at least 30 minutes of moderate to intense physical activity five days a week or more. Breaking activity sessions into 10-minute intervals—like a brisk walk before, during, and after work—can add up to your 30 minutes for the day.
  • Stay strong: Try to do muscle strengthening activities two days a week or more, as well. Pushups, pull-ups, sit-ups, planks, squats, and lunges are equipment-free ways to work all you major muscle groups.

4. I make healthy food choices.

Along with physical activity, your diet is one of the most important factors in maintaining a healthy weight and avoiding many major chronic diseases. The U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommend:

  • Finding your balance: Only eat as many calories as you burn. Learn to love physical activity as much as you love to eat.
  • Eat real food: Center your diet around fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, seafood, lean meat and poultry, eggs, and legumes—avoid processed foods, which tend to be high in calories, fat, sugar, and sodium.
  • Water it down: Replace your sugary beverage choices with water and unsweetened tea to eliminate empty calories.
  • Make your choices sustainable: Avoid eating plans that call for major caloric restrictions; they simply can't last. Go for moderation—rather than under eating and later finding yourself binging.

5. I take time out of my day to relax.

Reducing stress matters for your overall health—both physical and mental. Here are a few tips for relaxing and letting stress melt away.

  • Take a walk and breathe in some fresh air
  • Listen to soothing music and allow your body to move with the sound.
  • Practice recharging and savoring the moment through meditation, deep-breathing exercises, or whatever else brings you to a place of calm.

6. I'm able to see the lighter side of things and I enjoy laughing.

You can also chase away stress with a good laugh. Even a simple, genuine smile has been shown to help offset tension and negative thoughts. Three ideas for bringing humor into your life:

  • Watch a funny movie or show, read humorous comics, or go to a comedy show or improv performance.
  • Spend time around pets, children, or entertaining people who are a part of your life.
  • Don't take things too seriously and be willing to laugh at yourself.

7. I make room for fun every day.

Making an appointment with yourself to do something that brings a smile to your face:

  • Spend time with your friends—especially the ones who are spontaneous, funny, and positive.
  • Cook up your favorite meal in the kitchen. Or visit a restaurant and let the experts handle it.
  • Get out and about—see a movie, sporting event, show, or go to dance club or a museum.
  • Treat yourself to a massage, bubble bath, or spa day.

8. I am happy and fulfilled.

The pursuit of happiness is a something so basic that it's been ingrained in American values since our founding. Try the following tips to be happier and more fulfilled:

  • Be generous—good deeds help you feel good about yourself while lightening your spirit.
  • Practice mindfulness—listen actively, let go of judgment, live in the moment.
  • Reach out— enjoy the good company of your social support network.
  • Take care of yourself—eat and sleep well, exercise regularly, go out with friends, and make room in your life for things you enjoy.

Affirmations are a good way to change your thinking patterns, but if you find that you're frequently feel unhappy, you are not alone. You can contact your Employee Assistance Program (EAP) any time for expert advice on your emotional well-being, including concerns related to depression.

9. I share my love each day.

  • Lend help to others. Whether you're volunteering, complimenting friends and colleagues, or merely smiling at people you encounter during your day, you're bound to brighten someone else's day.
  • Be a good listener. Giving your full, undivided attention when listening to others is something your loved ones will recognize and appreciate. Do it to cultivate stronger relationships.
  • Love yourself. Loving yourself is the first step to having love to share with others. You don't need anyone else's approval to take pride in who you are.

10. I focus on the good things in my life.

By taking time to appreciate even the small things life has to offer —the sights, the sounds, meaningful encounters— you can begin to highlight the good around you. Where we choose to place our attention and focus enlivens those areas, so make an effort to look at what you know is good —even if it is small.

The journey to a better you should be fun and joyful. Be mindful that you can't do everything at once, so choose one area at a time. You can create a gratitude journal identifying three things you appreciate about your life, while also making a daily checklist of the small improvements or steps you can take towards your goals.

New Year's Resolutions Made Easy

Want to make some healthy changes this year? Use these four tips to stop saying "I wish" and start saying "I will."