BY: Lexie Palacio, MA

Did you know that for over 40 years social psychologists1 have been studying the ways in which positive self-affirmations theory has influenced our body, minds, well-being, and outlook on life? Research has shown that self-affirmations can restore self-confidence2 and support in reducing stress and provide coping support in times of need. They can also be used as a regular proactive strategy to shift your perspective, provide motivation, and improve your mood.  

Positive self-affirmations are statements that reflect your desired state of being or goals. They are typically rooted in your core values. They are intended to be present tense, empowering, and phrased in a way that affirms your beliefs and values. These statements can help to reframe negative self-talk, build self-confidence, and cultivate a positive mindset. 

Positive self-affirmations typically begin with statements phrased in a positive way like: “I can…”, “I will…”, “I am…” followed by a present statement. The statement should resonate for you and feel meaningful. The statements should be brief and simple but powerful to YOU!  


Here are some positive self-affirmations:

I am enough 
I get better every single day
I am lovable
I am stronger than my fears
I freely give and receive love
I radiate confidence
I am proud of myself
Doing my best is enough
I am effortlessly prosperous and successful
I am grateful
I am positive
I am strong
I am successful
I believe in myself
I deserve to feel joy
I am capable
I am open to opportunities
I am resilient
I give myself permission to rest
I can do hard things
I am a creative person
I have everything I need


Now that you have an idea of what positive self-affirmations are, the next step is to start using them. Here are some ways you can begin positive self-affirmations: 

  • Create a list of positive affirmations that resonate with you. Remember, keep them simple and brief! 
  • Set up a routine or practice to incorporate reading from your list aloud. This might feel silly, but research has shown that reading positive affirmations aloud and repetitively can support positive changes in your physical, emotional, and mental well-being. Try every morning when you wake up to set the vibe for the day.  
  • Create a visual representation of your affirmations. This can be through art or images you may have in your mind about these statements.  
  • Record yourself stating your positive affirmations and listen to them on repeat! 
  • Use a journal and begin to note how you feel when you incorporate positive affirmations into your life.   
  • Invite your family and friends to join your positive affirmation practice.   

Encourage your family or loved ones to adopt this approach. Embracing a culture of positive affirmations can benefit children, youth, and families by fostering mindfulness, nurturing a positive family identity, promoting resilience, enhancing relationships, boosting self-esteem, and illustrating positive communication methods through practical examples. Try positive affirmations before bedtime, during dinnertime, at the start of your day, or in the car on the way to school.  


Additional Resources


Books/Journals/Coloring Book for Children 

I Am!: Positive Affirmations for Kids by Positive Affirmations for Kids and Drea Ranee 

I AM BLACK AND ... Positive Affirmation Coloring Book For Kids by Caleb Ellis 

The Magic of You by Laura Jane Jones 

Positive Affirmation Notebook: Positive Self-Affirmations for Kids Children Book Journal Cards Notebook by Affirmations for Kids Notebook 

I Can Do Hard Things: Mindful Affirmations for Kids by Gabi Garcia & Charity Russell 

Positively Haiku: Illustrated affirmations in 17 syllables by Frank Clark MD and Daria Ponomarenko 


Books/Journals/Coloring Books for Youth/Teens 

The Sky Is Not The Limit: Positive Affirmations To Help You Ride Above The Sky by by Nicholas Buamah and Darius Hubbard 

Positive Affirmation Notebook For Teens: Positive Self-Affirmations for Teens Teenagers Book Journal Cards Notebook by Affirmations for Teens Notebook 

29 Positive Affirmations for Black Teen Boys on Their Pathways to Greatness: Empowering the Next Generation of Black Leaders by Kearsten Willams 

Positive Affirmations Coloring Book for Teens & Adults by K.Coffey 

Positive Vibes Only: A Coloring Book with Positive Affirmations for Latinas by Envision Global Press 


Books for Adults 

Kind Words for Unkind Days: A guide to surviving and thriving in difficult times by Jayne Hardy 

A Year of Positive Thinking: Daily Inspiration, Wisdom, and Courage (A Year of Daily Reflections) by Cyndie Spiegel 

Affirmations For Men: 365 Powerful & Positive Daily Affirmations to Reprogram your Mind by Daniel Caldwell 

The Mindful Self-Compassion Workbook: A Proven Way to Accept Yourself, Build Inner Strength, and Thrive by Kristen Neff and Christopher Germer 


1 The Science Behind Self-Affirmations, Psychology Today: Reviewed by Michelle Quirk 

2 The Psychology of Change: Self-Affirmation and Social Psychological Intervention Geoffrey L. Cohen and David K. Sherman:



Lexie Palacio currently serves as Associate Executive Director for the Community Engagement and Well-Being Department at YMCA Childcare Resource Service. Lexie is an integral staff member supporting the Partners in Prevention Initiative, a local collaborative effort to increase child and family wellbeing and prevent child abuse and neglect. Lexie has over twenty years of experience in the early care and education setting and over nine years of grant management experience including supporting Federal, State, Local and Philanthropic grants. She has expertise in systems level alignment and process development, fiscal management, education, early childhood, and community building. Lexie attended California State University Northridge, earning her Bachelor’s Degree in Child Development with a minor in Childcare Administration, followed by her Master’s Degree in Educational Psychology with an emphasis in Early Childhood Education. In her spare time, she enjoys camping, traveling, yoga, Pilates and going to dog parks with her dog. She has volunteered for Habitat for Humanity, serving as a lead in supporting building homes for families in need. Lexie is passionate about supporting children, families, and providers in all aspects of her work.

About YMCA Mental & Behavioral Health Services

At the Y, we pride ourselves on our holistic approach to mental and behavioral health. With over 50 years of experience, we're deeply committed to addressing the mental health needs of our community, particularly among children and youth. Our approach is rooted in evidence-based practices, ensuring that our interventions are effective and relevant. We understand that mental health is diverse and personal, which is why we offer a wide range of specialized programs and therapeutic supports tailored to meet the unique needs of each individual and family. Our comprehensive services include counseling, parent and caregiver support, workplace wellness initiatives, and programs that promote positive youth development. Through these offerings, we aim to build protective factors, reduce stress, and promote well-being for all. Learn more at


Here are additional articles and resources written by our YMCA mental health team. 

ACTIVITY: Managing Our Emotions

Five Tips: Understanding Your Teen and Improving Your Relationship

Let's Talk about Compassion Fatigue

The Power of Positive Self-Affirmations

Raising Kids and Teens - a Manual-ish!

STRESS and the Therapeutic Value of Our Relationships

Trauma is Not Destiny