By: Kimberly Rodrigues
A positive affirmation is a statement or quote that one repeats to themselves in order to counteract negative thoughts. Many people use affirmations or read quotes to change their perspective or to motivate themselves to achieve a goal. The objective of using affirmations is to reprogramme the mind to view things in a more positive light and to focus on the positive aspects of life. According to experts utilising various positive affirmations daily can be beneficial.
The latest mental health hack making waves on social media is the Lucky Girl Syndrome. This technique uses the power of manifestation and positive affirmations to help you believe in your own luck and attract good things into your life.
According to this technique, by believing that you are lucky, good things will come to you. Apparently, this simple method can be a powerful tool for improving your mental health and well-being.
The Lucky Girl Syndrome trend started on TikTok when user Laura Galebe posted a video in December 2020. In the video, Laura said, “It feels like the odds are completely in my favour. I’m constantly saying great things are always happening to me unexpectedly.” The technique involves repeating a positive mantra to oneself, such as “I am lucky and everything will always work out for me in the end. The universe has my back.”
Users have reported that by applying this positive outlook to all areas of their life, they have noticed good things happening more often.
What are positive affirmations?
An earlier report by Headway Clinic informs that affirmations can be defined as statements that assert something to be true. However, they are more than just statements – they are tools for personal growth and change.
Positive affirmations are specific phrases that help to counter negative thoughts and beliefs. They work by encouraging you to visualise and believe in a positive statement, which can ultimately make positive changes in your life.
When you repeat these phrases to yourself, they begin to replace negative thoughts and beliefs with positive ones, promoting feelings of confidence, positivity, and ambition.
Positive Psychology states that the psychological theory behind the use of positive affirmations is known as self-affirmation theory, which was first proposed by Steele in 1988.
This theory suggests that by affirming positive beliefs and values, individuals can maintain a sense of self-integrity and improve their well-being. This theory is supported by research, demonstrating the effectiveness of positive affirmations in promoting positive changes in individuals.
The site also reports that the idea of self-affirmation is not a new concept. In 2015, a study by Christopher N. Cascio found that self-affirmation tasks can activate certain neural pathways as shown by MRI evidence. The research supports the notion that self-affirmation can have a positive impact on the brain and cognitive processes.
Additionally, speaking about the many benefits of positive affirmation, Dr Rachna Khanna Singh, mental wellness and relationship expert at Artemis Hospital, Gurgaon, India told The Indian Express, “Research shows that it helps in reducing stress, increasing well-being, improving academic performances, and making practitioners more open to behaviour change. It is a form of self-help; helps you to believe in yourself and what you’re capable of achieving.”
Also, taking to her Instagram account, Rachelle Indra, a life coach, posted a video that explains the neuroscience behind the Lucky Girl Syndrome. According to her, the reticular activating system (RAS), a network of neurons in the brain, is responsible for monitoring our perception of the world. By repeating the phrase “I’m lucky,” the RAS can be trained to filter out negative information, ultimately shifting one’s mindset to a more positive one.
Is it an empowering practice?
However, the Lucky Girl Syndrome trend has also received criticism from some who believe it is part of the “toxic positivity” movement. In an interview with Harper’s Bazaar, executive career coach Lisa Quinn is
quoted as saying, “Depending on who you ask, it’s either an empowering practice that can see you fulfill your dreams by repeating daily affirmations such as ‘Everything works out well for me’ or, it’s a non-inclusive, toxic social media trend of rich, white girls not checking their own privilege.”
Lisa also points out that the Lucky Girl Syndrome does not consider cultural biases and ignores that some people may have more privilege or luck than others.
While agreeing, Dr Rachna states that there are some drawbacks to using positive affirmations. She reportedly said that while they may work in the short term, their effectiveness may not be sustained in the long term. Additionally, she highlights that the use of positive affirmations may not acknowledge the presence of negative emotions, which are a normal part of everyone’s life.
So, it is important to approach these trends with caution. While the idea of thinking positively is a well-established concept, it is crucial to complement it with concrete action and plans to see real results.