“I figured that if I said it enough, I would convince the world that I really was the greatest.” Muhammad Ali

Affirmations are statements that you make to yourself that you wish to be true. This is different to a belief, which is a statement that you hold to be true. Affirmations don’t necessarily have to be believed to be effective, however a belief in the possibility of the affirmation certainly helps it be more effective.


Affirmations are underpinned by the belief that what we language, we create in our life, and can be positive or negative. A famous positive affirmation penned by the early 20th century pharmacist Émile Coué is “Every day in every way , I am getting better and better.”

This is also known as the Coué Method. He also discovered what came to be known as the “placebo effect” where the positive expectation by a patient of a drug’s efficacy would be enough to effect a cure, even when there was no trace of the drug in the prescription.

Affirmations are what we focus on, consistently and persistently. A negative affirmation is something that I am sure we all engage in – negative self?talk. It is estimated that we have something like 60,000 thoughts a day running through our heads, and that most of these are negative. If we use the premise that 90% of these thoughts are repetitive, and that of the 90% we can estimate that 70% of these thoughts are negative, that would mean that approximately 38,000 thoughts are repetitively negative, why there we have some powerful negative affirmations going on every day! Imagine if we could train our brains to turn those negatives into positives.

One method you can use to train your brain to improve the ratio is meditation.

A visualisation, on the other hand, is simply an affirmation from which we make a picture in our mind. Visualisations have a very powerful effect on the unconscious mind, since the unconscious mind loves a story and a picture story is even more powerful.

Since it is said that ‘a picture paints a thousand words’ you can see how much more potent a tool visualisation becomes when trying to effect a positive outcome. Among other benefits, visualisation has had great applications in improving pain symptoms, and in improving immune system functions.

Can you affirm and visualise your good health?