It’s not nonsense – positive affirmations are scientifically proven to help you. The trick is finding affirmations that you can believe in and that actually work when you’re confronting a chronic illness.
In 2010, I was left paralysed in my right leg.
My doctors told me I would never be able to walk again and that they may have to amputate.
There was also little hope that I would be strong enough to hold down a proper job.
Today, it's 10 years later and I am no longer paralysed.
Not only do I still have both my legs, but I can walk too.
And last but not least – I am definitely strong enough to work and now I have my own business too.
Yes, the right affirmations do work and do help me. I dedicate a lot of my success to this and I’ll explain why in a little bit.
For now, all you need to know is that I am 100% confident that these affirmations I’m about to share can help you as much as they helped me.
Why Are Affirmations So Powerful?
A lot of my success today is because I harnessed the potential that my brain has. I learnt that if you want to manage your chronic illness – you need to change your habits, the way you think and your outlook.
You can do this because your brain is neuroplastic. In basic terms this means that your brain can rewire its neural pathways and form new connections for the better (or for the worse).
An effective way to help your brain become stronger, more resilient and geared for success is with the information you feed it. This is why affirmations can be such a powerful tool if you use it properly.
I’ll be honest, it’s taken me years to get these 100 effective affirmations right and ready to share with you. This is because I believe affirmations should be:
- Believable and realistic;
- Practical to repeat;
- Easy enough to remember in concept;
- Specifically focused on your journey; and
- Comforting to hear.
I really took time to adapt basic affirmations to ones that are useful if you have a chronic illness.
I couldn’t think of anything worse than repeating to myself: “Your health issues do not exist.”
Really? Your health issues totally do exist and it should be respected – not ignored.
So, I changed this to: “I choose to not let my illness define me.”
Why Are Negative Thoughts So Damaging?
Before I dive into my 100 affirmations for chronic illness – I wanted to say three things about negative thoughts.
It’s not just that negative thoughts make you unhappy. It’s the fact that they can cause psychological and physiologic damage.
Yes, you heard me right.
Three things to remember about negative thoughts:
- They stop your brain from functioning at high capacity. This is especially true of stressful thoughts.
What does this mean?
It makes it harder for your brain to process thoughts and find solutions. It also slows down coordination, impacts memory and the ability to be creative.
- If you have continuous bad thoughts – your brain will develop neural pathways to support more negative thoughts.
What does this mean?
It becomes more natural to think about bad stuff than it does to think about good stuff.
- They trigger inflammation in your body, lower your immunity and leave you more vulnerable to chronic disease.
What does this mean?
Having a chronic illness and letting yourself be consumed by negative thoughts can actually make your physical health deteriorate more. It becomes a vicious cycle.
If this is something you want to understand better. Here’s a link to the Oxford Journal of Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience that will give you a whole lot more scientific detail about what I’m talking about.
Otherwise, it’s time to shake off some negativity and get into some affirmations that will help you unveil a stronger, happier and healthier you.
100 Affirmations For Chronic Illness
This section is divided into affirmations* for chronic illness; chronic pain; vitality; physical healing; and emotional health.
If you're looking for more support around your mental health, I highly recommend reading these 3 articles:
*Disclaimer: My affirmations are inspired by or variants of things that I have read, learnt about or remembered over the years. I do not claim to have created them from scratch.
Affirmations for all chronic illness warriors
I have the mind, heart and soul of a warrior.
I look forward to each new day as it gives me a new chance to grow.
I am creative, strategic and resilient – all qualities needed to manage a chronic illness.
I know that when I want to quit, I won’t. When you’re ready to quit, it’s usually the moment right before miracles happen.
I know the word “disease” can be broken down to “dis” and “ease”. Therefore, I make decisions to help me be in a state of ease in life.
I understand the value of self-reflection as it helps me understand myself better.
I appreciate the principles of affirmations as they act as a personal guide and motivational reinforcement.
I know that my attitude is only a thought with an attached emotion. Therefore, I have the power to manifest it in a positive way.
My illness lives with me but it is not who I am. I successfully separate my obstacles from how I define myself.
I have the power to be who I want to be. But I must be wise enough to understand that this goal is forever evolving and adapting to my circumstances.
"Hope doesn’t require a massive chain where heavy links of logic hold it together. A thin wire will do… just strong enough to get us through the night until the winds die down." ~ Charles R. Swindoll
Affirmations for chronic pain
Today, I choose peace. I am at peace with my pain.
Today, I choose love. I love my pain because I know it will help me heal.
Today, I choose support. I create a body that will support me.
Today, I choose to listen. I listen so that I can learn from my pain.
Today, I choose gratitude. I give thanks to what my disease has taught me.
I know that I choose my own happiness. My illness does not limit me.
I know that I am not my illness. It does not define me.
I know that my pain only has as much power as I give it. That is why I give it no power.
I know that channelling thoughts about healing and restoration helps me every day.
I know that I have control of my body. I cannot allow pain to control me.
"Pain is inevitable, but misery is optional." ~ Tim Hansel
- I am grateful for all the experiences I have – whether they’re easy or challenging.
- I am at peace with my pain. I can live alongside it without anger.
- I am committed to ensuring I improve – mentally, physically, emotionally.
- I release feelings of pain and discomfort from my body when I put my mind to it.
- I release the toxicity of my illness with every breath I exhale.
- I release good vibes to the people who are healthy around me. I know that goodness is rewarded with more goodness.
- I release negative thoughts from my mind and attract what’s good. I know I need good thoughts to heal.
- I release the frustration I feel because of my pain. I will not let it get the better of me.
- I learn from my pain every day. With each lesson, I prove to myself I am ready to move on.
- Every part of my body is ready to let go of the illness and pain.
"The secret of learning to be sick is this: Illness doesn't make you less of what you were. You are still you." ~ Tony Snow
Affirmations for vitality
If you do yoga or meditate… these affirmations are particularly helpful to remember.
- Every part of my body radiates with vitality and energy.
- I treat my body with respect and compassion because I know they are essential for good health.
- I am patient with the process because I know that the setback is never as great as the comeback.
- Energy and vitality run through my veins every day.
- I am happy knowing that I do everything in my power to restore my good health.
- I can harness the power of laughter to restore my vitality.
- I spend time with people who encourage healthy habits and an energetic lifestyle because I know that goodness is contagious.
- I am aware that my body is regenerating all the time and I need to do everything in my power to help it.
- I respect that my body may not feel amazing every day, but it doesn’t mean I can’t aim for it.
- I love the fact that this experience is making me more in tune with my body than I have ever been before.
- I am disciplined because I know the benefits of proper eating and exercise.
- I am disciplined with my diet and exercise because I love the way that it supports my healing.
- I am disciplined in taking the drinks and supplements I need to help me attain great vitality.
- I can look past the taste of my medication and supplements because of how amazing I feel when I adhere to my regime.
- I know that food is the most fundamental form of medicine, that is why I eat foods that only support my health.
“When you exhaust all possibilities remember this: You haven't.” ~ Thomas Edison
- I feel that my body is in a state of harmony. I am working towards achieving perfect balance.
- I respect the fact that I need to sleep. Sleep puts me into a deep state of relaxation that enables my vitality and energy.
- I deserve to be healthy and happy. They are natural human rights that you have to harness yourself.
- I am not fooled by my condition. I know that everyone needs to earn good health at some point. I am not alone. I am not a victim.
- I am not fooled by my condition. I know that everyone needs to create their own happiness. I am not alone. I am not a victim.
- I know that I need to look at my body with compassion and love. It cannot heal without these powerful forces.
- I am passionate about health and wellness. I use these two things to build my vitality.
- My obligation to myself is to make decisions that bring only good health and good vibes.
- I am worthy of living a life with good health.
- I will never let other people’s stories of poor health scare me. I know that fear cannot help me improve my own health.
- I accept where I am physically right now because I know that with every dip, there needs to be a rise too.
- I can appreciate healing and health so much more because of what I have been through so it is not a waste of experience.
- I take full responsibility for my health. I am not a victim of my circumstances.
- I know that I can maintain my health by eating the right foods, meditating and exercising. These aren’t chores – they’re my lifestyle.
- Tomorrow, I will wake up stronger than I did today.
“Be patient with yourself as you evolve. Small, healthy choices make a big difference in the long run!” ~ Smidts in St Louis
Affirmations for physical healing
- I know I deserve to live a healthy life.
- I know that healing has major importance in my life.
- I know that in some way, even if I can’t see it, I am healing every day.
- I know the importance of forgiveness because it helps with my healing.
- I know healing takes time, this is why I do not get frustrated with the process.
- I can and I will fight through anything so that I can heal in the way that I deserve.
- I feel empowered and motivated when I think about my healing.
- I choose to be a fighter. I will fight my way to restoration.
- I accept where I am right now. This allows me to move closer towards healing effectively.
- I know that I am healing within while I am asleep and awake.
“Sometimes you will be in control of your illness and other times you’ll sink into despair, and that’s OK! Freak out, forgive yourself, and try again tomorrow.” ~ Kelly Hemingway
- I appreciate the fact that I can meet incredible people along my journey to health.
- I know that with every step toward better health that I take – I can help someone else take that same step.
- I know that when I see progress in others it means that I can progress too. It is an inspiration to see others heal.
- I am dedicated to seeing my doctors, taking my medication and doing the therapy I need to do so that I can continue healing.
- I can see that the people who love me are in full support of my healing journey.
- I wake up with optimism. I know every day gives me a new opportunity to heal and grow.
- I understand that the obstacles I face today serve a higher purpose. I must be patient as I learn what this is.
- I set my goals around my healing because I know it’s important.
- I see my struggles with health as challenges that I am able to overcome.
- I accept that I can’t comprehend just how far my ability for healing can extend. I must just have faith and go with it.
- I can't do everything today, but I can take one small step.
- I will do what not many others are willing to do. And I will be successful.
- My ability to conquer my challenges is limitless; my potential to succeed is infinite.
- Everything that is happening now is happening for my ultimate good.
- My efforts are being supported by the universe; my dreams manifest into reality before my eyes.
“Healing may not be so much about getting better, as about letting go of everything that isn’t you — all of the expectations, all of the beliefs — and becoming who you are.” ~ Rachel Naomi Remen
Affirmations for emotional health
- I never make conscientious decisions that will result in me feeling bad.
- I know that I must not resist my negative feelings because what I resist will persist. Instead, I accept and move forward.
- My mental health concerns aren’t stronger than my willpower.
- I recognise the things that I love about myself. This helps me stay in a state conducive to healing.
- I focus on feeling good when my mind tries to take me elsewhere.
“You wake up every morning to fight the same demons that left you so tired the night before, and that, my love, is bravery.” ~ Unknown
- I know that the challenges I face are opportunities for growth. I must be patient with the process.
- I know that mistakes are the starting point for success. I must trust that these circumstances aren’t pointless.
- I am intelligent, patient and open-minded enough to find new ways to overcome my challenges.
- I am patient and kind to myself every day.
- I am aware that my mind is strong and resilient.
“Do you make regular visits to yourself?” ~ Rumi
- My mental health is a priority and I cannot push it aside. It deserves my full attention.
- I know that I have the ability to create health and happiness.
- I take the time to be introspective. I make regular visits within myself to better understand what I need and why.
- I am always learning new things about the depths of my mind and my mental wellbeing. Life is truly a journey.
- I acknowledge that it is only a thought, and a thought can be changed.
A famous affirmation…
I bless my past and I’m grateful for every experience,
for every experience has helped me expand my
understanding of love
My life is forever unfolding as it should
The past, the present and the future are one
I honor and respect my feelings and emotions, for they are part of my story
~ Toni Carmine Salerno
Creating Your Own Affirmations
As I mentioned at the beginning of my article – I needed to create a lot of my own affirmations in the beginning because it was important to find words that were relevant and authentic to my situation.
Although I want you to use as many of the affirmations I’ve provided as possible. I also encourage you to develop some of your own that will resonate with you.
In the end, the objective is to help you create a better headspace for yourself. Sometimes this requires a little initiative.
If you’re interested in making your own affirmations, here’s a simple 3-step process you can use to help you out:
Write down your insecurities and negative thoughts.
It doesn’t really matter what they are or how many of them you have. They just need to directly affect you in some way.
Write all these sentences down in red (or any colour you want) and leave a space underneath each one.
For example: I am too sick to finish my degree.
Give yourself objective advice.
In this point, pretend each comment came from a good friend that you do your best to be honest and genuine with. Now try to think of a realistic response you would give them.
Write all your responses in blue or a second colour to contrast your negative statement.
For example: I am too sick to finish my degree.
Response: You self-improve every day and although you cannot determine your future, you are open to the possibilities that it may bring. Your health is a work-in-progress.
Try and avoid generic or meaningless responses like: “That’s not true.”
Change the “you” in your response to “I”.
This is the part where we turn your response into a newly formed affirmation. For example: I am too sick to finish my degree.
Affirmation: I self-improve every day and although I can’t determine my future, I am open to the possibilities that it may bring. My health is a work-in-progress.
Ensure you use the right words.
This is the final step before your affirmations are ready to read, repeat, chant – whatever!
Go through each response and make sure each one starts with “I” or “my”. Usually this will precede a strong action word. For example: I am; I have; I can; I will; or I know.
Make it pretty before you print it out and stick it up.
Unless it looks good and inspiring – what’s the point?
You need to look at these affirmations every day. So it needs to be something that visually motivates you.
Get creative on Canva. This is an awesome platform where you can spend some time choosing unique backgrounds that you like, with fun fonts and creative designs.
If you enjoyed the 100 affirmations to use if you have a chronic illness – you can also download our free booklet.
It has all the affirmations we spoke about, inspiring visuals, space to doodle, write your own notes and create your own affirmations.
Printable Booklet on 100 Affirmations for Chronic Illness that Actually Work:
If there’s an affirmation you feel I’ve left out. Or if there’s something you’d like to share with me – I would love to hear it. Pop me a message in the comment section below and I’ll get back to you ASAP.
I’d like to leave you with my all-time favourite mantras (an extended affirmation) that I’ve been saying every day for the last 10 years:
Today I am Sharing Gratitude with the World
Being grateful means appreciating small victories.
It means admiring the struggle it takes just to be human.
Today, I show gratitude to the person that I was before my chronic illness.
This version of myself set the foundation for my rich life.
But today, I also show gratitude to the person that I am today.
This version of myself has strength and resilience that I never knew was possible.
Today, I am grateful that I have another chance to live my life.
As my life has proved that I have the power to be
Introspective, patient, humble, forgiving, loving and understanding.
I appreciate who I am. I appreciate my loved ones.
I appreciate my life.
I have all I need to make it on this journey.
I am not prepared… I am soaring.