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22 Positive Self-Affirmation Phrases To Say When Stress Is Getting The Best Of You

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Everyone falls prey to negative self-talk, and this is especially true for women. Think about it: When is the last time you spoke words of encouragement to yourself? If this concept is new to you — or you're not sure where to start — you might want some positive self-affirmation phrases to keep in your back pocket.

And as it turns out, this simple trick can yield powerful results. "Positive affirmations work because when you create new neural pathways in your brain and repeat them over and over, it’s like blazing a trail through a forest, then repeatedly walking the trail so that it becomes more discernible and easy to maneuver," explains Avery Roth, a career change coach. "They are most effective when you have an ongoing practice of using them. For instance, if you want to cultivate a mindset to combat stress, a positive affirmation would reflect the opposite of stress, such as calm."

Farah Harris, a licensed clinical professional counselor, points out that a lot of the put-downs we tell ourselves on repeat are things we've heard from other people. "Often, the unhealthy self-dialogue originates from someone other than us. A parent, teacher, classmate or someone from our past can say something to us that impacts us in such a way that we actively need to combat the negativity with positive affirmations." And while this technique can help you muster the motivation you need to keep moving on (and up), she warns, "Self-affirming phrases cannot replace personal development. If you aren’t growing in self-awareness and owning up to areas in which you can improve, self-actualization will be difficult to attain."

So whether you're dealing with stress at work, self-esteem issues, or a toxic relationship is throwing you for a loop (whether with a partner or a friend), finding some confidence from within can help you stay optimistic, and can even bring you clarity. And while your personal mantra should ring true for you, there's no shame in borrowing others' words of wisdom or keeping them as simple as telling yourself "I love you." Read on for inspiration from CEOs, founders, and mental health professionals, who share their favorite phrases for relieving anxiety and promoting self-love.

“If you want something you never had, you have to go do something you've never done.”

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- Melynda Barnes, clinical director at Rory, a women’s healthcare company

"I trust my intuition and am always guided to make wise decisions."

Mike Sill & Beau Schmitt, founders of CBD-infused products Sunday Scaries and FOMO Bones. "As co-founders of a quickly-growing business, it's so easy to get overwhelmed, but affirmations have helped us keep a positive mindset, despite the obstacles that come with building a brand."

“I understand my purpose and I know exactly how to accomplish it in the finest and best ways possible.”

- Hien Kaplan, co-founder and chief science officer, Function of Beauty, a personalized hair care company

“Loan your role, but own yourself."

- Farah Harris, a licensed clinical professional counselor: “This is important, as many women can lose their identity in marriage, motherhood, or work."

“I am too busy working on my grass to notice if yours is greener.”

- Beryl Solomon, co-founder and CEO of Poplar, maker of CBD-infused beauty products

"Pain is a constant, but suffering is optional."

- Carly Stein, founder and CEO, Beekeeper's Naturals, makers of infused honey products. "Nothing worthwhile comes easily. You can get there hating every step, or embrace the challenge and learn to accept and even enjoy the journey."

"My failures have made me a better entrepreneur."

- Sara Brooks, founder + CEO of Covet PR, a public relations firm. "It is often lonely running a business, sometimes feeling that no one else in the world has experienced what you are going through. By referencing affirmations or quotes from other business leaders, it helps me realize what I am feeling is normal, I am not alone, and no matter how stressed I may be at the moment, 'this too shall pass.'"

"If I am irritated by every rub, how will I ever be polished?"

Nicole Centeno, founder and CEO, Splendid Spoon, a plant-based meal company. (Quote is coined by Rumi.)

"Failing is a learning experience that creates future change and growth."

- Adi Arezzini, co-founder of healthy lifestyle and skincare brand, Teami. "So much negativity can flood into my mind when I get overwhelmed, and especially if things at work aren't going exactly as I had planned. Getting space and perspective from an area or a situation is my magic secret for being able to handle it better."

"I am blessed to live the life I have created."

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- Kim Roebuck, co-founder of Dr Roebuck’s, a skincare line with minimal ingredients

"I’m human and it’s okay to make mistakes!
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- Kiana Cabell, co-founder of Kopari, a coconut-infused body care company. "As long as I am constantly pivoting and learning from each experience, mistakes help me learn and become a better business leader."

"I did not wake up today to be mediocre."

- Melynda Barnes, clinical director at Rory

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts."

- Gigi Goldman, co-founder of Kopari, a coconut-infused body care company. "If you’ve never launched a business before, you will find that there is so much that you don’t know, but that’s okay! The key to success is to never stop learning throughout the process."

"Working hard while I'm young will lead to future freedoms when I'm older."

- Adi Arezzini, co-founder of healthy lifestyle and skincare brand, Teami

“I love you. I love your face. I love your heart. I love your wit. I love your soul.”

- Sydney Holland, co-founder of the crystal company The Urban + The Mystic. "I always find 'I love you' to be the best start. Then I let it snowball: 'You’re a great mother. You’re a great friend, daughter, business woman.' I never have them too planned out, as I may need to hear something different depending on the day, so I let my heart be my guide."

"Get the important things right, and let the rest go."

Christina Carbonell, co-founder of Primary.com, a children's clothing company.

"Don't wait for everything to be perfect to begin enjoying your life.”

- Jennifer Silvershein, LCSW and founder of Manhattan Wellness, a boutique psychotherapy practice specializing in working with millennial women

"You have inherent value."

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- Farah Harris, a licensed clinical professional counselor. "No one questions why a blade of grass exists, yet we question our worth. The world can leave one thinking that their life is less valuable and purposeful than a blade of grass. It simply is not true. We are all fearfully and wonderfully made."

"Luck falls on the shoulders of those prepared to receive it.”

- Alix Peabody, the founder and CEO of Bev, a rosé beverage company. "You must constantly be preparing so that when luck comes, you can catch it."

"There is no reason to compare myself to anyone else out there. You can't compare apples to oranges. We are all unique human beings and cannot be compared to one another."

- Adi Arezzini, co-founder of healthy lifestyle and skincare brand, Teami

"You are a beautiful person.You matter. You are strong. You are genuine. You can do anything you put your mind to. You got this."

- Sydney Holland, co-founder of the crystal company The Urban + The Mystic

"I am the best f*cking human I can be."

- Beryl Solomon, co-founder and CEO of Poplar, maker of CBD-infused beauty products