Affirmations are no different from mantras. In fact they are mantras tailored to serve your personal needs. Its efficacy lies in the simplicity of words as it makes smooth repetitive chanting. Big words and complex phrasing takes the punch out of it, and makes it difficult for you to recite with a focussed mind - your mind cannot concentrate when it is struggling with the words.
The next most important thing to consider when composing affirmations is that every word must carry a positive vibration. For instance, " I have no fears ". Here in this phrase even though your intentions are positive, you are striking a negative chord because the words "no" and "fear" are negative and thus can neutralise the effect of your affirmations. Instead it would be perfect to put it as " I am Love " or " I am Peace ". The words "Love" and "Peace" have strong, positive vibrations to them, and can magnify the effect of your affirmations. Similarly, the words "I Am" are powerful vibrations because "I Am" suggests "the God in me".
Now the next question comes as to when to use them. It would be ideal to chant these when your waking consciousness has slowed down, that is at night, just before you drift off to sleep. The mantra thus chanted is then taken over by your subconscious mind, and replays it throughout your sleeping hours without your conscious knowledge thus etching deep positive pattern in your subconscious mind. Then again, the first thing as you stir awake while you are still half asleep. During these times the mind is very receptive and calm, and thus whatever you put into it is absorbed readily. And then ofcourse to reinforce it you can chant, sing or recite throughout the day if you so wish. The more you use, the better for you. Yet another way to use affirmations is to induce your mind into a meditative state and chant them with one-pointed concentration. This can be done once a day in a room where you will sit undisturbed for about 10 - 15 minutes daily, preferably at one particular time.
In the next post we will take you into guided meditation to use affirmations at the deeper levels of your consciousness.